Hurling

Hurling is believed to be the world’s oldest field game and is played on a pitch that can be up to 145m long and 90m wide with each team consisting of 15 players.  The goalposts are similar to those used on a rugby pitch, with the crossbar lower than in rugby and slightly higher than in soccer.  The stick, or “hurley” (called camán in Irish) is curved outwards at the end, to provide the striking surface.  The ball, or “sliotar” in Gaelic is similar in size to a hockey ball but has raised ridges. You may strike the ball on the ground or in the air.  Unlike hockey, the ball can be picked up with the hurley and carried in the hand for no more than four steps.  After those steps the ball can be bounced on the hurley and back to the hand, but it is against the rules to catch the ball more than twice.  To circumvent this, one of the skills that the players learn is running with the ball balanced on the hurley.  To score, a player must put the ball over the crossbar or under the crossbar and into the net with the hurley for a goal, the latter being the equivalent of three points.