Hurling - The Irish Game
Hurling is the oldest known field game in Europe. It is fast paced and played over two halves each consisting at 35 minutes of length. Brought to Ireland by the Celts at the end of the last ice age, it is a distinct Irish pastime. In Irish folklore, hurling was used to illustrate the deeds of mystical heroes and their accomplishments.
Hurling is similar to hockey but it is played with a small ball instead of a puck. The ball is smaller than a baseball with raised ridges and is known in Gaelic as a sliothar. The stick, or caman or Hurley, is made out of wood and has an outward curve that is shorter than a hockey stick. The flat surface of the stick is used to hit the ball. Unlike hockey the ball may be hit in the air as well as on the ground. The ball can also be picked up by the hand. One of the skills of Hurling is to run while balancing the ball on the flat side of the hurling stick.
Scoring differs on whether the ball is hit over the crossbar or under the crossbar and into the net. Hitting the ball into the net is worth three points. There are fifteen players on each team one being a goalkeeper.
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