WHAT IS HURLING?
Hurling is played between two teams of 13 or 15 players on a rectangular grass pitch. 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 (camógaíocht),
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The grass pitch is rectangular, stretching 130–145 metres (142–159 yards) long and 80–90 m (87–98 yd) wide. The pitch is marked exactly as it is for Gaelic football.
There are H-shaped goalposts at each end, formed by two posts, which are 6.5 m (21 ft) apart, and connected 2.5 m (8.2 ft) above the ground by a crossbar.
A net extending behind the goal is attached to the crossbar and lower goal posts.
Lines are marked at distances of 13 metres, 20 metres, and 45 metres from each end-line.
Shorter pitches and smaller goals are used by youth teams.
Matches last for 60 minutes, divided into two halves of 30 minutes, with the exception of senior inter-county games, which last for 70 minutes (two halves of 35 minutes).
Teams consist of fifteen players (a goalkeeper, 3 fullbacks, 3 halfbacks, 2 midfielders, 3 half-forwards, and 3 full-forwards). The USGAA (of which the Fenians are a part of) play thirteen on each side (the same positions except without 1 fullback and 1 full-forward).
The objective of the game is for players to use a wooden stick called a "hurley" or "hurl" (depending on where you are from!) to hit a small ball called a sliotar (pronounced "slither") between the opponents' goalposts either over the crossbar for one point, or under the crossbar into a net guarded by a goalkeeper for three points.
The sliotar 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 the player’s possession.
The match begins with the referee throwing the sliotar in between the four midfielders on the halfway line. After an attacker has scored or put the ball wide of the goals, the goalkeeper may take a "puckout" from the hand at the edge of the small square. All players must be beyond the 20 m line.
After a defender has put the ball wide of the goals, an attacker may take a "65" from the 65 m line level with where the ball went wide. It must be taken by lifting and striking.
However, the ball must not be taken into the hand but struck whilst the ball is lifted. After a player has put the ball over the sideline, the other team may take a 'sideline cut' at the point where the ball left the pitch. It must be taken from the ground.
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