GAA tactics and team set up have been around for some time. The great Down team of the early 60’s brought a revolutionary structure and set up to their way of playing and the organising of their team on and off the pitch. Managers like Kevin Heffernan in Dublin and Babs Keating in Cork hurling progressed the levels of structure throughout the 70’s.

But it was really the turn of the new millennium and the teams from the North Tyrone and Armagh under Mickey Harte and Joe Kernan respectively that brought about the revolution in structures and formations. The defensive set ups came in for much criticisms but subsequent All Ireland titles for both counties ensured that the way the game of Gaelic Football, at least, was played would never be the same.


In this series we would like to share a few thoughts we have on formations and structures. Some have been used in the past very successfully by senior club and inter county teams and some are more theoretical.


All the formations described are for example purposes and coaches may find one aspect of a pattern useful to their particular team and its members. Its important to look at them as fluid and try and think of ways of adapting a set up again to suit your teams requirements.


All players should be encouraged to add their thoughts on any formation and they should discuss with fellow players how they would like to work a particular structure. Communication is key in all team structures.


GAA Team Set Up

How it Works



Each formation will come with simple line drawings highlighting various aspects of the structure. Different positions will be represented by its number as it would appear in standard Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie teams.


So if you see 13 in the middle of your own 45 metre line it means in this formation your right corner forward should set up beside the centre half back position.


The assumption is that positions 1-9 will set up in their normal ‘lined out’ positions as their structure shall change in line with what the opposition set up is.


If you have any questions or thoughts on any of the formations or would like to add your own example for our readers to see please contact us by clicking on the below ‘contact us’ link and we can send you jpeg copies of our template to add your structure to.

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