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Thread: The Sport of Your Nation

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    Senior Member nordicdusk's Avatar
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    The Sport of Your Nation

    Dose your country have a sport that is only played in your country something that has been there for hundereds of years but is still kept alive today.Here in Ireland we have The Game of Hurling.

    Hurling is one of the fastest and most skilful field games in the world. It is an ancient Gaelic sport, played long before the coming of Christianity. The earliest written record of the game is contained in the Brehon Laws of the fifth century. The first great hurling hero was Setanta whose legendary adventures are known to most Irish children. The game was banned by the Statutes of Kilkenny because of its popularity with the Normans.

    The 18th century was known as the 'golden age' of hurling. Landlords promoted the game; inter-barony and inter-county games were played. These matches were very well organised; teams lined out in set positions (21 a-side) and the behaviour of each player was controlled by a strict code of honour. Events from 1790 to 1800 caused the gentry to withdraw their support for the game of hurling. This, together with the effects of the Great Famine, severely damaged the development of the game.

    A successful revival of hurling commenced in 1884 with the founding of the G.A.A. The Gaelic games are organised on a local level - the parish being the basic unit of organisation. Hence, the national games have become interwined with community spirit and local pride.

    The Legend of Cuchulainn.

    It was foretold that Setanta, a nephew of King Conor Mac Neasa of Ulster, was destined for greatness, and as he grew older it became evident that this prophecy was to be fulfilled. The boy had gained knowledge and performed feats unusual for one of his age. At the age of five years he decided to join the Boys` Corps at the court of his uncle, King Conor. He set out for his uncle`s court at Emain Macha on foot, taking with him his hurling stick of bronze and a silver sliotar. He shortened many a mile by hurling the sliotar and throwing the hurley stick after it. He would run like the wind after them and catch them before they landed. In this way he soon arrived at Emain Macha. King Conor and the boys of the corps were astonished by his prowess on the hurling field. He could score with ease and when it was his turn to guard the goal, not one shot did he let in.


    King Conor was invited to a banquet at the house of Culainn and he asked Setanta to accompany him. Setanta was playing a game of hurling at the time and told his uncle he would go to the banquet after the game. His uncle agreed to this and went on his own to the house of Culainn. When the guests were seated at the feast, Culainn asked the King if all the expected guests had arrived and the King replied that they had, forgetting all about Setanta. Culainn then unchained his magnificent hound to guard the house. Setanta arrived at Culainn`s house and the hound bayed like thunder and immediately sprang at him. Setanta, who had only his hurling stick and sliotar with him, hurled the ball with colossal force at the hound. The ball went into the gaping jaws of the huge animal and down into its throat. The hound was forced back by the pain of the blow. Immediately Setanta grabbed the hound by its legs and smashed its head on the stone courtyard. When Conor heard the hound baying he remembered Setanta and he rushed outside expecting to find him torn to pieces. He was overjoyed to see him unharmed.

    Culainn was sorrowful at the loss of his hound which had guarded his home so well. Setanta consoled him and said he would find a young hound and train it to guard Culainn`s house. He volunteered to guard Cullain`s house and property himself until a worthy successor to the slain hound was found. King Conor decreed this to be fair. Thus, Setanta became known as Cuchulainn - the hound of Culainn.
    Improvement makes straight roads but the crooked roads without improvment are roads of genius-----
    William Blake

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    Senior Member nordicdusk's Avatar
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    A hurling team consists of 15 players and a number
    of substitutes. The substitutes can be called into
    play at any stage of the game. The team's manager
    chooses his starting fifteen and substitutes from a
    'panel' of players. A maximum of three substitutes
    may be used in a game.

    Every hurling team has a goalkeeper, six defenders,
    two midfielders and six forwards.

    Players use sticks called 'hurleys' to strike the ball.
    The part of the hurley used to strike the ball is
    known as the 'bas'.

    (a hurley looks something like a hockey stick but smaller and more blunt. almost a hook shape.)

    The ball in hurling is known as a 'sliotar'. The sliotar
    weighs between 100g and 130g.

    (looks alot like a baseball but much heavier)

    Hurlers are advised to wear protective headgear in
    the form of helmets. But wearing helmets is not
    compulsory.
    Improvement makes straight roads but the crooked roads without improvment are roads of genius-----
    William Blake

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    Senior Member nordicdusk's Avatar
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    The sliotar is in play once the referee has given the
    signal for the game to start or restart.

    The sliotar will remain in play until:

    the referee signals the game to stop

    the sliotar has passed over any of the
    boundary lines

    the sliotar is touched in play by anyone other
    than a player

    The sliotar can be struck with the hurley when it is
    on the ground, while in the air or when lifted from
    the hurley. Players may run with the sliotar balanced
    or hopping on the bas of the hurley. Players can
    catch the sliotar, play it on their hurley and bring it
    back to their hands only once.

    A player can strike the sliotar with the hurley, hand
    (but not throw it), by kicking and by hitting it from
    the ground
    Improvement makes straight roads but the crooked roads without improvment are roads of genius-----
    William Blake

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    Senior Member nordicdusk's Avatar
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    In hurling there are two methods of recording
    scores. A 'point' is scored when the ball is played
    over the crossbar between the posts by either
    team. A 'goal' is scored when the ball is played over
    the goal line between the posts and under the
    crossbar by either team.

    In Hurling a goal is equal to three points. Points are
    generally easier to score than goals as the
    goalkeeper will be unable to save a high ball.
    Improvement makes straight roads but the crooked roads without improvment are roads of genius-----
    William Blake

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    Senior Member nordicdusk's Avatar
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    Here are some pictures so you know whats been explained.

