While archieving an assortment of family photographs as a surprise for my mother, I re-stumbled upon some of my favorite images. They depict a great uncle who was a member of the 1925 All-Ireland Hurling team, playing for Galway (Connacht). His name was "Kruger" Broderick, a nickname given to him after Paul Kruger, a prominent Boer resistance leader against British rule and the president of the Transvaal Republic in South Africa. A very healthy, broad fellow, he only lived into his 30s due to an unknown enlarged heart.
Kruger is the second from the left in the above picture. Hurling is considered to be one of the most skillful games and is the fastest team field game in the world. About twelve teams participate in the Championship. The object of the game is for players to use a wooden axe-shaped stick called a hurl (in Irish a "camán", or a hurley, to hit a small ball called a sliotar between the opponents' goalposts either over the crossbar for one point, or under the crossbar into a net guarded by a goalkeeper for three points. The ball can be caught in the hand and carried for not more than four steps, struck in the air, or struck on the ground with the stick. It can be kicked or slapped with an open hand (the hand pass) for short-range passing. A player who wants to carry the ball for more than three steps has to bounce or balance the ball on the end of the stick, and the ball can only be handled twice while in his possession. Got all that?
Side to side shouldering is allowed although body-checking or shoulder-charging is illegal. No protective padding is worn by players, so take that you pansy American Footballers. Yeah, that's right I called you out!