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2021 National Hurling League

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Replying To Viking66:  "How would that improve the flow of the game?"
It would not take 5 passes to get the ball past midfield.

Newyorkkat (Kilkenny) - Posts: 42 - 07/06/2021 19:39:56    2348847

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Replying To Viking66:  "There are more shots. More soloing. More scoring. There is less ground hurling and aerial striking because wild pulls low or high are deemed dangerous because they probably are. There is less aimless ping pong up and down the pitch so probably less aerial high ball to compete for. Possession based play has come into hurling the same as football, soccer and rugby union before it but unless you opt for the ludicrous rule rugby league follows it's very difficult to force teams to give the ball away."
Viking66 aerial striking is a skill and I would take ground striking any day before throwing the ball. Did you see the beautiful goal Shane Bennett got. That is a form of ground shot. Yes the games has changed to a possession one and will change again to something else when perfected. If a team or player can win 80% of possession that is not aimless ping pong. It is leaving the ball do the work and basic physics tell you the shortest and fastest way between two points is a straight line. I have no doubt that any team would take that route if they could be successful at it. Cody would still be doing if he had the players to execute. As soon as someone perfects something else the same people will be saying this is better than that possession game.

Canuck (Waterford) - Posts: 1639 - 07/06/2021 19:51:10    2348850

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Replying To AfricanGael:  "The only problem with hurling is the sliotar is too light. There's something wrong with a game when a goalie can score the full length of the field which happened in a recent league game.

As a neutral, most of the games have become boring, high scoring doesn't always mean high entertainment, I'd nearly prefer to watch a tactical master class between two Italian soccer teams which ended 0-0.

Scoring has become like throwing a stone at a barn door from 20'. I think highly skilled players need more of a challenge than that, it's all too easy, every possession nearly ends in a score, that's what's boring about it, for me anyway."
You hit the nail on the head. I would echo all those points

Malonemagic (Laois) - Posts: 691 - 07/06/2021 19:59:54    2348852

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Replying To Fulgrim:  "This argument was happening in the club group chat the other day and I had to laugh at some of the old boys pining for ground hurling and other things we saw in the 90s. So I said to them sure all we need is a bunch of new rules; hurls can only be shaped like slash hooks, you are awarded points when you pull on the ground and it goes to an opposing player, tie lads to poles at each position so they can't roam, make sure lads can't go to the ball wall/field and practice their striking for more than a couple of hours a week, ban using gyms, force lads to have pints at least once every couple of weeks, etc. The point was to highlight how ridiculous it is.

Can't get over dinosaurs looking for the game to regress because it doesn't resemble what they had growing up."
Utter nonsense. I don't know anyone who wants the game to regress. You will be one of those dinosaurs one day who will be saying the game today was much better than the one of the future. Even though it will not be anyway like we see now. I played a different game in the 90's with different equipment, rules, training methods than the people before me but always had respect not to call them dinosaurs.

Canuck (Waterford) - Posts: 1639 - 07/06/2021 20:02:25    2348853

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Replying To Canuck:  "Viking66 aerial striking is a skill and I would take ground striking any day before throwing the ball. Did you see the beautiful goal Shane Bennett got. That is a form of ground shot. Yes the games has changed to a possession one and will change again to something else when perfected. If a team or player can win 80% of possession that is not aimless ping pong. It is leaving the ball do the work and basic physics tell you the shortest and fastest way between two points is a straight line. I have no doubt that any team would take that route if they could be successful at it. Cody would still be doing if he had the players to execute. As soon as someone perfects something else the same people will be saying this is better than that possession game."
Ground hurling is great but invariably ends in a ruck unless its struck 1st time. Sideline cuts over the bar are great to see too. The reason teams are switching to a possession style game is to try to keep the opponents from scoring more while scoring more yourself. Even Kilkenny are playing a more possession style game. Why would anyone stay lumping 50/50 high dropping balls up the pitch? Even if someone is lucky enough to catch it cleanly without getting it knocked out or batted away they are usually bottled up straight away and cant get a shot off. Players are fitter and cover more of the pitch. And the rest of the time the defender comes away with the ball. Why would any team persist with a tactic which almost always doesn't result in a score? That's the reason scores were lower years ago. Teams want to win and while winning means scoring more than your opponent teams will continuously try new things to enable their players to score more.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 3086 - 07/06/2021 20:28:52    2348858