    Attachment 1179

    Attachment 1180

    Attachment 1181

    Attachment 1182

    The highest acheivement in Hurling is to win an All Ireland with your county.There are county and club teams.There is a passion in the game that i have never seen in anything else in my life.It really is something to be proud of this is an amazing sport.
    There is also a form of hurling played in Scotland called Shinty.
    Improvement makes straight roads but the crooked roads without improvment are roads of genius-----
    William Blake

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    The sport of my nation is American football. Most of my countrymen obsess over it but it has got to be the most boring crap in the world. A whistle blows, some guys run around for a few seconds, another whistle blows, then 20 minutes of commercials and listening to the announcers. The only good part about football are the cheerleaders.

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    Senior Member Rongoteus's Avatar
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    Our ancient national games are Kyykkä ja Kurra.

    KYYKKÄ - SKITTLES - RULES OF THE GAME
    PLAYING FIELD


    Outdoor skittles is played on a gravel surface which should be as even as possible. The playing field, including fringes, measures about 7 x 22 m. The field is composed of two playing squares and an area dividing the field into two. The home team's throwing square is the playing square of the opponent. The playing square measures 5 x 5 m and the area between the squares is 10 m. Playing squares for children under 10 years measure 3 x 3 m and the area between the squares is 6 m.

    SKITTLES

    The skittles are wooden cylinders rounded at the corners, with a height of 100 mm and a diameter of 70-75 mm. At the beginning of the game, pairs of skittles are placed on the front line of the playing square. In team games, 20 pairs of skittles are placed at intervals, with 10-cm margins. In individual games, 10 pairs of skittles are similarly placed, with 125- cm margins. On a small playing field, the distance from the side line is 25 cm.

    BATS

    The bats are made of wood, rounded and equipped with handles. The maximum length of the bat is 850 mm and its maximum thickness is 80 mm. There are no limitations for its weight.

    THROWING DISTANCES

    Boys and girls under 8 years make their opening and continuing throws in the playing square from a 4-m distance (field 3 x 3 m, intermediate area 6 m). Boys and girls under 10 years make their opening throw from 6 m and continue throwing from 4 m. Boys and girls under 12 years make their opening throw from 8 m (field 5 x 5 m, intermediate area 10 m) and continue throwing from 6 m. Boys and girls under 15 years make their opening throw from 10 m and continue throwing from 8 m.

    Women make their opening throw in the playing square from a 10-m distance and continue throwing from 8 m. Veteran women over 70 years make their opening and continuing throws from 8 m.

    Men make their opening throw in the playing square from a 15-m distance and continue throwing from 10 m. Veteran men over 70 years make their opening and continuing throws from 10 m. In team and pair games, 70-year-olds may open the play from the sides only when the other team members have not been able to knock any skittles out of the playing square.

    PROGRESS OF THE GAME

    Skittles can be played with four-man teams, in pairs or as an individual game. In team and pair games, the players have two bats at their disposal. In individual games, four bats can be used per turn.

    Each player in his turn steps up to the throwing square and by throwing the bat tries to knock the skittles out of the playing square. Skittles thrown out or unused bats yield points; skittles remaining in the playing square or between the playing squares yield minus points.

    Skittles remaining in the playing square (crones) yield two minus points; skittles remaining on the lines (priests) yield one minus point, and unused bats yield one point.

    The first half ends when either team or pair clears its playing square from skittles. The opponent may throw the same number of bats per half. After this, sides are changed, and the second half is played like the first one. The team with the highest total score is the winner. The winner is awarded two points for the victory. When the play ends in a tie, both teams receive one point. A defeat gives 0 points.

    In individual games, 20 bats per half may be used. The first player throws four bats, whereafter the turn goes to the opponent, and after four bats, back again. The result of the player equals the number of unused bats (1 point per bat). When there are no skittles on the field, sides are changed and the second half is played like the first one. The final score of the player is the total result of both halves.
    Source

    More information about Carelian origin Kyykkä:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyykkä
    http://www.kyykkaliitto.fi/
    http://www.helsinki.fi/jarj/papintappajat/kyykka.html

    Kurra is a traditional "hockey" from Uusimaa region. Aleksis Kivi have written an excellent description about this game in novel "Seven brothers".

    We also play Pesäpallo as an national sport. Pesäpallo is very close to Baseball.
    http://www.pesis.fi/nuorisopesis/international_site/
    Elävä kala ui veden alla *** Elav kala ujub vee all *** Eleven hal úszkál a víz alatt

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    Senior Member Mathieu's Avatar
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    Here, it is ice-hockey, quite similar to your hurling (in fact, it has the same origins)


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    Senior Member nordicdusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathieu
    Here, it is ice-hockey, quite similar to your hurling (in fact, it has the same origins)

    I like ice hockey because its very fast and aggressive great sport.
    Improvement makes straight roads but the crooked roads without improvment are roads of genius-----
    William Blake

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    Sport of My Nation

    Torquil, at last I find someone who thinks the same of American football as I do. First of all why is it called football ? Most of the time the ball is carried. "Carryball" would be a better name for it.

    I've heard American "football" fans ridicule REAL football ("soccer") because it is played by men running around in shorts and T-shirts. That's just the point ! REAL football players are not playing in suits of armour, padded and gussetted from head to knees. They take their hard knocks clad only in a shirt, shorts, sox, and shoes. They don't use ANY protective gear. Which takes more courage ?

    At least, "soccer" players KICK the ball. They bounce it off their heads and shoulders too, but, anyhow, they don't carry it. Furthermore, they don't get to take "time out" every few minutes.

    I've always considered baseball to be our national sport, but, I suppose that it doesn't meet the requirements of this thread because it has come to be played outside the US, whereas NOBODY else wants to waste time on American "football".

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