Hurling returns—yes, returns!—to Fenway Park on Nov. 22 alongside an Irish Festival featuring the Dropkick Murphys. It’s been more than 60 years since the last hurling match at Fenway, so here’s a quick refresher on the sport.
The History: The first hurling match at Fenway Park was held in 1916, and the most recent one was a 1954 exhibition between Cork’s All-Ireland team and the New England All-Stars.
Origins: Hurling dates back thousands of years, but the sport’s current rules were devised in 1884. It’s primarily an Irish sport, though there are also teams in the U.S., Canada, Australia and elsewhere in Europe.
The Teams: Dublin and Galway will take part in the Fenway match, which consists of four 12-minute quarters plus stoppage time.
Players to Watch: Mark Schutte, 23, is an up-and-coming forward for Dublin, and Galway captain David Collins, 31, is an All-Star.
The Equipment: Traditionally made of ash, the stick is called a hurley, and it can strike or carry the ball, called a sliotar. The goal is about the same size as a soccer goal.
The Rules: To gain possession, you can catch the sliotar in your hand or scoop it up with the hurley. Once you have the sliotar, you can take four steps with it in your hand, but you must then carry it on the hurley. You strike the sliotar with your hand or hurley to advance it down the field or into the goal.
Format: This is a Super 11 match, which means there are only 11 players on each side instead of the standard 15. In the modified format, there are no points for hurling the ball over the crossbar; players score by getting the sliotar into the net, earning 3 points for a shot taken within 20 yards and 5 points for a shot taken from farther away.