The Last Time I Saw Irishmen Beating On Each Other Like That With Sticks, I Was In A Pool Hall
Hurling! The Irish national game. No protective gear, except a helmet. Then again, the helmet has only been mandatory since 2010. No names on the shirts. Played for pride only; no professional Hurling teams exist. The pitch is huge; about 150 yards by 100. It’s an ancient game, predating Christianity by as many as 1000 years. You try to strike the ball through the goal posts to score. Over the crossbar is a point; under the bar where the goalie lurks is worth three. You can’t pick the ball off the ground, carry it in your hand for more than four strides, or throw the ball for a score. You can’t pull on a jersey, trip, or push your opponent.
In my experience, games played furiously for pride alone always end up with hurling. You buy your opponents a beer, and they buy you one…
6 thoughts on “The Last Time I Saw Irishmen Beating On Each Other Like That With Sticks, I Was In A Pool Hall”
Ha – the title alone was worth the price of admission.
On a completely unrelated note, apparently Tractor Square Dancing is a thing that people do.
A few years ago, the Mrs. and I visited Ireland and some of her close relatives (Aunts and Uncles – the Mrs. is First Generation Irish both her parents immigrated from Ireland prior to WWII). I got invited to this very stadium to watch a hurling match – it was interesting to say the least. About the only way to describe it is hockey with a bit of Australian Rules football, rugby and cricket mixed in. Fun time though – had a blast.
Jason Statham explains the finer points of Hurling here:
Picture the sand lot Saturday version, where they’re drinking beer while playing.
In ancient Ireland the sliotor (ball) was made of brass. Try doing that today
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