Hurling is believed to be the world’s oldest field game. The Celts arrived in Ireland as early as 500BC and they brought with them a unique culture, their own language, music, script and unique pastimes. One of these pastimes was a game now called hurling. It features in Irish folklore to illustrate the deeds of heroic mystical figures and it is chronicled as a distinct Irish pastime for at least 2,000 years.
The stick, or “hurley” (called camán in Irish) is curved outwards at the end, to provide the striking surface. The ball or “sliotar” is similar in size to a hockey ball but has raised ridges.
Hurling is played on a pitch that can be up to 145m long and 90m long. The goalposts are similar to those used on a rugby pitch, with the crossbar lower than in rugby and slightly higher than a soccer one.
You may strike the ball on the ground, or in the air. Unlike hockey, you may pick up the ball with your hurley and carry it for not more than four steps in the hand. After those steps you may bounce the ball on the hurley and back to the hand, but you are forbidden to catch the ball more than twice. To get around this, one of the skills is running with the ball balanced on the hurley To score, you put the ball over the crossbar with the hurley or under the crossbar and into the net by the hurley for a goal, the latter being the equivalent of three points.
Each team is made up of 15 players with match officials and scoring values the same as in Gaelic Football. Seventy minutes, plus injury time… Madness, I tell ye !!!
The semi-finals are upon us as Kilkenny play Waterford in Croke Park tomorrow at 3.30pm
Sunday week Tipperary play Galway in Croke Park at 3.30pm
Which two teams will be in Croke Park the 6th of September competing for the Liam McCarthy cup?
#Hurling #Kilkenny #Waterford #CrokePark