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I think it's far too simplistic to suggest that games in the past were always "hit and hope". The first really good team I can recall was the Tipp team of the 1960s. Even as a youngster I could appreciate the quality of the deliveries to their forward line. Smaller players like Jimmy Doyle, Donie Nealon and Mackey McKenna were generally able to cause problems for opposing defences mainly because of the pin-point deliveries from their half back line. I didn't see the great Waterford team of that era until 1963, when they were probably past their best but such was their level of skill and precision that they still managed to score six goals on the great Ollie Walsh in the final. That didn't happen as a result of "hit and hope" hurling. The Offaly team of the 1990s brought first time hurling to a new level, but their low, fast deliveries invariably were placed to their forwards' advantage. We didn't have the modern obsession to retain possession then, but neither did the top teams simply leather the ball up the field and hope for the best. In more recent years Kilkenny probably played more direct hurling but they had ball-winners all over the field and were playing to their strengths. Nevertheless, nobody could deny that they had serious method to go with their undoubted skill. Some of the videos of older games don't do justice to the great teams of that time and, while the skill levels of the modern players are at least as good as their predecessors, I'm not convinced that the modern possession game is as enjoyable to watch as the games of the past. And, please, can we do something about the far-too-light sliotar.

midlands (Westmeath) - Posts: 309 - 07/06/2021 21:32:40    2348865

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Exactly. Seamus Power of that 1950's team would hit the ball to Philly Grimes and he would catch it behind his back on the run. The people who claim it was hit and hope are inaccurate. Probable Oldtourman would be familiar. Players now have different attributes and that is why I do not compare players and games from the past with the present. I criticize what i see before eyes at the present for the best entertainment value.

Canuck (Waterford) - Posts: 1639 - 07/06/2021 22:32:08    2348873

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Replying To midlands:  "I think it's far too simplistic to suggest that games in the past were always "hit and hope". The first really good team I can recall was the Tipp team of the 1960s. Even as a youngster I could appreciate the quality of the deliveries to their forward line. Smaller players like Jimmy Doyle, Donie Nealon and Mackey McKenna were generally able to cause problems for opposing defences mainly because of the pin-point deliveries from their half back line. I didn't see the great Waterford team of that era until 1963, when they were probably past their best but such was their level of skill and precision that they still managed to score six goals on the great Ollie Walsh in the final. That didn't happen as a result of "hit and hope" hurling. The Offaly team of the 1990s brought first time hurling to a new level, but their low, fast deliveries invariably were placed to their forwards' advantage. We didn't have the modern obsession to retain possession then, but neither did the top teams simply leather the ball up the field and hope for the best. In more recent years Kilkenny probably played more direct hurling but they had ball-winners all over the field and were playing to their strengths. Nevertheless, nobody could deny that they had serious method to go with their undoubted skill. Some of the videos of older games don't do justice to the great teams of that time and, while the skill levels of the modern players are at least as good as their predecessors, I'm not convinced that the modern possession game is as enjoyable to watch as the games of the past. And, please, can we do something about the far-too-light sliotar."
If said it before that its time to standardise the sliotar once and for all for championship matches.
There's any amount of people flogging sliotars in recent years which all carry an official GAA stamp on them. Even sliotars in lidl a couple of years ago had the official stamp on them. Oneills sliotars are the only ones that should be used like the football.
The discrepancies between different types of sliotars can be huge at times. How can a sliotar for €5 be up to scratch with an oneills sliotar for €12?

Bon (Kildare) - Posts: 1351 - 07/06/2021 22:41:49    2348875

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Replying To Bon:  "If said it before that its time to standardise the sliotar once and for all for championship matches.
There's any amount of people flogging sliotars in recent years which all carry an official GAA stamp on them. Even sliotars in lidl a couple of years ago had the official stamp on them. Oneills sliotars are the only ones that should be used like the football.
The discrepancies between different types of sliotars can be huge at times. How can a sliotar for €5 be up to scratch with an oneills sliotar for €12?"
O Neills are shocking sliotars ....hardly an inter county team in the country would touch them....no problem with standardised sliotar but O Neills are certainly not a good benchmark

ArmaghCat (Armagh) - Posts: 86 - 07/06/2021 23:37:54    2348885

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People continue to talk about the sliothar being lighter - which is not true yet keeps getting spouted day in day out!

