For the official rules, please visit the GAA online.

Note: Field and team size are often smaller in the US due to the population of 100-yard fields.

 

Teams

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

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

  • A game or match usually consists of two halves of 25-35 minutes.
  • 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 sliotar into the hand.
  • The sliotar can be caught while in the air or bouncing along the ground.
  • The sliotar can be transferred to the hand at most twice. If the sliotar touches the ground, the count is reset.
  • The sliotar can be hit with the hurley on the ground or in the air.
  • The sliotar can also be kicked or hand passed, using one hand for the entire movement. The sliotar cannot be thrown.
  • The sliotar can be kept in the hand for at most 4 consecutive steps or the length of time to take 4 steps.
  • The sliotar can be balanced on the stick for an unlimited time.


Fouls

  • Touching the sliotar directly with a hand while it is on the ground.
  • Overplaying the sliotar by catching it more than twice with the hand or running for more than four steps while in the hand.
  • Physically challenging a player while the sliotar is not present (off the ball challenge) or by playing in an aggressive and illegal manner.
  • A player may not grab or hold another player’s hurley.


Physical Contact

  • Hurling is a physical game and a certain amount of contact is permitted, provided it is in attempting to gain possession of the sliotar.
  • A fair shoulder charge is permitted.


Scoring

  • A point is scored when the sliotar is hit over the crossbar, which is above the goal keeper, and between the goal posts.
  • A goal is scored when the sliotar is hit under the cross bar and into the goal between the goal posts. A goal is worth 3 points.
  • Goals and points can be scored from play or from ‘set pieces’ such as a free or a side line cut.


Essential Skills

  • Picking up the sliotar via rolling the sliotar with the hurley into the hand (roll lift) or by using the hurley to scoop the sliotar into the hand (jab lift).
  • Balancing and running with the sliotar on the hurley (solo run).
  • Striking the sliotar with the hurley on the ground (ground pull or hurl) and by tossing the sliotar into the air and striking it.
  • Striking the sliotar while moving on the ground or in the air (doubling on the sliotar).
  • Free Taking: Picking the sliotar from the ground and striking it in one movement without handling the sliotar.
  • Sideline cut: Chipping the sliotar from the ground when it goes over a sideline.
  • Fielding the sliotar by catching it in the air.
  • Blocking a shot is when a player uses his/her hurley to prevent another player from striking the sliotar. This tackle must be done from in front of the striker as they are tossing the sliotar into the air.
  • ‘Hooking’ is a skill where a player uses his/her hurley to prevent another player from striking the sliotar. This is done from behind the striker and his/her hurley must be intercepted as the striking motion is taking place.