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Hurling is the Irish National sport and considered the fastest game on the grass. Maybe is the first time you heard about this ancient Gaelic Irish origin game, that is so integrated into Irish society. The curious thing about hurling is that the sport has remained strictly amateur. It is practiced purely for fun, and to keep its history. The practice of Hurling develops a variety of skills, courage, and above all speed, as is too fast-paced.
In this article, you will discover this exciting sport that at first sight can have similarities with hockey. Read until the end and know everything about this amazing sport. Let´s start!
What is Hurling?
Hurling is a team sport of Celtic origin that is played with a stick (hurley) and a 7 cm diameter ball (sliothar). It is mainly played in Ireland and is regulated by the Gaelic Athletic Association. The name in Gaelic is iomáint or iománaíocht.
Hurling is one of the oldest field games in the world, being popular for at least 3000 years in Ireland. There are written references of this sport dating back to 1072 BC.
In the game there are two teams competing with 15 players each, one of them the goalkeeper.
Due to the toughness of the game, players must wear a protective helmet throughout the match.
Where to Play Hurling?
The dimensions of the pitch can vary from 130 to 145 meters in length, with a width of 80 to 90 meters.
The game uses two goals up to 7 meters high and has an area of about 6 meters where no other player can enter.
Professional matches have a duration of 70 minutes divided into two 35 minutes halves.
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How to Play Hurling?
Hurling consists of placing the ball on the hurley (stick) and carry it to the goal to score, avoiding the opposing players. Passes can be made with the foot, with the open hand, and the most common, with the stick.
Players can run with the ball on the ground (moving it with the hurley) or supported by the hurley.
They can catch the ball in the hand and run, and carried it for not more than three steps.
It is not allowed to pick up the ball directly from the ground. The player has to lift it with the stick before catching it with his hand or can also catch it when it is in the air.
The player can carry the sliothar on the hurley in balance and run towards the goal, as long as the opponent allows him to do it.
The ball may not be caught by hand more than 3 times without first touching the ground. It is also forbidden to change the ball from one hand to another.
Does Hurling Have Competitions?
The most prestigious competition in Hurling is the All-Ireland Senior Championship, where teams from the different counties of the Republic of Ireland compete. But there are also teams from Northern Ireland, a representative team from London (UK), and a representative team from New York (USA). Ireland has over 2,300 hurling clubs on the island, but only 12 teams represent each county of the country in the All-Ireland Championship.
There is also the annual National Hurling League featuring teams from Ireland and England.
The teams with the most titles are Kilkenny, Cork, Tipperary, Limerick, and Dublin.
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