gpa to showcase clash of the ash in states
THE GAA and GPA are looking to expose hurling to an international audience with an 11-a-side form of the game set to be showcased in the United States next month, writes Ruaidhri O'Connor.
An exhibition clash between inter-county players will take place at Notre Dame university ahead of a sell-out College American Football game on campus and it is hoped that it will generate interest for the sport.
GPA president Donal Og Cusack came up with the idea of the shortened game in an attempt to tailor hurling to the smaller pitches abroad. He hopes that the short-form can also be used to try out innovations in the sport, like a redesigned yellow sliotar that will be in use next month and could be introduced to the 15-a-side version of hurling if successful in improving the ability of players and fans to see the ball.
"There are 40 million Irish-Americans or people in America of Irish descent. Even if you got 10pc more of those people watching the games, wouldn't that be some target to aim for?" Cusack said at the launch of the Aer Lingus sponsored Celtic Champions Classic.
"There will be a lot of people in Notre Dame that won't have seen the game of hurling. Those people who saw the game last Sunday were going away saying: 'Jesus, why haven't we seen this before.'"