Hurling is native to Ireland and is considered to be one of the most dangerous sports in the world.  I learned the last part on some cable TV show teaser several years ago!

The YouTube clip I found claims it is also the world’s fastest team game played on grass.

It is often described as a combination of field hockey, baseball, and lacrosse (just as the clip states).  Field hockey because the stick, called the ‘hurley’, looks like a field hockey stick and you can whack the ball, called the ‘sliotar’ (sounds like something between ‘shlitter’ and ‘shlither’, with just the slightest ‘h’ sound) across the grass similar to how field hockey is played. Baseball because you can catch the sliotar in your hand or on the hurley and toss it up and then whack it through the air similar to how you would use a baseball bat.  Lacrosse because much of the game happens with the sliotar being passed through the air off of the players’ sticks.

What makes it dangerous is that it is extremely fast and takes place pretty much everywhere, on the grass and in mid-air, and there are sticks flying!  Also, the sliotar is like an inverted baseball meaning that the seams are on the outside which enables it to sit up on the grass a bit; this allows the hurley to get under it and pick it up off the field and also allows it to be carried on the stick a bit easier.  The downside to this is that the seams can cut into the skin if you get hit!

I saw some boys practicing in Merrion Square Park earlier today which prompted the post!

About Sophia la Vespa

Seattle by Vespa!
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