What’s Hurling?

THE GAME: Hurling is played with a hurley (the stick) and a sliotar (the ball).

Hurling is kind of like a three-way cross between field hockey, lacrosse and baseball.

It has pretty much continuous action, the ball is always on the move.

Players can hit the ball with their stick, called a hurley. They can scoop it up with the stick and bounce it into their hand. They can catch it in their hand. You can never pick it up directly off the ground.

The ball is called a sliotar. It’s a lot like a baseball, just a little bit softer.

In a regulation game, there are 15 players on each side, including a goalie. Even with all those players, there’s a lot of running involved.

The game was developed and is one of two national sports of Ireland.

In Ireland, its played by amateur players who have professional-level skills and dedication. More importantly, they must play for the county in which they were born. There’s no trades or free agents. That means the teams must develop their talent instead of buying them.

What hurling is not:

  • Hurling is not curling, a winter Olympic sport.
  • Hurling does not have anything to do with vomiting, unless you’re suffering a heat stroke during a game or drinking too much after.

Wikipedia has a thorough description of hurling here