USGAA Newsletter: March 2019

GAA Congress – Wexford 2019

USGAA delegates traveled to Wexford Town in Ireland to attend the annual GAA Congress on February
21, 22, and 23.

What is Congress you may ask?  Each year in February the GAA counties in Ireland and abroad get together to vote on making or changing rules (Both Playing and Administrative), elect members to Management Committee, and every third year, elect a new President.  The previous year is reviewed, and reports are presented from Committees and Workshops dealing with topics such as Fixtures Analysis, Youth Retention and Games Development.

It is also a chance for various units to learn from experiences of their counterparts within the wider GAA body. In this regard, USGAA had some very productive meetings with the Munster Council which is assigned the role of helping support USGAA’s Development programs, while also the World GAA committee.  Additionally, the World GAA group put together a program of meetings and presentations for the international units of the GAA which also includes Europe, New York, Australia and Asia.

Unknown perhaps to many, USGAA is one of the larger units in the GAA’s county-based Congress structure – overall, units outside Ireland account for about 25% of delegates. This growth has resulted in increased importance of the International constituent of the GAA.

One initiative discussed at Congress was the desire to promote a “One Club” model, whereby Ladies Football and Camogie, each of which is a separate organization in Ireland, come under one umbrella with the GAA.  While men’s and ladies teams being part of the same club, and the USGAA being the administrative body for all 3 codes, may seem second nature to those of us based in the United States it remains a goal to be achieved in Ireland.  

Next year will involve the election of a new President to succeed John Horan, and that Congress will be held at GAA HQ in Croke Park.  

GAA Presidential Award: Hugh Duggan

On March 8 th , USGAA Referee Administrator Hugh Duggan will be awarded the GAA Presidential Award for Contribution to Overseas Development.

Hugh is the 5 th USGAA recipient of this award, joining the following:

  • Dave Olsen, Milwaukee (2006)
  • Pat Uniacke, San Francisco (2009)
  • Paul Mulcaire, Buffalo (2015)
  • Bernie Reilly, Boston (2016)

In congratulating Hugh, USGAA also thanks him for his tireless dedication to Gaelic Games in the US over the last four decades, and looks forward to working with Hugh for many years to come.

Here follows the citation accompanying Hugh’s award:

A lifelong member of the Pearse Óg club (Armagh), whom he served with distinction both as a player and an administrator, and a former Inter-County referee at the highest level, Hugh Duggan’s GAA credentials were well-established when he arrived in the United States in 1981.

Settling in San Francisco, Hugh was a regular presence at GAA events, and in 1987 he was a founding member of the San Francisco Ulster Club – he was also the clubs first Secretary and Team Manager. Although no longer having a day-to-day involvement with the club, he took great pride in their subsequent North American Senior Football titles. In 1991, Hugh became manager of the emerging Michael Cusacks club, immediately winning a North American Junior Football Championship, followed by an Intermediate title in 1992. Their crowning achievement arrived in 1994, when Hugh coached the Michael Cusacks to only the second Senior Football Championship title victory by a San Francisco team in 25 years.

In 1996, Hugh was appointed coach of the North American Men’s Football team, which competed at the International Cup in Dublin, and once more Hugh led a successful team.

Following on from his time as a coach, Hugh assumed various Administrative roles at Divisional Board level, including San Francisco Divisional Chair and Chair of the 2001 North American Finals. As he did during his time as a referee and manager, Hugh brought dedication and passion to bear during a period of significant growth for the GAA in North America.

Away from the meeting rooms and training fields, Hugh continued to volunteer his considerable Refereeing experience at both Divisional and National levels. He was awarded the San Francisco Referee of the Year on 3 separate occasions, while also being appointed referee at multiple North American Finals.

In recent years, Hugh has taken on the role of USGAA Referee Administrator, where he is dedicating his time to providing USGAA players with the best quality of referee experience possible.

In recognition of his distinguished service, Hugh was inducted into the San Francisco Hall of Fame in 2015 and was elected Honorary President of USGAA in 2017.

We congratulate Hugh Duggan, his wife Cindy and their family, on his Presidential Award, and thank him for his substantial contribution to the success of Overseas GAA.

Mid-Atlantic Division – Host of the 2019 USGAA Finals

Morven Park in Leesburg, VA will be the site for the 2019 USGAA Finals – and continue a long history of Gaelic games in the Mid-Atlantic. 

Thirty years ago, a group of 19 enthusiastic Irishmen started a club that is best known today as the Washington DC Gaels. While Irish Football had been played in the DC area in the preceding decades, it was this meeting of the minds and formal organization of a club that would prove to be the beginning of the strong establishment of Gaelic games in the DC Metro area.

In 1998, the Washington DC Gaels took on the immense and exciting project of hosting the NACB finals. At Kingsview Middle School in Germantown MD, three fields saw a successful championship summarized by this comment in the Awards Ceremony book, “We built it. They came. We conquered. They left. We tore it down.” If you can’t tell by that traditional, humble Irish bragging, the DC men’s football team were Junior National Champions that year!

