High Fielding, the Mark and the Kick Out

High fielding is a considered skill in Gaelic Football. It sounds simple and technically it is. A ball is kicked high into the air and the person on the other end catches it, usually with the arms outstretched and high over their head. High Fielding can happen at anytime but typically it is referred to on the kick out from the goalkeeper.

The kickout from the goalkeeper is after a wide or a score. The ball is mounted on a kicking tee or on the ground on the 20m line in front of the goals. All players, except the goalkeeper and the player taking the kick-out (if other than the goalkeeper), shall be outside the 20m line. All other players shall be 13m from the ball until it has been kicked.


When a player catches the ball cleanly from a goalkeepr Kick-Out without it touching the ground, on or past the 45m line nearest the KickOut point, he shall be awarded a ‘Mark’ by the Referee. The player awarded a ‘Mark’ shall have the options of:

  1. A Free Kick

    The player shall signify to the Referee that he is availing of and then take the free kick himself from the hand from the point where he was awarded the ‘Mark’.

    Once the player indicates he is taking the ‘Mark’ the Referee will allow up to five seconds for the player to take the kick. If the player delays longer than five seconds the Referee will cancel the ‘Mark’ and throw in the ball between a player from each side. Once the player indicates he is taking the ‘Mark’, the opposing players must retreat 10m to allow the player space to take the kick.

    If an opposition player deliberately blocks or attempts to block the kick within 10m, or if an opposition player impedes the player while he is taking the kick, the Referee shall penalise the opposition by bringing the ball forward 13m.

    If the Referee determines that the player who makes the ‘Mark’ has been injured in the process and is unable to take the kick, the Referee shall direct the Player’s nearest team mate to take the kick but he may not score directly from the kick.

  2. Play on immediately

    (i) In this circumstance the player may not be challenged for the ball until he carries the ball up to a maximum of four consecutive steps or holds the ball for no longer than the time needed to take four steps and/or makes one act of kicking, hand passing, bouncing or toe-tapping the ball.

    (ii) If he is illegally challenged, a free kick shall be awarded to his team from the point at which the challenge is made, and this free kick may be taken by any player on his team.

The High Catch explained

High Catch Drills


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