What is Hurling?
The term “hurl” may give you an idea of the object or action behind this sport. Hurling is an outdoor game played by two teams, both of which move a ball or “sliotar” down the field using short sticks with an oval end, in an effort to score goals. Hurling is played by males. Camogie is the female version of the sport.
Where Did Hurling Originate?
Hurling is one of Ireland’s native games. It is said that its roots trace back to Gaelic times. Today, it is the national game of Ireland. The administrative body over hurling is the Gaelic Athletic Association or GAA, which is headquartered in Dublin. They are also the governing body for Gaelic football.
What is Required for Play?
For starters, you need two teams of 15 people. Each person on the team will have a position assigned to him. Of course, you’ll also need a playing field. According to the GAA, “hurling is played on a pitch up to 145m long and 90m wide.” Each end of the field has an H-shaped goal. Players have sticks, known as hurleys, that feature a wide curve at one end—similar to a field hockey stick but shorter. You’ll also need a ball, which is called a sliotar, as noted above.
How Do You Play?
Simply put, players use their hurleys to hit the sliotar through their opponents goalpost. To do this, they may catch the ball in play and carry it for up to four steps. However, a player can only hold a ball twice during one possession. You can also use your hands and feet to move the ball, or bounce it or balance it on the end of the playing stick.
How Do You Score?
Hitting the ball over the H-shaped crossbar equals one point for your team; hitting it under the bar and past the soccer-style goalkeeper will score you three points.
Where Can I See a Hurling Match?
If you are in Ireland, check the GAA’s site (gaa.ie) for times and tickets. Hurling is also popular in other areas around the globe. Check with local organizations in your area for more information on matches and how to see them live.
Information for this story was sourced from gaa.ie.