Hurling is Ireland's national game and is thought to date back to prehistoric times. It is played with sticks called hurleys on a grass pitch like a rugby or soccer field with tall goals with 6m uprights and a net. The game is popular in many countries around the world, particularly those which enjoy a strong Irish affiliation like the US, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina. The game is robust and the rivalry between teams fierce, with players literally battling against each other. Helmets are required while shin pads, body armour, gloves and any other form of protection are regarded as a bit soft! Great skill and balance is involved to score a goal (into the net) or a point (over the bar).
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