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What is Hurling?

Hurling is believed to be the world's oldest field game. When the Celts came to Ireland as the last ice age was receding, they brought with them a unique culture, their own language, music, script and unique pastimes. One of these pastimes was a game now called hurling. It features in Irish folklore to illustrate the deeds of heroic mystical figures and it is chronicled as a distinct Irish pastime for at least 2,000 years.

The stick, or "hurley" (called camán in Irish) is curved outwards at the end, to provide the striking surface. The ball or "sliotar" is similar in size to a field hockey ball but has raised ridges.

Hurling is played on a pitch that can be up to 145m long and 90m wide. The goalposts are similar to those used on a rugby pitch, with the crossbar lower than in rugby and slightly higher than a soccer one. Each team is made up of 15 players.

You may strike the ball on the ground, or in the air. Unlike field hockey, you may pick up the ball with your hurley and carry it for not more than four steps in the hand. After those steps you may bounce the ball on the hurley and back to the hand, but you are forbidden to catch the ball more than twice. To get around this, one of the skills is running with the ball balanced on the hurley. To score, you put the ball over the crossbar with the hurley or under the crossbar and into the net by the hurley for a goal, the latter being the equivalent of three points.

(From www.gaa.ie)