Over the next decade, DC Gaels added hurling and camogie. Just a few years later, the Baltimore Bohemians were formed and today the Mid-Atlantic Division boasts a total of five clubs:

  • DC Gaels
  • Baltimore Bohemians
  • Coastal Virginia Hurling and Camogie
  • Michael Collins Football Club in Alexandria
  • Richmond Battery Hurling and Camogie

 

The Mid-Atlantic region is also home to several fall and spring leagues, as well as collegiate hurling and football clubs.

Much has changed since DC hosted those 1998 finals. That schedule was comprised of 49 games (39 adult, 10 youth), nine adult final games, and required ONLYthree fields. This year the 2019 Host Committee are anticipating 100+ adult teams who will play on five beautiful and co-located fields; each field hosting up to 7 full-scale Championship games daily over the course of three days.

A massive number of spectators and players are anticipated to flood the area and well over 4,000 people are expected to attend with all 10 USGAA divisions being represented, including teams from New York, Canada and the Cayman Islands.

The opportunity for the Mid-Atlantic region to host the 2019 USGAA Finals shows the massive changes that started with just one club evolving into a division that has grown over the two past decades. While the Mid-Atlantic Division clubs have grown in numbers, expanded in codes, and involved hundreds of players that have come and gone over the years, what has not changed is the pervading sense of community and camaraderie that results from dedicated players coming together to play a sport they love.

As you lace up your boots to play at your divisional home games this year, prepare yourselves to play your hardest and secure the opportunity to be a part of this year’s USGAA finals. The Mid-Atlantic Division are proud and excited to introduce all USGAA clubs to phenomenal pitches and top-level competition at Morven Park. The weekend will be full of nods to the deep Irish heritage and culture that many have come to know and love – and perhaps even a new tradition or two to boot!

For more information and to start planning your DC experience, visit www.usgaafinals2019.com and continue to check out the site for more updates on the weekend we are working hard to make it one of the best ever!

2019 USGAA Registration

This year sees the introduction of per-member registration. Registration costs were set at the 2018 Convention in Chicago as:

  • $100 Per Registered Club
  • $60 Per Male Playing Member
  • $40 Per Female Playing Member
  • $10 Per Social Member. 

We are currently building a new registration system that will be ready for launch in the 1st week of April. 

Clubs that wish to continue paying their membership still can do so, however the goal is to reduce the work load of Club Registrars by giving members the ability to register individually. 

More information will be sent out to the clubs via the Divisional Boards as we complete the build of the new USGAA Registration system

General Administrative Business: Passwords, Transfers, Certificates of Insurance

PASSWORD RESETS:

Email Account:

To reset your club’s official GAA Email Account (formatted as secretary.club.division.usa@gaa.ie), please submit a request through the USGAA Website:

http://usgaa.org/usgaa-email-password-reset-request

Online Transfer System:

To reset your PTS Credentials, please contact ServaSport, sending an email from your club’s Official Email to ServaSport at:

support@servasport.com

CERTIFICATES OF INSURANCE:

If you require a Certificate of Liability Insurance, as a requirement to rent a facility, please submit your request here:

usgaa.org/usgaa-insurance

What’s Happening around the USGAA

Although no tournaments are scheduled to take place in March, the calendar of approved tournaments shows that clubs are very busy planning activities throughout the coming months.

To get your tournament approved, submit a request through the USGAA Website:

http://usgaa.org/tournament-request-form/

If you need help planning your travel schedule, here is the complete list of tournaments approved as of March 1st.

April

April 6th:

Tulsa GAC: Hurling

April 27th:

St. Louis:   Mens Football, Hurling and Camogie

Coastal Virginia: Hurling and Camogie

May

May 11th:

Cleveland: Mens Football and Ladies Football

May 25th-26th:

San Diego: Mens Football, Ladies Football, Hurling and Camogie

June:

June 1st:

Twin Cities: Hurling and Camogie

June 8th:

Seattle: Mens Football, Ladies Football, Hurling and Camogie

July

July 13th-14th:

Denver : Mens Football, Ladies Football, Hurling and Camogie

Milwaukee: Mens Football and Ladies Football

September

September 15th:

Madison: Mens Football, Ladies Football, Hurling and Camogie

September 29th:

Akron: Mens Football, Ladies Football, Hurling and Camogie

Sponsor’s Corner: Masita March Offers

Aerial view of San Francisco in 1959

Did you Know? 

While the first staging of a Finals weekend was not until the 1980’s, the first actual USGAA finals were held at Balboa Stadium in San Francisco in 1959.  

San Francisco defeated Galway Boston in the senior hurling final, while senior football champions were Los Angeles who defeated Toronto in the final.

Gaelic Games continued to be played in Balboa Stadium at various times over the following 50 years, until the December 2008 opening of Treasure Island as the home of GAA in the San Francisco region.

IMPORTANT: COMING DEADLINE!!!!

Inter-County Transfer Deadline – March 31st

Inter-county Transfers are required for players coming into USGAA jurisdiction, having previously played or being registered with a team outside USGAA – this includes players who have relocated from New York or Canada.

These can be submitted online through: www.pts.gaa.ie

If you need a Password Reset for the online Transfer System, please send an email from your clubs Official GAA account, to ServaSport: support@servasport.com