Aug. 16, 2019 By Shane O’Brien
Citi Field will play host to a traditional Irish sport called hurling for the first time ever this November.
The New York Hurling Classic is a three-game tournament which will take place at Citi Field on Saturday, Nov. 16 and will feature teams from Kilkenny, Tipperary, Limerick and Wexford, four of Ireland’s most prominent hurling regions.
The tournament follows three successful hurling events at Fenway Park in Boston in 2015, 2017 and 2018 where teams competed for the Players Champions Cup. Limerick are the defending champions after they won the trophy last year.
Commonly referenced in Irish folklore, hurling is one of the oldest sports in the world and is widely regarded as the fastest field sport on the planet.
Fenway Sports Management and Metropolitan Hospital, which manages non-Mets games at Citi Field, are staging the Hurling Classic in conjunction with the Gaelic Athletic Association, the sporting body which oversees the sport of hurling.
Hurling is a completely amateur sport played by two teams of 15 players who use sticks, called hurls or hurleys, to hit a small leather ball, called a sliotar, through their opponent’s goalposts. A shot that goes over the crossbar is worth one point, while a shot that goes under the crossbar into a goal guarded by a goalkeeper, is worth three points.
No player transfers are permitted in hurling and players play purely for the pride of their county.
Every year, 15 counties in Ireland compete for the All Ireland Hurling Championship, the most prestigious trophy in the sport. The All Ireland hurling final takes place in Dublin in front of 82,300 people on the third Sunday of August.
Kilkenny and Tipperary, two of the teams set to play in Citi Field, are two of the most successful counties in Ireland and will do battle this Sunday for the coveted trophy.
The game is also widely played across New York City by the Irish community.
The game at Citi Field will be a modified version of the game of hurling, with only 11 players on each team and players only allowed to score goals worth three points.
The New York Hurling Classic will also feature a festival of Irish music and dancing at Citi Field.
Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 10 a.m., with a presale option available on Aug. 26 and 27. Tickets can be purchased from https://www.mlb.com/mets/tickets/specials/hurling.