Hurling, the national sport of Ireland, is a fast paced and high scoring sport. The game combines the hand eye coordination of baseball, the endurance of soccer and physicality of lacrosse into a unique package.
Hurling has been played in Ireland for over 2000 years. First literary references of the game can be traced back to 1272 BCE. The game has been played in the United States going back to the 19th century, even being contested as a demonstration sport at the 1904 Olympics. Hurling is played on a field (pitch) of 120 – 160 yards long and 80 – 100 yards wide with two “H” shaped goals at the end. Both goals are around 8 yards wide with a cross bar at around 8 feet high (similar to a soccer goal), and have two 20 foot tall uprights extending out of each post. Each team consists of 15 players. The goal is to use a 24 – 36 inch stick (hurley) to propel a leather ball (sliotar) either into the goal or over the crossbar and between the uprights. One point is awarded by putting the ball over the cross bar and between the uprights and three points for putting the ball into the goal. The speed and intensity of the game has earned it the moniker “the fastest sport on grass”.
Hurling is a game of individual will, as much as it is a game of an individual’s skill. It has been a symbol of the resiliency of the Irish people for millennia.
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