What are some hurling vocabulary words I should know?

Dear Sports Fan,

I’m going to my first hurling match tomorrow at Fenway park and I want to sound like I know what I’m talking about, even if I have no idea. What are some hurling vocabulary words I should know?


Dear Chester,

In my last post about hurling, I tried to explain how the sport worked, but I didn’t get into vocabulary at all. I just called the stick a stick and the ball a ball and so on. My goal was to arm you (and me) to understand the basics of the sport so we could enjoy watching it in person more. If we really want to sound knowledgeable though, you’re right, we need to learn the lingo. So, here’s a list of words to learn:

  • Camogie – this is to hurling as competitive softball in the United States is to baseball. It is the women’s version of hurling, which has its own ancient origins and slightly different rules.
  • Hurley – nope, not the fat dude in Lost, in hurling, the hurley is the stick. You can also call it a hurley stick.
  • Bas – the bas is the flat end of the hurley, used to hit the ball.
  • Sliotar – pronounced sly-o-tar, this is a hurling ball.
  • Block, hook, and side pull – these are the three acceptable forms of physical contact that a player is allowed to make with the opposing player who has the sliotar. A block is when a player uses his hurley to trap the ball between it and the opposing player’s hurley. A hook is when a player uses his stick from behind to snag the opponent’s stick before he can hit the ball. A side pull is basically a shoulder check – when two players collide side to side with their shoulders taking the brunt of the force.
  • Puckout – this is a restart of play which happens after a goal or a shot that misses the goal and goes out of bounds. It’s a free pass from the goalie, like a goal kick in soccer.
  • Lash – to lash is to hit the ball while it’s on the ground. Not necessarily in anger, although this may be where the phrase, “to lash out” comes from!

Enjoy the game tomorrow! And have fun deploying some of your new vocab words!

Thanks for reading,
Ezra Fischer

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