The little known and misunderstood sport of Hurling   Leave a comment


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14 September 2013; Brendan Brosnan, Kerry, in action against Jonathon Byrne, Kildare. Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling Under 21 All-Ireland 'B' Championship Final, Kerry v Kildare, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

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Hurling is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic and Irish origin, administered by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The game has prehistoric origins, has been played for over 3,000 years. One of Ireland’s native Gaelic games, it shares a number of features with Gaelic football, such as the field and goals, the number of players, and much terminology.

The objective of the game is for players to use a wooden stick called a hurley to hit a small ball called a sliotar between the opponents’ goalposts either over the crossbar for one point, or under the crossbar into a net guarded by a goalkeeper for one goal, which is equivalent to three points. The sliotar can be caught in the hand and carried for not more than four steps, struck in the air, or struck on the ground with the hurley. It can be kicked or slapped with an open hand (the hand pass) for short-range passing. A player who wants to carry the ball for more than four steps has to bounce or balance the sliotar on the end of the stick and the ball can only be handled twice while in his possession.

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No protective padding is worn by players. A plastic protective helmet with a faceguard is mandatory for all age groups, including senior level, as of 2010. The game has been described as “a bastion of humility”, with player names absent from jerseys and a player’s number decided by his position on the field.

Hurling is played throughout the world, and is popular among members of the Irish diaspora in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina, and South Korea. In many parts of Ireland, however, hurling is a fixture of life.

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Every so often the Hurley gets misdirected.

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Heads collide. Every player decides on the colour of the helmet they wear. No matter if it matches the uniform or not.

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Hurley to helmet. Makes a Canadian hockey fan excited.

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John Conlon of Clare in action against Stephan White of Cork during the All-Ireland senior hurling final replay at Croke park. Photograph by John Kelly.

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Posted June 2, 2016 by markosun in Sports

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