Hurling: the ancient Irish sport – Kilkenny Now
What do you know about hurling? This outdoor Gaelic sport is once again gaining popularity. Find out everything you need to know about this ancient sport here.
Hurling, one of the oldest field games in the world, is returning to mainstream culture. Whether you’re Irish or not, you’ve probably heard a sports fan mention this unique game over the past few years. But do you know what hurling is all about?
With deep cultural roots and a competitive spirit, the resurgence of hurling is exciting. First mentioned in 1272 BC. AD, this sport has been practiced since the dawn of time. Today, younger generations are getting involved and bookmakers in the UK and Ireland are putting up odds for this Gaelic sport.
Whether you want to gamble or bet, embracing this game with a modern attitude breathes new life into it.
Want to learn more about hurling? We are here to help you. Read on to find out what the sport involves, its history and how you can get involved today. Enjoy!
What is screaming?
Perhaps one of the favorite sports of the Irish, hurling is a country game with an impressive history. Unlike other modern sports, hurling is closely tied to ancient Irish legends and myths, making it a cultural phenomenon.
Hurling is a stick and ball event contested by two teams of 15 players. This game is played on a grass field in the shape of a rectangle with H-shaped goals at each end. The stick used in this event is called a hurley or a camán in the traditional Irish language. The throwing ball is called a sliotar.
The objective of hurling is to score points by passing the ball through the goals or putting the ball over a bar to score a point. The team gets three points if the ball enters the net. The team that scores the most points wins the game.
This men’s sport is similar to Gaelic football, as the field, number of players, goals and general terminology are similar. You can also see similarities between hurling and field hockey, baseball and lacrosse. If you have experience in these alternative games, you might want to try this Gaelic sport!
Hurling is a fast-paced event, and some even think it’s the fastest campaign game in the world. The ball can go up to 180 kilometers per hour, so watch out!
What is Camogie?
Have you heard of camogie? Closely associated with hurling, camogie is the female version of the game.
Camogie is nearly identical, but there are a few minor rule changes. This women’s event was established in 1903 and the first matches began in 1904. Today, camogie is played by over 100,000 women worldwide.
So it’s not just men who love Gaelic sports! Ladies can also enjoy the fun of ancient court games. There are clubs all over the world, ideal for any woman who wants to get involved in a historic sport.
The history of hurling
This Gaelic game is often difficult to trace through history. As hurling predates written history, the sport’s origins are a bit confusing.
The first written mention of hurling is believed to appear in the Irish Brehon Act, in the 5th century. However, the sport appears in folk tales and myths as early as 1200 BC. The hurling was probably much earlier, but due to the nature of the spoken word it was not recorded until later.
Hurling is mentioned in the Táin Bó Cúailnge, a story from ancient Irish literature that describes the adventures of Cú Chulainn. These tales also tell of the war between Ulster and Connacht. Cú Chulainn is said to have killed a giant dog with a sliotar (hurling ball).
These early stories place hurling as a sport similar to martial arts training. Many ancient heroes used hurling to show off their skill in battle, associating the game with strength.
What is the golden age of hurling?
When researching hurling, you may come across recordings describing “The Golden Age of Hurling”. This is a period when Ireland was under British occupation.
During this time, British authorities tried to ban hurling twice. The sport was banned in 1336 and 1573 due to fears of young men congregating and the threat it posed to the empire.
However, these bans did not threaten the Irish! Hurling continued to be a common pastime and social event. By the 18th century, Anglo-Irish owners were also joining the games.
This led to popular competitions on their lands, allowing tenants to compete against each other. This friendly competition allowed the sport to flourish, creating the golden age of hurling.
The decline of hurling
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end.
The decline of hurling and the end of the golden age is due to the nationalist feeling of the Irish public. A rebellious spirit was growing and groups such as the Society of United Irishmen began to appear.
These beliefs and groups began to create tension between Anglo-Irish landlords and tenants. Hurling games became rare and events came to a complete halt in 1789, with the start of the Irish Rebellion.
Why is hurling experiencing a resurgence?
After its decline, hurling did not reappear until 1884. The sport was revived through the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and inter-county competitions began again.
Although hurling technically enjoyed a resurgence in the 19th century, it came back into the limelight in the 2020s. Today you see hurling in Ireland and in countries around the world.
From New Zealand to Argentina, young men around the world are enjoying this fast and active court game. CNN even put hurling in the spotlight, listing the Hurling Championship final as one of “the best sporting events you need to see live.”
How can you get involved?
Are you intrigued by this cultural sport? We don’t blame you.
Hurling is an exciting game with deep Gaelic roots and more accessible than ever. Teams and clubs are popping up all over the world, especially in Ireland and the UK. But, if you don’t want to be on the pitch, you can also tune into live matches and local events to show your support.
Punters also like betting on hurling! Like other sports, the modern gaming industry has embraced this field game, allowing fans to place bets on their favorite teams. Bookmakers frequently publish odds on the latest matches, so check with your bookmaker for details.
The bottom line
Are you ready to embrace hurling? This historical game provides everything you need. Excitement, competition and culture are all on the same pitch. Grab your sliotar and your camán, and let’s get started!