We now have supreme athletes playing the game, If anyone remembers Tommy Dunnes point from the sideline in 2001 final - it was a wonder score as it was off his weak side and from the sideline. The same score happens numerous times in every game now. Skill, strength, pace and fitness all plays into that. Billy Dooley got 3 points at the end of the 1994 final - standing up hitting them all. That score almost never happens now but scores on the run were not common place back then especially from any distance out.

In some of the old highlights you will see an odd massive strike so it could be done back then but because of strength, skill, talent or quality of the hurl it didtnt always happen.

Making the sliothar heavier is not the solution at all. and a heavier sliiothar does not autmotically mean it will travel less - unless you make it so heavy you cant hit and in that case your left with a load of rucks potentially.

Lets get crowds back before we panic about our game.

tiobraid (Tipperary) - Posts: 3104 - 08/06/2021 02:29:40    2348891

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Replying To AfricanGael:  "The only problem with hurling is the sliotar is too light. There's something wrong with a game when a goalie can score the full length of the field which happened in a recent league game.

As a neutral, most of the games have become boring, high scoring doesn't always mean high entertainment, I'd nearly prefer to watch a tactical master class between two Italian soccer teams which ended 0-0.

Scoring has become like throwing a stone at a barn door from 20'. I think highly skilled players need more of a challenge than that, it's all too easy, every possession nearly ends in a score, that's what's boring about it, for me anyway."
I think what you are saying makes absolutely no sense. You said that you would rather watch a boring low scoring game. If that's what you want you will be sitting in the stand on your own. The game has never been played to the standard it is now. Forget about the old school talk about years ago and the Christy Rings, Nicky Rackards and Eddie Kehers sure they were the greats of their day and some of the best of all time. All sports evolve its a fact of life. The crowds have been on the rise in hurling for a few years now why stop progress. Its down to hard work that goalkeepers are hitting the ball further and teams are scoring more. Personally it's a matter of opinion but to suggest that lower scoring is better is ridiculous.

Richardkimble (Laois) - Posts: 31 - 08/06/2021 02:51:04    2348894

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Replying To Canuck:  "Exactly. Seamus Power of that 1950's team would hit the ball to Philly Grimes and he would catch it behind his back on the run. The people who claim it was hit and hope are inaccurate. Probable Oldtourman would be familiar. Players now have different attributes and that is why I do not compare players and games from the past with the present. I criticize what i see before eyes at the present for the best entertainment value."
Yes Canuck. We were always told to 'find your man' or watch your are hitting it' and I only was ever a poor Junior B player. As far back as the early 1940s, there was a notice posted all over the Roscommon Football teams Collective Training quarters encouraging the players to 'keep the ball low'. However I think a lot of posters fail to realise that current players do attempt long stick passes a lot more than we think. I saw one Galway contributor hear exhort the present Limerick side 'to give up that old handpassing' as if they had invented it. Where has this man been?. Ever since at least the late nineties this has been a feature of the play of some very successful teams. Anyway has this man ever sat down with an open mind and looked at how Limerick actually play. How many times do Hannon, Byrnes Hayes and Finn etc deliver long accurate passes to their inside forwards like Flanagan and Gullane. Watch again the tape of the '18 Quarter Final or indeed the Semi Final in which Mulcahy wrecked two of the best corner backs in the game, because of the long well placed deliveries of the half backs, mainly Hannon in this case. He should look again at the 'i8 Semi Final- Cork V limerick- and he would see that Cork actually gave at least twice more handpasses that day than Limerick did. With the running game they were trying it was no wonder they were out on their feet before the end of the game and Limerick who used the tactic so much less were full of running, right up to the end of extra time. I think their their is still great skills to be seen in our game, but of course it is changing- everything does.

Oldtourman (Limerick) - Posts: 3245 - 08/06/2021 08:07:10    2348897

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Replying To Galway9801:  "I started watching the game in 1999, didn't follow it in the early 90s,but I think the game is less skilful now than it was then,definitely in terms of individual skill, (I agree with you that the teamwork aspect of the sport has improved alot.)Players these days are all tall and big shouldered /chested etc, you'd wonder if going to the gym is more important than working with the ball. I often think if DJ Carey was around now would he even get a look in due to his size.

