Welcome to our FAQ page.  We intend to keep this page fresh, with old and new questions.  Feel free to ask questions via our contacts form and we will update this page if we feel that’s the correct thing to do.


How do you get more information about activities in and around the Club?

If you are new to the area, then the best way is to turn up at the Park and ask to see a member of the committee.  They can answer questions, put you in touch with relevant individuals and walk you around our facilities.  Alternatively, stay in touch by periodically coming back to this site, read the news articles and inspect the events calendar.  We also post on Facebook and tweet match related information on Twitter.

How do I join the Club?

The Club has a formal registration evening, usually early in the year, but you can still join us any time by asking to see one of our Registrars.  They can explain all about membership classes, prices and player insurance.

Do you need to be a hurler or a camogie player in order to join the Club?

No. Whilst we are a very active playing Club and constantly on the look out for new players, we also enjoy other activities, which augment our playing fitness programmes and support our commitment to establishing a healthy and wellbeing lifestyle for our Club members and the local community.

I’m not from the local area, but would like to enquire more and maybe get involved in some activities.  Would that be a disadvantage to me?

Absolutely not.  We are an inclusive Club, proud to be an early adopter of the integration of men and woman in sport, organising, sharing and administrating jointly for the benefit of all our members.  We are part of the GAA structure and as such, committed to the over arching ‘One Club – Your Club – Where we all belong’ ethos.  Everyone has a place and a role if they wish, in Ballycran.

Apart from hurling and camogie, what other activities does the Club offer?

Well, how about getting involved with coaching, managing, administration or spin, cycling, running, walking, crafts, health and wellbeing initiatives such as our couch to 5K and the hugely popular Cransformation.  More?  Then how about using our gym, use of the hall and pitches for a wide variety of tasks and much more.  Got an idea for something else that you feel might take off, then why not drop by and have a conversation with a committee member down at the Park?

I notice some building work around the Club, what’s going on?

Great question!  We are modernising our gym and practice facilities.  You should look for any news posts devoted to this project on this site.

I noticed that the Club uses a couple of names from time to time, what’s that about?

That’s a really good question.  These days, it is vital that all entities adopt a correct naming convention, share and promote that out and stick to it.  That helps everyone to consistently know who you are and allows the Club to protect the brand and reputation with ease.  The Ulster GAA has published a directory of GAA Club and ground names, which we have consulted and from this, adopted the correct name for our Club.  You’ll still see a few old Club emblems and artefacts bearing a variety of names and errant abbreviations, but these serve as historical records of how we have evolved over time.

We have both an official long and short name in English and really cool versions in Irish.  The long name is ‘St. Joseph’s GAA Club, Ballycran’ and this can be shortened to just ‘Ballycran’ in daily use.  In Irish, our long name is CLG Naomh Iósaf, Baile Crann and again this can be shortened to just Baile Crann.  What does that mean then?  Well, CLG means Cumann Lúthchleas Gael, which translates to Gaelic Athletic Association and Naomh Iósaf is Irish for St. Joseph’s.  There are other alternative spellings of Iósaf, but our Ulster provincial office has suggested that we adopt the biblical version of the name.  You can find the directory of Ulster GAA Club names and grounds booklet on the Ulster GAA web site.  It’s a great document, worth reading, especially if you like knowing the Irish versions of Club names.

In Ballycran, we are proud to be solid adopters of the directory and it’s also a commitment and obligation of our Club Maith qualification.

In that case, don’t you think you should change the name on the location pin in the contact page to reflect the proper Club name?

We’ve tried.  Many times.  We’ll keep trying.  In the meantime, the map may help someone to find Ballycran and given that we have no control over Google’s map correction procedures, we thought it worth the short term inconsistency.

What’s the point in having a web site if we already have a social media page?

Having a social media page is great, it’s easy to use, responsive, mobile friendly and just about everyone has convenient access, but we don’t have any control over the use of the content or a say in the strategic plans of the host site that may eventually affect our brand, reputation and our established communication channel to our members and supporters.  Having our own site means that we have control of these aspects.  A web site also works in a different way.  Content stays up in a readily available fashion, like an online magazine.  It gives us a place to store and share documents and with a few neat tools, quickly becomes our ‘go to’ site for the Club’s fixtures and results, events calendar, neat little portals to our other social platforms and much much more.

