Taking the Field of Glory: GAA Monthly
Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association
by Vincent Beach
Sláinte chugainn ar fad! Health to us all. Like all sports and social clubs, the GAA’s future is still unknown with regards to a playing season, COVID-19, and social distancing. The Midwest GAA has held a few conference calls with clubs to determine the format of the season and championship.
Although unofficial at this time (awaiting Midwest Board Approval), clubs agreed to locations and games, albeit without dates. This is an update from last month’s article. Everyone is cautious, but wants to have plans in place if the authorization is given.
The hurling clubs (Akron Celtic Guards, Pittsburgh Pucas, and Rochester “Roc City Hurling”) have agreed to blitzes in Akron and Roc City, expecting the Midwest finals to serve as Pittsburgh’s home match. Ladies’ football (Buffalo, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh) will also follow the blitz format and the Midwest will aim to align games with the Men’s weekends.
Junior C Football will consist of Cincinnati, Cleveland 1, Detroit, and Pittsburgh 2. Each team will host a blitz, but each club will only travel twice (or, one club is left out of each blitz). Junior D football will include Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland 2, Grand Rapids, and Syracuse with blitzes in Buffalo, Syracuse, and Cleveland. The Pittsburgh 1 team will be scheduling games outside of the Division after winning USGAA Junior A last season.
Memorial 7’s Cancelled
Cleveland has sadly cancelled the Memorial 7’s tournament planned for May 16th at the WSIA. Teams would have been coming in from the surrounding states. A Cleveland only fun day may be planned if the restrictions are lifted, but the outlook is doubtful. Another option the club is reviewing is rescheduling an autumn tournament.
On the youth side, the games are still scheduled – June 27 Detroit Invitational, July 18-19 Philadelphia Liberty Bell, and the August Midwest Finals – although the Continental Youth Championships (CYC) in San Francisco has been canceled. For the CYC’s (the largest GAA sporting event outside of Ireland) delays in the logistics of such an event were insurmountable.
Stay tuned to social media for regular updates or subscribe to the club newsletter. Go dtuga Dia slán sibh.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh (thanks y’all) to our readers and supporters. We need your help and involvement, but would most like to share the fun of Irish sport and Cleveland community with you. Consider getting involved at any level.
Fáilte (welcome) to all. The Gaelic Athletic Association is Ireland’s largest sporting organization and a bit of home for the Irish abroad here in the US of A. Beyond sports, the Association also promotes Irish music, song and dance, and the Irish language as an integral part of its objectives. Cleveland GAA is open to all who want to play competitive sports, meet new people, and join an athletic, fitness-minded club for all ages.
Follow @ClevelandGaelic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the 2020 activities for Men, Women, and Youth. Or, visit ClevelandGAA.com.
*Vincent Thomas Francis Xavier Beach is a proud Greater Clevelander and emigrant of Michigan. He joined the St. Pat’s Gaelic Football Club in 1999 and, with much help, is the current caretaker of the Cleveland GAA. His Irish is a cross of dialects from the University of Cincinnati and An Cheathrú Rua. With his wife, Michelle, he enjoys watching time absolutely fly by as their children, Ambrose (10), Bernadette (8), and Cedric (5), grow. His other hustles are teaching Irish at PJs, coaching CYO basketball at St. Mary of Berea, coaching soccer in Olmsted TWP, and slangin’ some engineering skills on local concrete and pipe projects.