I also think that hurling needs goals, looking back at most of my favourite games of the last 20 years, pretty much all of them had lots of goals in them."
Individual skill was higher 20 years ago is the biggest load of nonsense ever.
The only skill that players 20 years ago which they were better at was ground hurling, and that's almost entirely because that was the game back then an there was no guarantee they'd pick it up the first time.
I am basing this in classic GAA but that's what I see.

StoreysTash (Wexford) - Posts: 1358 - 08/06/2021 09:52:29    2348908

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Replying To Newyorkkat:  "A good rules change would be, on puck outs, goal keeper must puck the ball past half way line before his own team can touch the ball."
Absolutely not.
Also, there are lots of weather conditions and goalkeepers who would not manage it.
I do think there's a case for looking at the aerodynamics of the ball, rather than the weight - there's plenty of winter hurling every year when the ball doesn't travel. Do we need a winter and summer ball?

StoreysTash (Wexford) - Posts: 1358 - 08/06/2021 09:58:00    2348909

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Replying To Richardkimble:  "I think what you are saying makes absolutely no sense. You said that you would rather watch a boring low scoring game. If that's what you want you will be sitting in the stand on your own. The game has never been played to the standard it is now. Forget about the old school talk about years ago and the Christy Rings, Nicky Rackards and Eddie Kehers sure they were the greats of their day and some of the best of all time. All sports evolve its a fact of life. The crowds have been on the rise in hurling for a few years now why stop progress. Its down to hard work that goalkeepers are hitting the ball further and teams are scoring more. Personally it's a matter of opinion but to suggest that lower scoring is better is ridiculous."
I think what you are saying makes no sense. The ball is accepted as being lighter. Everyone knows that and that is why the ball is going so far now. You can definitely have a better low scoring game then a high scoring game. I can't tell you howmany games I have turned off at half time from complete boredom only to see the following day the score was 30 pts to 25. I often couldn't turn a match off and the final score would be something like 2-15 to 1-15. Diffrent strokes for different folks but watching a point scoring contest from 100m to me is a terrible watch.

gatha (Kilkenny) - Posts: 297 - 08/06/2021 10:29:16    2348918

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Replying To Richardkimble:  "I think what you are saying makes absolutely no sense. You said that you would rather watch a boring low scoring game. If that's what you want you will be sitting in the stand on your own. The game has never been played to the standard it is now. Forget about the old school talk about years ago and the Christy Rings, Nicky Rackards and Eddie Kehers sure they were the greats of their day and some of the best of all time. All sports evolve its a fact of life. The crowds have been on the rise in hurling for a few years now why stop progress. Its down to hard work that goalkeepers are hitting the ball further and teams are scoring more. Personally it's a matter of opinion but to suggest that lower scoring is better is ridiculous."
I think if you actually read again I never said I would prefer a boring low scoring game, believe me when you can read a game and understand what tactics in motion are, there's absolutely nothing boring about that, regardless of the score.

There's much more to sport than yahooing every time the ball/sliotar splits the posts.

I never mentioned anything about "old school" so I think you're getting a bit mixed up with other posts.

I don't get what you are saying that "all sports evolve", it's not the sports which have evolved per se, it's the players that have evolved and in hurling especially this makes it far easier to score.

I mean is there any other game in the world where the ball/sliotar target ratio is so big ?

There's absolutely nothing wrong with making scores a bit harder to get, that's what will separate the really special players from everyone else even more, it will amplify their skills, surely that's what any real followers of sport want.

You know yourself people will follow their county regardless whether they score 2-16 or 4-30, if they don't then they aren't real supporters at all.

What's rare is wonderful, that's why hundreds of millions will tune into the Euros at the end of this week, it's not all about the scores, you know, but if an Mbappe or Ronaldo piece of magic comes, then all the better, but it would mean nothing if games were ending 14-12, then it would become boring.

AfricanGael (UK) - Posts: 1946 - 08/06/2021 10:40:48    2348922

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Replying To tiobraid:  "People continue to talk about the sliothar being lighter - which is not true yet keeps getting spouted day in day out!