Ballycran’s web site follows the GAA WordPress theme called ‘Club and County’, which has widespread adoption throughout the Provincial Councils, Counties and Clubs, meaning that we have the same look and feel as other GAA Clubs operating under ‘Club and County’.  The adoption helps us to easily comply with our Club Maith commitments.  Our web site won’t replace our other social platforms, quite the opposite in fact, as they will augment our web site! [Wordpress is a popular Content Management System for building and managing web resources such as web sites and blogs].

Okay, you’ve used the term Club Maith a few times, what does that mean?

“Club Maith is a Club accreditation scheme which is unique to the GAA. It allows Clubs to be benchmarked against best practice standards across the full range of GAA Club activity. A Club Maith award makes a clear, proven statement about the quality of a Club, right across the board.” – Ulster GAA.

There are four levels of accreditation, bronze, silver, gold and platinum.  As each Club works its way through the Club Maith pathway, they acquire points and build up their qualification for a level.  At the time of writing, Ballycran has progressed to gold!

I’ve noticed that there is a link to the O’Neills shop for the Club’s merchandise.  Does that mean we will no longer be able to order merchandise at the Club?

Certainly not.  The link to the O’Neills shop gives you an additional option to purchase merchandise if you missed one of our Club nights.  We have had access to the online shop for a number of years now.  Having a link on our web site makes it much more convenient.

I’ve got an event that I’d like to share with the Club.  What’s the procedure to investigate if I can use Club facilities and have it promoted?

In the first instance, have a conversation with the Club’s secretary.  They can check to see if it would be appropriate and if there is availability of Club resource.  We will book the event into our web site events calendar and if you provide us with an electronic poster that complies with relevance, good taste and Club naming, then we will promote it on our various social channels.

Parents have some concerns about the content on some social media channels, particularly the comments left on posts.  Will this site be juvenile friendly?

Ballycran’s web site will be managed as a juvenile friendly Club promotional resource, controlled by the Club, for the Club.  We don’t intend to build a mechanism to solicit feedback in a public manner.  You’ll see we have a high degree of integration with the Club Facebook and Twitter channels and although we make every attempt to ensure that the content is suitable for everyone, common sense would suggest that from time to time parental monitoring would be a sensible strategy.

I can see that there is a filtered fixtures and results ribbon, just for Ballycran, across the top of the home page.  Great, but I don’t see any camogie fixtures or results unless I drill down into the sub menu, how come?

We receive our fixtures and results by currently ‘tapping’ into the Servasport system.  This is a central database, updated by Down GAA for the county activities.  There are some challenges (and possibly rules) surrounding mixing the hurling and camogie data onto the one feed.  Therefore, the ribbon has been set up to display hurling, simply based on the volume and frequent turnover of this data, across the year.  We will review this at a later date, especially after the GAA conclude their current assessment of the Servasport system and possible alternatives.

I have heard that the Club is a recipient of the GAA MacNamee award.  Can you explain what that means?

The GAA MacNamee Awards are held annually to honour excellence in the area of communications, public relations and journalism, specifically related to the activities of the Association. These Awards are named after the late Pádraig MacNamee, former President of the GAA, Chairman of the GAA Commission (1969-1971) and member of RTÉ authority.

Ballycran is the proud recipient of the ‘Best GAA Website’ in 2019.  The website was singled out for setting an example of what a great GAA website should be, with the design establishing a user interface that “is clearly laid out and simple to navigate. The most important club information is easily accessible, and the menus are logical and well structured. Integration of social channels ensures that the club website is a consolidated source of news for members. Fixtures and Results are very well presented and important reference material is available through the ‘Club Policies and Procedures’ section”.  The site was additionally commended for it’s engaging content and in particular, articles associated with the Club’s past players that have moved to various locations throughout the world.