Hurling Rules

Playing field

Hurling is played on a pitch 137 – 145 m long and 80 – 90 m wide. The goals at each end of the field are formed by two posts, which are usually 6 m high, set 6.4 m apart, and connected 2.44 m above the ground by a crossbar. A net extending in back of the goal is attached to the crossbar and lower goal posts. The same pitch is used for Gaelic football; the GAA, which organises both sports, decided this to facilitate dual usage. Lines are marked at 13 m, 20 m and 65 m and 45 m in gaelic football from each end-line. Shorter pitches and smaller goals are used by under-13s and younger.

A standard hurling pitch












Teams
Teams consist of fifteen players and they line out as below:

The panel is made up of 24-30 players and 5 substitutions are allowed per game. No exceptions are ever made.

Timekeeping

  1. Senior inter-county matches last 70 minutes (35 minutes per half). All other matches last 60 minutes (30 minutes per half). For age groups of under-13 or lower, games may be shortened to 50 minutes. Timekeeping is at the discretion of the referee who adds on stoppage time at the end of each half.
  2. If a knockout game finishes in a draw, a replay is played. If a replay finishes in a draw, 20 minutes extra time is played (10 minutes per half). If the game is still tied, another replay is played.
  3. In club competitions, replays are increasingly not used due to the fixture backlogs caused. Instead, extra time is played after a draw, and if the game is still level after that it will go to a replay.

Technical fouls

  1. The following are considered technical fouls (“fouling the ball”):
  2. Picking the ball directly off the ground (instead it must be flicked up with the hurley or the foot)
  3. Throwing the ball (instead it must be “hand-passed”: slapped with the open hand)
  4. Going more than 4 steps with the ball in the hand (it may be carried indefinitely on the hurley though)
  5. Catching the ball three times in a row without it touching the ground (touching the hurley does not count)
  6. Putting the ball from one hand to the other
  7. Hand-passing a goal
  8. Throwing the hurley
  9. Square ball: If, at the moment the ball enters “the square” (the small rectangle surrounding the goal), there is already an attacking player inside, a free out is awarded

Scoring

Scoring is achieved by sending the sliotar (ball) between the opposition’s goal posts. The posts, which are at each end of the field, are “H” posts as in rugby football but with a net under the crossbar as in soccer. The posts are 6.4 m apart and the crossbar is 2.44 m above the ground.

If the ball goes over the crossbar, a point is scored and a white flag is raised by an umpire. If the ball goes below the crossbar, a goal, worth three points, is scored, and a green flag is raised by an umpire. The goal is guarded by a goalkeeper. Scores are recorded in the format {goal total} – {point total}. For example, the 1997 All-Ireland final finished: Clare 0-20 Tipperary 2-13. Thus Clare won by “twenty points to two thirteen” (20 to 19). 2-0 would be referred to as “two goals”, never “two zero”. 0-0 is said “no score”.

Tackling
Players may be tackled but not struck by a one handed slash of the stick; exceptions are two handed jabs and strikes. Jersey-pulling, wrestling, pushing and tripping are all forbidden. There are several forms of acceptable tackling, the most popular being:
  1. the block, where one player attempts to smother an opposing player’s strike by trapping the ball between his hurley and the opponent’s swinging hurl;
  2. the hook, where a player approaches another player from a rear angle and attempts to catch the opponent’s hurley with his own at the top of the swing; and
  3. the side pull, where two players running together for the sliotar will collide at the shoulders and swing together to win the tackle and “pull” (name given to swing the hurley) with extreme force.

Restarting play

  1. The match begins with the referee throwing the sliotar in between the four midfielders on the halfway line.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. After a player has committed a foul, the other team may take a free at the point where the foul was committed. It must be taken by lifting and striking in the same style as the “65″.
  6. After a defender has committed a foul inside the Square (large rectangle), the other team may take a penalty from the ground from the centre of the 20 m line. Only the goalkeeper and two defenders may guard the goals. It must be taken by lifting and striking.
  7. If many players are struggling for the ball and no side is able to capitalize or gain control of the sliotar the referee may choose to throw the ball in between two opposing players.

This is also known as a Clash.