By Cian O'Connell
At a weekend meeting of GAA Central Council hurley dimensions as recommended by the Sliotar & Hurley workgroup were approved.
The following was agreed regarding hurley dimensions:
o Juvenile (Child) up to and including 26” Hurley - Maximum Bas of 15cm
o Junior (Youth) up to and including 30” Hurley - Maximum bas of 16cm
o Senior (Adult) 30” up to and including 36” Hurley - Maximum bas of 17cm
o Adult Goalkeeper Hurley maximum bas size of 21cm
GAA Director of Organisational Culture, Planning & Development (DO CPD) Pat Daly is part of the group and explains the rationale behind the recommendations.
“The rulebook is nearly silent on hurley specifications, the only thing it says is that the bas can be no more than 13cms at its widest point,” Daly says. “That is the only thing in the rulebook at the moment.
“In a sense that was always conditional that hurleys would be made of ash. Regarding the 13cms it has been evolving and changing, it wasn't being adhered to as the bas’ were significantly bigger than the 13cms stipulated in rule.
“There was no point in having a rule that wasn't being adhered to and was effectively out of date.”
Daly believes clarity is now provided. “Apart from stating that the bas of the hurley shall not be more than 13cm as its widest point, the rulebook contains no other detail in relation to the hurley specification.
“As this has not been the case for some, change is required as there is little point in having a playing rule, which is not being adhered to.
“It’s also important, in a change management context, that the amended rule is configured to address the fact that hurleys are increasingly being made from materials – other than ash – because of the spread of ash dieback disease."
The Sliotar & Hurley Regulation is vital according to Daly. “To be honest it is probably more than hurley and sliotar regulation workgroup in that it is trying to proactively address hurling in its broadest context,” Daly says. “The regulation around hurleys, helmets, and sliotars is crucial - they are the fundamentals.
“From the introduction of the yellow sliotar in 2019 to the smart sliotar at U20 last year, on to the smart sliotar at adult senior level and U20 level. It has been an iterative process.
“We have tried to things in the most effective way we can, for the fact that we are trying to change to a culture of compliance.”