Back in April I introduced you to Hurling, the fast-paced field sport currently enjoying a popularity explosion across the United States. An ancestor to hockey, it’s likely the oldest sport still played. Now, this Saturday, July 18th, you’ll have your chance to watch the national sport of Ireland right here at the Inaugural Coastal Virginia Cup Hurling Tournament.
Watching the game, it’s as though some benevolent soul watched all the best parts of the great spectator sports, cut away the fluff, then merged it all together in one glorious experience. Watching the game, at any level, is exhilarating. Hurling takes some of the most skillful displays from other sports and amplifies them; it is the buffet line of the world of thrilling sports. A match consists of two 30-35 minute halves of near non-stop action — a bit like soccer, minus the theatrical depictions of injury. Like hockey, play can move from one end of the field to the other in a matter of seconds. There really is nothing quite like it to see.
Hurling ball and Hurley stick
The Hampton Roads Hurling Club (HRHC) and Cumann na mBan (Irish for “League of Women”) Camogie are hosting the Inaugural Coastal Virginia Cup (CVC), featuring the ancient sports of Hurling and Camogie, on Saturday, July 18th at the Princess Anne Athletic Complex in Virginia Beach. The event runs from 9:30am to 5:00pm, and is free and open to the public.
In addition to the local clubs from Hampton Roads, the CVC will include competitors from Baltimore, Charleston, Greenville, Orlando, Raleigh, Richmond, and Washington, DC.
Hurling and Camogie are essentially the same sport with only minor equipment and rules differences between them. The male version of the sport is called “hurling,” and the female version is called “camogie.”
The HRHC has fielded a hurling team since 2011, the first such club in Virginia. The club has grown to nearly 40 and is carrying momentum well. The team is a part of the U.S. Gaelic Athletic Association and has competed throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic United States. The HRHC won the Holy City Cup in Charleston this spring, and will be making their first trip to compete in the North American Gaelic Athletic Association National Hurling Finals in Chicago this September.
Cumann na mBan, named for an all-female group of Irish Revolutionaries, was established in 2014, and currently has more than 20 players on the roster. Cumann na mBan Camogie has been traveling throughout the southeast region participating in camogie development and tournaments in 2015. The CVC will be their fourth competitive event this year.
The CVC is sponsored by the City of Virginia Beach, the Irish American Society of Tidewater, Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub, Finn McCool’s Fish House and Tavern, Bay Screen & Graphics, Patriot’s Grill, The Village Engraver, Stud Stamps, Norfolk Printing Company, Syncon, Tidewater Express, and O’Neill’s Sportswear. For more information on the tournament, contact Marcey Hunter at (757) 339-2863, email email@example.com, or visit the HRHC and Cumann na mBan websites at www.hrhurling.com & www.camogie757va.org