The Gear: Helmet, hurley, sliotar & guts.
Some Irish manufacturers of helmets include: Mycro and Cooper. Generally the cost is somewhere around $120 and they can be obtained from numerous suppliers to include:
In fact, these suppliers can pretty much serve all your hurling needs.
I ordered my Mycro directly from the manufacturer which seemed more suited to supplying whole teams at once rather than single orders. However, their selection was far better. What a fantastically lightweight helmet. Not having trained with one I can really say I don't notice it much- it's featherlight and comfortable. Also it is better at keeping the rain our of your eyes than keeping sweat out of 'em. Hockey players tell me it's like the first hockey helmets before they became rigid.
Substitue helmets such as those used in hockey or lacrosse could also be used, though I suspect their cost new is equal. Baseball helmets with cages can do in a pinch, but with no chinstrap or chin protection...
American-made hurleys cost about ~$30 and are made with the same precision and care as those those made elsewhere in Ireland (which cost ~$40).
There are no inexpensive that I know of (~$8-10 ea). However, when you're first learning, a used tennis ball or a kid's tee-ball baseball can do in a pinch. Don't use these substitues too long though, as you must practice like you play. In the same vein, weatherized plasticy "wall balls" are more durable than the leather kind, but leap off your hurl quicker.
Needless to say, your courage will be drawn upon. This quality is priceless.
Field Diagram and Positions
Notice that this is a massive space. This is necessary once the team's air-game (striking the ball) is honed. Untill then, we can get-by with soccer or football fields (NFL football that is). Note that there will be 30 players on the pitch too (15 per side). However games of 7-a-side are common when teams first form. Why get stuck on numbers? Just play the game!
Time, Goals & Scoring
Their are two halves of either 30 or 35 min. depending on the level of play (club vs. inter-county). Half-time is 15 min.
3 points under the bar/hit the net. 1 point above the net.
Goals and Points are reported separately. For instance:
Orlando 4-1, Atlanta 1-0 would show 3(4)+1=13 Orlando, and 3 Atlanta ;) A man can dream can't he?
Notice the uprights on the left and right of the goal. These mark the left and right bounds of the point scoring area, but not it's vertical bound- there is none.
One may hand-strike or fist the ball over the bar for a point, but going for 3-point goals in this way is forbidden. Also, one may not carry the ball into the goal.