WHAT IS HURLING?
Hurling is believed to be the world’s oldest field game. When the Celts came to Ireland as the last ice age was receding, they brought with them a unique culture, their own language, music, script and unique pastimes. One of these pastimes was a game now called hurling. It features in Irish folklore to illustrate the deeds of heroic mythological figures and it is chronicled as a distinct Irish pastime for at least 2,000 years.
The stick, or "hurley" (called camán in Irish) is curved outwards at the end, to provide the striking surface. The ball or "sliotar" is similar in size to a baseball but has raised seams.
Hurling is played on a pitch (field) that can be up to 145m long and 90m wide. The goalposts are similar to those used on a rugby pitch, with the crossbar lower than in rugby and slightly higher than a soccer one.
You may strike the ball on the ground, or in the air. Unlike hockey, you may pick up the ball with your hurley and carry it for four steps in the hand. After those steps you may bounce the ball on the hurley and back to the hand, but you are forbidden to catch the ball more than twice. To get around this, one of the skills is running with the ball balanced on the hurley. To score, you put the sliotar (ball) over the crossbar with the hurley or under the crossbar and into the net for a goal, the latter being the equivalent of three points.
Each team is made up of 15 players with match officials and scoring values the same as in Gaelic Football.
HOW DO YOU PLAY?
LEARN THE BASIC RULES
The video above will show you the basic rules and play of the game. It seems a bit complicated at first, but the best way to learn is with us out on the pitch. Don't worry, this game is new to most of us too, we are all learning together.
LEARN TO LIFT THE BALL
This is a fundamental skill. Learning to do this well will make a huge difference in your play. We do drills on this at almost every practice, and it is a that can be practiced any time.
LEARN TO STRIKE THE BALL
OK, we all whiff the ball when first learning. In fact most of our experienced players do on occasion too. It takes practice and patience, but we will work with you to get it down.
What's Roc City Gaelic about?
Roc City Hurling was started in 2013 by three brothers-in-law. Timothy Russell a Milwaukee native moved to Rochester to marry his college sweet heart. Tim was a proud member of the Milwaukee Hurling Club. Upon arriving in his new home town he quickly convinced his new brothers-in-law, Bill McGuire & David Walker to start our own hurling league.
It is our mission to create a community that promotes and teaches hurling and Irish culture. Hurling, nicknamed the "fastest game in grass" is a combination of so many sports familiar here in the US, but there is nothing like it. The Irish spirit of fierce competition mixed with community and camaraderie is what we endeavored to build in our club. People come to try hurling, fall in love with the sport and stay for the community that surrounds it.
Our first club season was in the summer of 2014. Each year since we have grown as word of this great new, old sport has spread. We now have a summer league, indoor fall and winter leagues, Camogie team (women only hurling) and a competitive USGAA travel men's team. At the beginning of 2018 we changed the name of the club to Roc City Gaelic to better represent both men's and women's sports, to expand our focus and be more inclusive of other Gaelic sport and other cultural interests.
In the Fall of 2018 we began the process of becoming an official non-profit organization dedicated the promotion of Irish Culture through traditional sports. This will help us expand our outreach and begin to incorporate youth development programs, outreach programs and collaborations with other Irish cultural organizations.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Roc City Hurling wants you to join us on the pitch! Of course you have questions, we'll try to answer the most common ones right here. Feel free to reach out to us at the 'Get In Touch' section below if you still have questions, and/or just meet us at the field, we are a friendly bunch.
WHAT IF I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PLAY?
Our league was founded with the intent of spreading the game to new audiences. We are learning everyday how to play ourselves. You will be in good company.
At each practice we take the time to teach the fundamentals of the game to new members. We have coaches who know how to introduce the game to newbies.
I DO NOT OWN A HURLEY OR KNOW HOW TO PROUNOUNCE A SLIOTAR...
We have a variety of hurls for people to borrow when learning. Likewise we have a few loaner helmets. To get started all you need is activewear (t-shirt & shorts) and a pair of shoes you can run in, cleats are highly recommended. Many of our players also invest in a set of shin guards as used for soccer or lacrosse.
We will be doing everything to keep the initial costs as low as possible to encourage more participation in this crazy addicting game.
(Also, we will teach you how to pronounce Sliotar (that's the ball))
WILL MY LADY FRIEND OR DUMB BOYFIEND BE ABLE TO COME WITH ME?
Yes! This is a multi-gender club sport. We want a diverse and hungry group of hurlers. The club only get s better and stronger faster when couples can compete against each other. We now have three types of play, adult, men's travel team and women's Camogie (slight rule differences, but basically hurling).
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Sign up on our mailing list at the bottom of this page. Click one of the many facebook follow us buttons. Come back here often to stay on top of the changes and updates we will be posting. Or just look at our calendar and meet us at the pitch!
WHERE DO YOU PLAY?
In the summer we play on Aardvark field in Henrietta, in the off season we play at Total Sports Experience (TSE) in Gates. The exact addresses are listed in the 'Where we Play' section further down this page.
WHERE WE PLAY
Our Summer Home
In the summer season we play outdoors at Aardvark park in Henrietta.
3625 E Henrietta Rd
Henrietta, NY 14467
You will find us here every Wed night of the summer for practice and every other Sunday for Game days and Family Picnics.
TSE IN GATES
Our Winter Home
In the off season months you will find us at our indoor leagues at TSE (Total Sports Experience) in Gates on Elmgrove Rd.
Total Sports Experience
880 Elmgrove Rd
Rochester, New York 14624
We play on most Thursday nights in the Fall, Winter and Spring.
We look forward to seeing you out on the field!
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