Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hurling – The Irish know how it’s done.

In honour of St. Patrick’s Day, Hurling. No it is not the result of too much Guinness, but an outdoor team sport of Gaelic origin which has been described as lacrosse with sticks or field hockey in the air. The game is played with sticks called Hurleys and a ball called a sliotar. The object of the game is to use the hurleys to hit the sliotar under or over the opponent’s goal crossbar. The sliotar can be caught in the hand and carried for a maximum of four steps. It can also be hit with the hurley on the ground or in the air. Body checking is not allowed, but side to side shouldering is. (this sounds like checking to me). In the tradition of rugby and Aussie Rules Football, no padding is worn, but helmets were made mandatory in January of this year for all levels of play.

The game is played primarily in Ireland and is widely known as the fastest field team sport in terms of game play. So is it played in Canada? You bet it is. The Newfoundland Gaelic Games Association has a league. In fact, hurling was first played in Newfoundland in 1788. Quebec too has a strong tradition of Hurling. The Montreal Gaelic Athletic Association was established in 1948 in order to promote Ireland's two most popular national sports - Gaelic Football and Hurling.

Click here to see what an incredible sport this really is!!

Does SIRC have resources in our collection on hurling? Here are just a few examples:
  • The civilizing of hurling in Ireland. Dolan, Paddy; Connolly, John, Sport in Society Mar2009, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p196
  • Science and the Gaelic sports: Gaelic football and hurling. Reilly, Thomas; Collins, Kieran, European Journal of Sport Science Sep2008, Vol. 8 Issue 5, p231.
  • Becoming Irlandés: Hurling and Irish Identity in Argentina. King, Seamus; Darby, Paul, Sport in Society May2007, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p425


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