The Continental Youth Championships (CYC) is a United States Gaelic Games Tournament that takes place on an annual basis. Such is its popularity that a CYC jersey is like a badge of honour and rite of passage among young US Gaels!
The CYC is the biggest tournament of Gaelic Sports Outside of Ireland! And every year the CYC jersey is a real collectors’ item. In 2018 a combined colleges team from New York took part in the Corn na Mac Léinn as part of the Sigerson weekend, many of the players have progressed through participation in the CYC competition over recent years.
To seasoned followers of Gaelic Games in North America this is no surprise, for each year up to 2,500 children aged U6 to U18 participate in the CYC event with hundreds of games organized over the course of the tournament. In 2018 for the first time the CYC will be a five-day event In 2017 the tournament was held in Buffalo New York and was again a huge success. The 2018 CYC will take place from the 1st to 5th August at the Irish Cultural Center at Canton, Massachusetts.
The Championships feature teams from the USA and Canada, and is a separate competition from the existing youth championships in the New York, Canadian, and NACB areas. It began in 2004, and its location rotates around various cities from year to year. The age of players ranges from Under 6 to Under 18.
The teams are from all over the US and Canada including cities such as Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Toronto and Ottawa. The tournament also has hosted representative teams from Pittsburgh, Detroit, Milwaukee, San Diego and Cleveland.
The event is the largest youth Gaelic Games event run outside of Ireland with thousands of spectators drawn to the event over the Weekend.
Hurling and Gaelic football have been played in the United States ever since Irish emigrants first came to its shores. The earliest records of games of hurling in North America mention matches being played in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1788, and there are records of football being played in Hyde Park (now the site of the Civic Center) in San Francisco as early as the 1850s.
In 2018 the USGAA boasts clubs all over the country, most of them now founded by locals who have grown to love the sports. Now, Americans are playing Gaelic football and hurling in record numbers.
As a national organization USGAA’s colours are the colours of the US flag. The USGAA logo was commissioned in 2016 and designed by John Hartwell, whose clients include USA Table Tennis, Atlanta Falcons and World Tae Kwon Do Association. He encapsulated the community spirit of the USGAA through historical references to old US sports logos with a modern twist.
There are 10,000 members at both adult and youth level playing games all over the country. Every year the games are growing and becoming increasingly popular beyond the Irish American community.
Each year the USGAA hosts a national championship, known as USGAA Finals (or more colloquially as Nationals) in a different host city. In 2017 the Nationals were held in San Francisco.
National teams compete at the CYC at youth level and the World Games at adult level. The next World Games takes place in 2019.
The future of the USGAA is exciting as teams appear in the most unexpected places. In the future the USGAA hopes to make these sports a truly national past time.
About Our Clubs
Clubs participate in Divisional Championship competitions to qualify for the National Finals in their respective sport and grade of competition.
Presently, Gaelic Games are being organized and played in approximately 50 cities across the US, including (but not limited to) in Akron, Albany, Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Burlingame, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Dallas, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Indianapolis, Kalamazoo, Kansas City, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Oakland, Orange County, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland-ME, Rochester, St. Louis, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Syracuse, Tampa, Twin Cities and Washington DC.