Hurling is without doubt the fastest of all team games.
Two sides of 15 each with sticks and a ball you don't need much of an imagination to see the outcome.
Traditionally a Celtic game and for obvious reasons it is the national game of Ireland. The aim of the game is to drive the small ball with the broad bladed stick (Hurley or Caman) through goal posts erected at each end of the pitch.
One of the oldest known games Hurling gets it's first mention in a description of the battle of moytura in which the tuatha de danaan invaders beat the firbolgs first in an hurling match and then the battle that followed for the lordship of Ireland. the year was 1272BC.
Hurling is usually played on a pitch 137m long and 82m wide. The goal post are 6.4m apart in the centre of the end lines and usually 21ft high with a cross bar 2.4m from the ground.
When in play the ball may not be lifted off the ground by the hand. The hurley must do the raising and it can then be struck either direct, on the volley or half volley.
It may be caught in the hand, if the ball is in the air it may be struck by the hand or kicked, but if you catch it you can't throw it, you may carry it BUT for only 3 paces. You can run with the ball by balancing or bouncing it on the blade of the stick for as far as you wish.
This is one of the characteristics of the game. Similiar to a good dribbler at football. Should the ball cross the side line a free stroke is given to the opposite side, should a defender put the ball over the end line wide of the post the attacking side is awarded a free shot from a line 64m from a point opposite to where it crossed the line.
If a defender fouls inside the 19.2m line a free stroke is awarded on that line to the attacking side. Should an attacker put the ball wide of the post and across the line it is pucked (the correct term for striking the ball with the hurley.) from the goal area by one of the defenders. It is not unusual for such pucks to travel 91m.
Attackers may not enter the goal area a parallelogram 14 x 3.6m based on the end line directly in front of the posts, unless the ball arrives there before they do. Free kicks awarded to defenders in this area require the opposition to stand outside the 12.8m line until the ball is struck.
Shoulder charging is permitted, tripping, pushing or pulling Frontal charges, dangerous swinging or backlashing with the stick is penalized by a free puck.
A player who deliberately strikes an opponent with stick or fist is sent off by the referee, he may not be replaced and will recieve a minimum two weeks suspension.
Teams are comprised of goalkeeper, six defenders, two midfielders and six forwards. Upto three substitutes per game are allowed.
A goal is equal to 3 points this is awarded when the ball is driven between the goal post and under the cross bar, a point is scored when the ball is driven between the post but over the crossbar.
you should now know enough to fancy a bet on this high action great sport from Ireland.
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