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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 October 2005, 14:23 GMT 15:23 UK
Get kitted out for Gaelic Games
Get kitted out for Gaelic Games

The kit you will wear for Gaelic football or hurling isn't much different from that which is worn in most other team sports, like football, rugby or hockey.

It is a fast and physical full-contact sport, so be prepared for a few knocks and bruises when you are playing.

But with the correct equipment, you can minimise the chances of injuries, as well as increase your enjoyment of playing the game.

HEAD PROTECTION

Head protection is mainly worn in hurling; only on rare occasions do footballers wear head gear.

It is important because of the speed that the ball travels and the fact that hurleys (the stick) can be swung at head height.

Not all players at the top level will use it but in women's games and at youth level head protection is compulsory.

The lightweight headgear is capable of withstanding high impact, and is used to prevent blows to the head and damage to their ears.

The most important thing to remember if you want to wear head protection is to make sure it is comfortable - otherwise it will cause yourself unnecessary pain and injury.

GUM SHIELD

An increasing number of top gaelic football players and hurlers are wearing gum shields these days.

The gum shield not only protects your teeth and gums during physical contact, it can reduce damage around the jaw and incidences of concussion.

As every mouth is different, so every gum shield should be moulded to fit perfectly around the top half of a player's mouth.

The best way of doing this is to go and see your dentist, who will ensure the shield is right for your mouth.

The other type of gum shields widely available are the "boil in the bag" variety which are moulded using hot water.

GLOVES

As every player on the pitch has to handle the ball, many chose to wear gloves to give themselves a better grip of the ball, particularly in winter.

There are two types. Some wear goalkeeping type gloves with latex rubber on the palms which gives good grip on the ball especially if it is wet.

The other kind which are common are a woollen/acrylic type material with rubber dimples on the palm and fingers which give grip on the ball.

THE HURLEY

The hurley is made of wood and they come in different sizes.

It must comply with the rules of the game and it is best to get one that is a good size and weight for you.

Don't worry about it being too light to get power when striking the ball because if it was too heavy then you won't be able to swing it at the ball.

FOOTBALL & HURLING BALLS

In Gaelic football, the ball is similar to that used in football, but is slightly different in size and weight.

If you play at school or a club they will provide training and match balls, but if you want to train on your own or with friends getting one yourself is a good idea.

These days balls are made of better materials than in the past, making them easier to handle, especially in the wet.

The hurling ball - known as the puck or sliotar - is much smaller, around the size of a cricket or hockey ball and equally as hard.

The ball should be played with on grass where possible as bouncing it on hard surfaces like concrete will impair the quality of the ball.


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