What is Hurling?

As sports go, you’re probably familiar with some of the classics, such as football, soccer, baseball and hockey. But, there are some pretty rad sports out there that you may have no knowledge of yet – and it’s time to find out more about them. One of the biggest sports in Ireland is hurling, and this is enjoyed by many players and fans all across The Emerald Isle.

If you’re looking for a new sport to get into, this could be just the sport for you. Hurling is fast-paced, exciting, and full of physicality, and it’s the perfect time to discover it. This outdoor team game is of Gaelic origins, and is considered to be perhaps the leading sport in Ireland right now. So, we’re going to take a look at exactly what hurling is, and how the game came about.


History of the sport

Hurling is an ancient Gaelic sport that is believed to have been played for around 3,000 years. It is one of Ireland’s native Gaelic sports, along with Gaelic football, and shares similarities with that game. It is actually considered to be the world’s fastest game on grass, and it shares a common route with the sport ‘shinty’ which is enjoyed in Scotland. Hurling also has a similar game for women that is known as camogie and also has a large degree of popularity as well. So, what is hurling, and how do you play it?

The game

Hurling is a game involving two teams passing and trying to score with a stick and a ball. The aim is to use your stick, also referred to as a hurley, and hit a small ball between goalposts in order to score points. The ball can be hit over the crossbar, which equates to 1 point, or into a net under the bar, and past a goalkeeper, for 3 points. But there are other kinds of complexities to the rules and gameplay as well, which makes the game much more interesting and skillful.

For instance, the ball can be caught with one hand and carried for 4 steps. It can also be hit into the air with the stick or bounced on the ground. It can be kicked and slapped with an open palm for use in short passes. No protection is worn by players in hurling, save for a plastic protective helmet which is mandatory. The game requires a lot of skill and ability, and hurling players are well respected in the sporting community.


Competitive hurling

Hurling is played as a competitive sport throughout the world, but most prominently in Ireland, but also in North America, and across Europe too. There is no professional league to speak of, and the players are always amateur. Nevertheless, the game has a cult following in Ireland, where it is very much a way of life, and a part of the culture there. There is also an Hurling Championship that has been ranked as #2 on the list of Top 10 Sporting Events You Have to See Live compiled buy CNN.

Hurling is a game that isn’t too well-known in America, or, indeed, outside of Ireland, but it is one of the most exciting and enjoyable sports out there. The game has received much higher levels of attention in recent years, and could even evolve into a game that is played and enjoyed on a global level.