Hurling in Florida

Hurling is the traditional sport of the Irish, dating back over 3000 years.  It is the world’s oldest continuously played sport. It is fast and physical, like the people who play it.

The Basic Rules of Hurling:

 Teams

1. A game of hurling is played by two teams. Each team is comprised of up to 15 players.

2. The player breakdown is as follows:

1 Goalkeeper

6 Defensive Players

2 Mid-Field Players

6 Offensive Players

3. Players pair up with their opposite marks.

Game Play

1. A game or match usually consists of two halves of 25-35 minutes.

2. The sliotar (ball) cannot be picked up from the ground directly with the hand. The hurley must be used to roll, jab, lift or flick the sliothar into the hand.

3. The sliotar can be caught while in the air or bouncing along the ground.

4. The sliotar can be transferred to the hand at most twice. If the sliotar touches the ground, the count is reset.

5. The sliotar can be hit with the hurley on the ground or in the air.

6. The sliotar can also be kicked or hand passed, using one hand for the entire movement. The sliotar cannot be thrown.

7. The sliotar can be kept in the hand for at most 4 consecutive steps or the length of time to take 4 steps.

8. The sliotar can be balanced on the stick for an unlimited time.

Fouls

1. Touching the sliotar directly with a hand while it is on the ground.

2. Overplaying the sliotar by catching it more than twice with the hand or running for more than four steps while in the hand.

3. Physically challenging a player while the sliotar is not present (off the ball challenge) or by playing in an aggressive and illegal manner.

4. A player may not grab or hold another player’s hurley.

Physical Contact

1. Hurling is a physical game and a certain amount of contact is permitted, provided it is in attempting to gain possession of the sliotar.

2. A fair shoulder charge is permitted.

Scoring

1. A point is scored when the sliotar is hit over the crossbar, which is above the goal keeper, and between the goal posts.

2. A goal is scored when the sliothar is hit under the cross bar and into the goal between the goal posts. A goal is worth 3 points.

3. Goals and points can be scored from play or from ‘set pieces’ such as a free or a side line cut.

 

Florida now has an active hurling community. The Orlando Gaelic Athletic Association & Orlando Hurling Club are the principal organizers of hurling events in Florida.  According to Scott Graves, an Irish-American and founder of the Orlando Hurling Club:  “Lately, a few of us in our club are attempting to build bridges between different Irish groups in Central Florida.”

St. Patricks Day Match, Atlanta v Orlando, 2011

“Our primary mission is to spread hurling throughout Florida and we’re having some luck in Tallahassee, Tampa, and Port St. Lucie. Local organizers, who have played for Orlando in travel matches this year, have returned to their towns gathering 3 or more players each. They will gather next weekend at the Central Florida Highland Games to play our first exhibition match.”  

Contact Orlando Hurling Club: http://orlando.florida.gaa.ie/club-executive

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