The Worcester GAA Club was founded in 2009 by Worcester natives, Daniel Donahue and Paul Curley. In 2013, the team claimed the Northeast Junior C Championship and competed in the USGAA National Championships in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2014, Worcester returned to win the North East Junior C Championship and went on to win the Junior C National Championship in Canton, MA. The team was honored with the Key to the City of Worcester on what is now known as the official Gaelic Athletic Day on September 16, 2014 by Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty. After a few years of growth, Worcester came back to win the Northeast Junior C Championships in 2017. In 2018, Worcester Hurling Club officially changed their name to the Worcester Fenians. The Fenians compete in the Junior C division of the USGAA league against teams from Concord, NH, Portland, ME, Hartford, CT, and Providence, RI.
On the 10th Anniversary of the club, the Fenians took home the 2019 Northeast Junior B Championship trophy. With Frankie at the wheel, the Fenians headed down to Leesburg, Virginia to compete for the Northeast Division in the USGAA Finals. Worcester faced teams from the Midatlantic, Heartland, and Midwest divisions claiming victory in all three rounds to earn the title of 2019 National Junior B Champions.
In 2021 the Fenians started up a Gaelic Football team and now compete in the Northeast Junior C Championship. In 2022 the Fenians entered a second Hurling team and currently field teams at Junior B and Junior C level. We are the current USGAA Club of the Year in 2021 for our work in setting up a new Football team and assisting the set up of the brand new Camogie (Women's Hurling) club - the New England Fenians.
Hurling is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic and Irish origin. The game has prehistoric origins, and has been played for 3,000 years.
Camogie is the name of the same sport played by women; it is almost identical to the game of hurling played by men, with a handful of minor differences in the rules. Camogie is played by 100,000 women in Ireland and worldwide. It is administered worldwide by the Dublin-based Camogie Association.
The objective of the game is for players to use a wooden stick called a hurley to hit a small ball called a sliotar between the opponent’s goalposts either over the crossbar for one point, or under the crossbar into a net guarded by a goalkeeper for one goal, which is equivalent to three points. The sliotar can be caught in the hand and carried for not more than four steps, struck in the air, or struck on the ground with the hurley. It can be kicked, or slapped with an open hand (the hand pass) for short-range passing. A player who wants to carry the ball for more than four steps has to bounce or balance the sliotar on the end of the stick, and the ball can only be handled twice while in his possession.
Gaelic football was first codified in 1887, although it has purported links to older varieties of football played in Ireland. A rough-and tumble form of Gaelic football was common throughout the middle ages, similar versions of which abounded throughout Europe and eventually became the forebears of both soccer and rugby. Though references to Irish Football are practically non-existent before the 1600s the earliest records of a recognized precursor to modern Gaelic football date from a game in County Meath, Ireland in 1670, in which catching and kicking the ball were permitted.
The game is now played all over the world, and is growing in popularity every year. There sport has been played in the United States ever since Irish emigrants first came to its shores.
The objective of the sport is to score by kicking or punching the ball into the other team’s goals (3 points) or between two upright posts above the goals and over a crossbar 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) above the ground (1 point).
Players advance the football, a spherical leather ball, up the field with a combination of carrying, bouncing, kicking, hand-passing, and soloing (dropping the ball and then toe-kicking the ball upward into the hands). In the game, two types of scores are possible: points and goals. A point is awarded for kicking or hand-passing the ball over the crossbar, signalled by the umpire raising a white flag. A goal is awarded for kicking the ball under the crossbar into the net, signalled by the umpire raising a green flag.
*Pulled from the USGAA Website