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What is Hurling?

Oldest Field Sport | Local Community | Suitable For All

What is Hurling?

Hurling is the fastest game on grass, the most skilful game in the world. Furthermore, it is also one of the oldest with its traditions set in the mists of ancient Irish history. The first written reference to hurling dates back to 1272 BC.

It is a stick and ball game, played by teams of 15 on a rectangular grass pitch with H-shaped goals at each end. The stick that we use is called a ‘hurley’, or a camán in the Irish language, while the ball is called a sliotar. The primary objective is to score by driving the ball through the goals or putting the ball over the bar and thereby scoring a point. By putting the ball into the net, and scoring a goal, the team is awarded three points.

The team with the highest score at the end of the match wins. It is over 3,000 years old, and is said to be the world’s fastest field game. It combining skills from lacrosse, field hockey, and baseball in a hard-hitting, highly paced game. The sliotar can travel up to 180 kilometres per hour over the course of a game!


The female version of the game is known as Camogie and is very similar to hurling, with just a few minor rule changes. The name ‘camogie’ was invented in 1903 and the first camogie matches took place in 1904.

The games are truly magnificent spectacles, with speed, accuracy, intensity and passion to the fore. Come join us and we will introduce you to the skills of the game along with the passion and culture behind it. See can you reach speeds of 180 km/hr!

Are you excited yet? Why not book in with Experience Gaelic Games and try your hand at the greatest game on earth. We don’t expect you to get to the level of this video just yet …

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