Straight from Ireland — The best hurling of 2013

It’s the end of the year, and since you can’t find too many hurling clips of American squads in action, we’ll turn to the bonafide experts of the game over in Ireland.

First up, we’ll start with this video from the GAA as it highlights the best goals of 2013.

Next we can look at the 10 greatest hurling moments according to the broadcasters of the Sunday Game. (Warning, this is a bit of a long video thanks to the great intro.)

If you don’t mind some gaelic football mixed in with your hurling clips, then check out 2013′s best tackles in the GAA.

But hold on a minute … we do have a few American clips to show you!

Eamonn Gormley, who brought us the fantastic 1-million-plus viewed “Fastest Game on Grass” video, hit the fields in Cleveland, the host of the 2013 North American County Board finals and brought us two great videos.

First up, we have the camogie champs.

Then take a look at this compilation of moments from the NACB finals weekend.
We especially enjoyed the lengthy interview with GAA president Liam O’Neill.

And of course, why not relive the All-Ireland hurling final. The championship was settled in a replay match between County Clare and County Cork. Their first attempt to determine the year’s champions ended in a draw, so they had to play it again a few weeks later. This is the entire un-edited game.

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Another look at hurling

Here’s a great video that really shows the skill and excitement of the game of hurling.

Now I know what you’re saying good reader: “Dude, it’s been months since your last post! Why now?”

Well, the truth of the matter is that I’ve been horrifically busy at home and work for nearly this entire year. Things are finally easing off, so I hope that I can finally return to doing regular posts here at Hurley to Rise.

So don’t give up on me just yet. I just needed a little time off, and that time is now over.

May my hurley rise again.

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Good luck in Cleveland

NACB-cleveland-2013-8_origJust wanted to drop a note to my hurling friends from all around the country as they gather in Cleveland this weekend for the North American County Board finals.

The annual event was in Philadelphia last year, and I was able to attend several matches that weekend. It was a great time, and it was nice to be able to see other teams, shop for some new equipment and learn a little more about the gaelic games.

Unfortunately for me, I can’t make it to Cleveland this time out due to a work project that has basically stretched from April until now, with prospects of it continuing on until Thanksgiving. In fact, that project and a nagging heel injury has kept me from hurling all together this year.

If you’re looking for information on the Cleveland events, go here first. You should also check out the NACB Facebook page for live updates of the game.

I wish good luck to everyone, but I really hope the Baltimore teams clean up!

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The Diagram Group takes a look at hurling

The Diagram Group is a great company, based in New York, I believe, that makes a living showing people the fine details of everyday things.

KNOW THE SPORT: In 1974, the Diagram Group offered a look at how the game of hurling was played.

KNOW THE SPORT: In 1974, the Diagram Group offered a look at how the game of hurling was played.

In particular, they use drawings and infographics to explain complex subjects, such as how sword designs changed over the centuries or the wide variety of musical instruments that have been created since the dawn of time.

The company also has several editions available of its book called “Rules of the Game,” where each entry takes a look at how a variety of sports are played. Not only does it go over the playing rules, but it also offers layouts of how the playing surface should look and equipment to be used.

For a person totally new to a sport it can be extremely helpful to have the topic so thoroughly explored and in an extremely visual way.

With that in mind, I give you the 1974 version of the “Rules of the Game” entry on hurling. There have been several updates since the 1974 version, and while I have one of the newer editions, but since the sport has changed very little since then, the 1974 version generally works for a new player, even if the drawings are quaintly ugly.

In fact the only two changes I can detect between now and then are that helmets are now mandatory and what the Diagram Group is calling a “Throw In,” which is something I’ve never heard of. I’m not intimately familiar with the more-arcane rules, so it might still exist.

Even better, go grab a copy of the modern version of the “Rules of the Game” for yourself. Not only can you show people how to play hurling, but you get some idea on how to play other non-American sports such as korfball and shinty. If that’s not enough, why not brush up on your knowledge of how gymnastics is actually scored and the required size of baseball diamonds?

Want to see bigger images of these pages? Click here for Hurling Page 1 and Hurling Page 2.

FOULS: The Diagram Group shows some of the ways you can get in trouble in the sport of hurling.

FOULS: The Diagram Group shows some of the ways you can get in trouble in the sport of hurling.

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Penn State, UCF schedule a stop at Ireland’s Croke Park

penn-stateWord just came out that the Penn State football team will square off against Central Florida later this fall. Not to exciting, really. Just another football game, right?

Not exactly. In 2014, the Nittany Lions are planning to take their opening game on the road. And not just down to Florida either. They want to leap across the pond to Croke Park, Ireland’s legendary stadium in Dublin.

Here in the United States, we pretty much assume that European countries aren’t terribly interested in what we Americans call football. We think they’re all crazy about what they call football and what we call soccer.ucf-knightx

And while that soccer is popular in Ireland, Croke Park is primarily used for a whole different kind of sport. Two sports in fact.

One sport is called hurling. It’s a 3,000-year-old game that is the likely forebearer of hockey (both the ice and field versions) and lacrosse. Hurling is what this very blog is dedicated to. In “Hurley to Rise,” I look at how hurling is being played in America, offer tips on how to play and provide some guidance to the fledgling teams that are popping up.

The other sport Croke Park is known for is also called football, but it’s not anything like what Penn State plays, and its only a little bit like soccer. The Croke Park version of football is commonly called Gaelic Football outside of Ireland.

Both sports attract huge crowds to Croke Park, which can seat more than 82,000 spectators. The sports are collectively organized by the Gaelic Athletic Association, a group dedicated to preserving and strengthening Irish culture.

To help you get an idea what Hurling is like, check out this video:

Gaelic Football follows pretty much the same rules as hurling, except that it has no stick and the ball is more like a soccer ball. Instead of hitting the gaelic football, you kick it. Other than that, the games are quite close in rules and playing style.

Now you might think this is all rather quaint. They play these nice little sports on their nice little island and no one pays any attention to them.

But you’d be wrong, because here in America, they’re actually becoming fairly popular.

There are gaelic sports clubs in the Nittany Lions’ and UCF Knights’ back yards, for example. In fact, there are a lot of teams all across the United States.  You can find a list of U.S. hurling teams here, most of which are organized by American divisions of the GAA.

And if any of this seems remotely interesting to you, contact those teams and find out how you can get on the field (or simply come out and watch a game).  They will, without a doubt, be happy to have you.

Want to see some more of Croke Park? Check out this video and check out this post.

Finally, I invite all you Penn State and UCF fans to take a look around this blog and learn even more about hurling. Then, when you’re off to Ireland next year, you’ll have plenty to talk about with the natives.

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