Hurling tackles — Legal and not-so legal

A while back I was moping about not being fast enough on the hurling field and my dirty plan to compensate for that.

It wasn’t long after that my web-friend, Paddy Sullivan, a hurling player from Ireland, (who has offered advice to me before) chimed in:

I saw the blog and understand your confusion as a big guy with tackling. Screening or shepherding is not allowed the only real physical contact allowed is “the Shoulder” here you must make “shoulder to shoulder contact ” with the player. You can’t shoulder a player trying to raise the ball but once he stands up … it’s go time. You can shoulder when contesting possession (during catching, while running to the ball on the ground) or to contest the opponents possession and to protect your own possession. It must me shoulder to shoulder contact however never shoulder to chest/head/back etc.

Further, Paddy pointed me to several quick YouTube videos that helped illustrate his points, which I post below. Most of these hits are either notorious for their brutality or noteworthy for their clean play.

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Am I a dirty player?

A hurling practice in St. Louis.

At a recent hurling practice with the Baltimore Bohemians, we were running a simple drill: Three players chase down a ball in an effort to gain control and launch it toward the goal. Two of the players were considered teammates. The other was the opposition.

Me, being the big guy that I am, was having trouble keeping up in the mad dash after the sliotar. While a member of the two-person team, I changed up my tactics. Instead of focusing on the ball, I focused on the player opposing me.

Once the ball was loosed by the coach, I’d move in on the player and begin bumping him and slowing him down. I just wanted him off balance and away from my teammate. Even better, when I was able to get in front of him, I would widen myself, slow down and steer him away from the sliotar. This, of course, let my teammate scoop up the ball and fire away.

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