Luminous hurling balls
Sir, – If we adopt Donal Óg Cusack’s suggestion that hurling balls should be luminous, with small rims and dimples, we will be heading to where golf now is – 350-yard drives, with goalkeepers hitting the ball to each other (Ian O’Riordan, “Sliotar manipulation always been a part of hurling”, Sport, July 13th).
It might increase the amount of “beautiful passing”, which he advocates, but real hurling would be the loser.
Two of the unique attractions of hurling have been wiped out by the new synthetic small and rimmed balls, ie overhead striking and ground hurling.
The ball now travels too fast for a first-time pull.
All the action is in the air; I counted one first-time pull in Thurles last Sunday.
I have not seen an overhead pull in aeons.
If the ball had a larger rim and was slightly heavier, it could reduce 100-yard strikes and bring back the skills that were uniquely exciting and made hurling such a fantastic sport.
Gaelic football is the poorer because of excessive passing. The skills of high fielding and long, accurate kicking are being eroded by a type of hand football.
Hurling would go the same way if Donal Óg gets his wish. That would leave shinty as the only exemplar of ground hurling. Is that what we want? – Yours, etc