HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – It’s called the “fastest game on grass,” and almost every other sport that we know of today has some sort of root comparison.
The more than 2,000 year-old sport of hurling is the national sport in Ireland, and thanks to a local couple, can be seen in Hampton.
“It’s a mix of lacrosse, it’s a mix of field hockey, soccer, a little bit of golf,” said Rebecca Norman, who’s husband started the Hampton Roads Hurling Club. “If soccer, hockey and rugby had a baby, it would be hurling,” said Ryan Norman.
A sport that includes a baseball-sized ball known as a “slitter,” a stick called a “hurl” or a “hurley,” it’s a faced-paced, full contact game in which a player can only use his or her hands to pass the ball and shoots with the hurley.
When Norman started the team in 2009, practices only included him and his then-pregnant wife. Now, the league is up to two teams and Norman’s club fields almost 30 players. “It’s been a lot of hard work, a lot of effort, and a lot of not doing other things we might want to do,” said Rebecca Norman.
“To have had our first successful league season under our belts is immensely gratifying,” she said.