What is Hurling
Hurling is considered the fastest and most skillful field game in the world and is believed to also be the oldest. It can be traced back to Celtic times and is widely referenced in Irish folklore and predominantly associated with heroic characters and deeds.
Hurling is a team field game played with an ash hurley stick (ranging from 26-36 inches long) and a small hurling ball or sliotar (diameter 69-72mm, weight 115 grams) in which teams of 15 players (one goalkeeper, six defenders, two midfielders, six forwards) attempt to outscore each other by means of a set of H shaped goalposts.
The scoring system is simple: by striking the ball over the crossbar and between the uprights, you score a point: by striking the ball into the net guarded by the goalkeeper, you score a goal, and a goal is worth three points.
It’s uniqueness, physicality, skill (great dexterity and hand-eye coordination needed) and fast-paced intensity make it one of the most spectacular and unforgettable sights in world sport and is a must to either play or watch when visiting Ireland.
The hurley stick is also one of Ireland’s most distinctive national emblems and in recent visits, The Queen of England, President Obama and Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping all received a hurley as part of their official visit, with the latter pair also trying their hand at hurling.