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8 insanely popular sports that are rarely played in the U.S.

By: Josh Lew on July 2, 2014, 10:35 a.m.

Photo: Peter Mooney/Flickr

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This traditional Gaelic sport is popular in Ireland. Some enthusiasts contend that it is one of the oldest team sports on Earth, with artifacts pointing to a similar game having been played about 3,000 years ago. In a number of ways, hurling is similar to lacrosse or field hockey. Players use a stick with a flat, circle-shaped head to hit a hard ball into a guarded net for three points or into the uprights above the net for one point. Because of the speed with which the ball is hit, some people have called hurling the “fastest sport on Earth.”

Though no professional leagues exist, the game is played widely in Ireland and around the world by members of the Irish diaspora. The annual All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship has been held annually since 1887. Teams represent different counties in Ireland and people come from all over the country to attend the championship match.