Traditional Irish Sports: Watch or Play Them to Express Your Passion for Irish Culture!

When we watch or participate in traditional Irish sports, we experience the passion for hard work, social connection, and national pride that is so much a part of the culture.

You can feel it - in the pubs, in the stands, and in Irish homes around the world.

Traditional Irish Sports - Irish Hurling

Let's have a look at a few of the more popular Irish sports. Who knows, maybe you'll be come a fan, or even better yet - a player!

If this inspires you to have a look at more Irish customs, visit our Irish trivia and traditions section here!

Meanwhile, please enjoy Traditional Irish Sports!

Traditional Irish Sport #1: Hurling

No, it's not something you do after an all-night pub crawl ... well, ok maybe it is... but it is so much more than that!

To an Irishman or woman, hurling is a game of national pride for several reasons, including the fact that it was played by heroes of ancient Ireland.

It is also widely-regarded as one of the fastest games on earth, not to mention one of the most dangerous!

Players are allowed to charge at each other with their hurleys (sticks) ready to wreak destruction - well within the rules of play.

Speed, agility and marksmanship are essential in this remarkably exciting Irish sport. Add in a “no guts, no glory” attitude and you can become the next champion.


Traditional Irish Sport #2:  Camogie

The female version of hurling is camogie. The kit (uniform) is different, but the game is largely the same as hurling.

The sport is said to be slightly less brutal (although you might want to watch and draw your own conclusion).

But it is still fast, exciting and physical with rules are similar to men's hurling. It was introduced in 1904 with over 100,000 players in Ireland and in Irish communities abroad.

Fast plays are the norm.



Traditional Irish Sport #3: Gaelic Football

For many true-blooded and proud Irish folk, the only football is Gaelic football and we can definitely understand why.

At first glance, Gaelic football is similar to the more globally known football (soccer) in several ways including the players’ kit, the ball and the playing field.

But you'll see one important difference when the player actually picks up the ball, runs away with it for 4 steps, and passes it to another player.

The best thing about Gaelic football is that, like global football, it can be enjoyed almost anywhere you can find a large open area and a makeshift goal.

And - it is the most popular sport in Ireland measured by attendance.



Traditional Irish Sport #4: Rugby

Irish rugby may have English and Scottish origins but, as with many things, it has been adapted to suit the unique people of the Emerald Isle.

One of my favorite moments in Ireland was watching the Irish national team defeat the mighty Australians on a picture perfect evening at Aviva Statium.

Irish rugby is played with the characteristic gusto, fighting spirit and strong sense of competition among teams, so much so that it is not unusual for the spectators to go into fights in defense of their favorite clubs.

Rugby is also played on the streets, in schools and in other open areas. We suggest bringing a small first aid kit just in case.


Irish Sport #5: Boxing

The Fighting Irish. This is the most fitting name for Irish boxers who have made and continue to make their mark on the international boxing stage.

Boxing clubs are aplenty in the Emerald Isles with many Irish champions starting on their boxing career at an early age.

It has become one of the most popular Irish sports.

We can mention Katie Taylor, Ireland’s boxing sensation and London Olympics 2012 gold medalist in the sport, as a prime example.


Want More Irish Fun?

It is probably obvious - at Irish Expressions, we love Irish traditions!

Expressing ourselves through Irish-themed activities gives us a deeper sense of connection with Ireland, wherever in the world we happen to be!

Over the years, we have created many free, downloadable Irish games, puzzles, recipes, songbooks, travel guides, party plans, and much, much more.

These are immediately available to you - completely free of charge.

Just answer two quick questions below to get instant access!


Where to Next?

At Irish Expressions,our our goal is simple: to provide you with a unique Irish experience, on demand, wherever you are in the world.

If you have enjoyed our section on Irish trivia and traditions, you have probably been exposed to many of the most entertaining ways to express your personal Irish side!

Will that entice you to visit Ireland - or to return if you have already been?  We hope so!  

But even if that is not possible, you can still enjoy the magic of Ireland in these pages.  Check out the links at the top of this website for simple instructions on how to sing Irish songs, use Irish words, enjoy Irish food, and much more!

You can also visit us on FacebookTwitter or Pinterest to see amazing pictures and interact with amazing people who share a love of Ireland.

We would love to hear from you - please send us a note here and let us know how we are doing. 

Until then - thanks for visiting Traditional Irish Sports!  Please continue exploring your Irish side at Irish-Expressions.com.

Want to Feel More Connected to Ireland?  Here's How!

At Irish Expressions we believe everybody – well almost everybody! - has an "Irish side."  So - how nice would it be to have access to a fun Irish experience, on demand, wherever you happen to be?

If you have enjoyed your experience with Irish Expressions so far, here is a simple, free way to stay in touch.

Never miss a post.  Tell us where to send your updates, featuring the latest information from Irish Expressions - and we'll take it from there!

Meanwhile, thanks for visiting!  I hope that we will meet someday, in person or online, and you can tell me about your own connection to the Emerald Isle.

Until then, best wishes -

Bruce Grady

www.irish-expressions.com

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