Hurling is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic and Irish origin, administered by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The game has prehistoric origins, and has been played for 3,000 years. One of Ireland’s native Gaelic games, it shares a number of features with Gaelic football, such as the field and goals, the number of players, and much terminology. There is a similar game for women called camogie. It shares a common Gaelic root with the sport of shinty, which is played predominantly in Scotland.
The objective of the game is for players to use a wooden stick called a hurley to hit a small ball called a sliótar between the opponents’ goalposts either over the crossbar for one point, or under the crossbar into a net guarded by a goalkeeper for one goal, which is equivalent to three points. The sliótar can be caught in the hand and carried for not more than four steps, struck in the air, or struck on the ground with the hurley. It can be kicked or slapped with an open hand (the hand pass) for short-range passing. A player who wants to carry the ball for more than four steps has to bounce or balance the sliotar on the end of the stick and the ball can only be handled twice while in his possession.