Interesting facts about Hurling

Do you know which field game is played at a relatively faster pace, especially with regard to game play?

It is not basketball played at the NBA level.  Nor it is football played by the champion teams in the EPL, or La Liga?

It is Hurling – an outdoor team game that originated in Ireland and is popular across many parts of the world including Europe, United Kingdom, North America, Australia, South Africa, and Argentina.

Game and its objective:

Hurling is a team game played between two teams, with each team having 15 players.  Each player will be provided with a wooden stick called as hurley    Using the hurley, the players of each team has to hit a small ball, called as sloiter, either into the opponent’s goal post or above the goal post.  The goal posts on either side of the ground will be guarded by a goal keeper holding a bat which has a wider portion in the bottom to stop the ball from going into the goal post.

Points: If a player of one team hits the sloiter above the goal post of the opponent, then his team will get one point.  If the sloiter is hit into the goal post, then three points will be awarded to the team.

Unique features:   Each member of the team is called as a hurler.  The hurler can tap the sloiter with the hurley in his hand either on ground or hit it in the air for passing to other team members.  He is also allowed to take the sloiter in his hand, but should not move more than four steps with the ball in hand.  Holding the sloiter in the hurley, he can move not more than three steps.  If he does not follow, that will be a foul and the opponent team will be given the chance to hit the sloiter.

Dimensions of the field: The game is typically played outdoor in the ground.  The play area is typically of rectangular shape having a length between 137 meters and 145 meters, and a width ranging between 80 meters and 90 meters.

Mode of play and protection:  Players could wear protective gears such as helmet or shin guards while playing.  Shouldering with the opponent in pursuit of retrieving the sloiter is allowed.  However, blocking the opponent is not allowed.

Duration of the game: The total duration of the game is for 70 minutes, divided into two halves of 35 minutes, with a breather of 5 minutes in between the two periods.

The game is played at a fast pace, with 28 players running for the sloiter in the field to gain possession and advance it towards the goal post in the opponent’s area.