We now have supreme athletes playing the game, If anyone remembers Tommy Dunnes point from the sideline in 2001 final - it was a wonder score as it was off his weak side and from the sideline. The same score happens numerous times in every game now. Skill, strength, pace and fitness all plays into that. Billy Dooley got 3 points at the end of the 1994 final - standing up hitting them all. That score almost never happens now but scores on the run were not common place back then especially from any distance out.

In some of the old highlights you will see an odd massive strike so it could be done back then but because of strength, skill, talent or quality of the hurl it didtnt always happen.

Making the sliothar heavier is not the solution at all. and a heavier sliiothar does not autmotically mean it will travel less - unless you make it so heavy you cant hit and in that case your left with a load of rucks potentially.

Lets get crowds back before we panic about our game."
I wouldn't go so far as to say there's a panic about it. Most posters here have the interest of the game at heart whether they agree or disagree its not as good a spectacle as it had been. I'd agree the weight of the sliotar is probably OK as it is (112 grams or thereabouts). Physics is not my area of expertise but the material used does affect the density and mass which in turn affects distance traveled. Your own Brendan Cummins mentioned that the lowering of rims on the ball has more of an impact on distance and aero-dynamism. Some current players will tell you they prefer the smoother ball however Henry Shefflin says he's open to change. At least the discussion is happening.
Regards the spectators returning...Amen to that

Maroonatic (Galway) - Posts: 1036 - 08/06/2021 10:48:08    2348925

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Replying To StoreysTash:  "Individual skill was higher 20 years ago is the biggest load of nonsense ever.
The only skill that players 20 years ago which they were better at was ground hurling, and that's almost entirely because that was the game back then an there was no guarantee they'd pick it up the first time.
I am basing this in classic GAA but that's what I see."
What you see is how I remember it. A lad would be trying pick it up and another fella would pull on it on the ground so he couldnt. There was alot less soloing back then which I think is a great skill to watch. We still have great low ball played diagonally into forwards for them to get out ahead of their man and turn him and take a score from all over the pitch like we did years ago. I watched 5 games at the weekend and there were numerous examples of it. It's not all about a half back knocking it over the bar when unmarked. In fact these would be rare even for Limerick who are the masters of it currently. Less than 10% of their scores came this way.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 3086 - 08/06/2021 10:50:58    2348928

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Replying To AfricanGael:  "I think if you actually read again I never said I would prefer a boring low scoring game, believe me when you can read a game and understand what tactics in motion are, there's absolutely nothing boring about that, regardless of the score.

There's much more to sport than yahooing every time the ball/sliotar splits the posts.

I never mentioned anything about "old school" so I think you're getting a bit mixed up with other posts.

I don't get what you are saying that "all sports evolve", it's not the sports which have evolved per se, it's the players that have evolved and in hurling especially this makes it far easier to score.

I mean is there any other game in the world where the ball/sliotar target ratio is so big ?

There's absolutely nothing wrong with making scores a bit harder to get, that's what will separate the really special players from everyone else even more, it will amplify their skills, surely that's what any real followers of sport want.

You know yourself people will follow their county regardless whether they score 2-16 or 4-30, if they don't then they aren't real supporters at all.

What's rare is wonderful, that's why hundreds of millions will tune into the Euros at the end of this week, it's not all about the scores, you know, but if an Mbappe or Ronaldo piece of magic comes, then all the better, but it would mean nothing if games were ending 14-12, then it would become boring."
Most high end soccer competitions, euros, world cup, champions league etc, turn into 22 man chess these days and have been since the late 80s. Numerous games of only half a dozen chances won 1 nil or maybe 2-1 if you are lucky. I've been to around 300 live soccer matches and tbh the games that were most exciting were at the Den in the championship/old div2 or league1/old div3 or up at Solitude in the NI premiership.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 3086 - 08/06/2021 10:57:10    2348929

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In all the talk about what's good for the game etc etc, the one question I would ask is, would the way the game is played today attract more kids into it than say 30 years ago? In addition what would parents of kids who didn't come from Hurling backgrounds say about it now or 30years ago - would they be more likely to allow their kids to play it now than before?
I believe that the path that the game is on now is the only one that has any hope of long term saving the game.

zinny (Wexford) - Posts: 1260 - 08/06/2021 11:22:15    2348940

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