We know; joining a club is hard. We’ve all been there. There are the usual questions, like “Will everyone like me?” and “How much commitment is required?” Then, you realize you’re going to play a rare sport that’s only starting to grow in the US.
Wow. So many questions.
Have no fear. We’re here with all the answers, and then some. Let’s start with the easy ones.
Who can play?
Right now, we accept people of all genders, ages 18 and over. Our sincere wish is to start a youth league soon, but for now, we’re all grownups. Kind of.
Will everyone like me?
Pretty much guaranteed. We’re an eclectic group of people, from various geographic locations and cultures. If there’s one thing we know how to do, it’s accept everyone. Seriously, we’re so overjoyed that you want to play this rare sport that you’ll be on everyone’s Christmas card list immediately. Or Hanukkah. Or Kwanzaa. Or whatever you might celebrate.
What should I bring for my first time to training?
Good athletic shoes—cleats if you have them, clothes you can move in, and lots of water. We provide the rest of the equipment, until such time as you decide you’re hooked and want to buy your own.
How much commitment is required?
As much as you would like to give. We have spring and fall hurling leagues, with matches every Sunday for six (or more) weeks, and a summer Gaelic football league for five weeks. We travel during the summer and fall for tournaments in other cities. We participate in several festivals, recruiting events, and fundraisers throughout the year. If you can make it to any, we’ll be so glad to see you.
How much are annual dues?
Our dues structure offers a few different options. For general members, the annual fee is $20. If you’d like to play in the any of the leagues, add $40 for each. If you’re a student, the league fees are each $20. For any financial hardship cases, simply speak privately with a board member.
This structure provides everyone the chance to vote, even if they don’t play in the leagues. Paid members can also travel to play in tournaments, even if they choose not to join league play.
For a quick visual, just to keep things clear, a member who will not play in any league matches pays only $20 per year. A member who wishes to play in both the spring and fall hurling leagues will pay the $20 general fee, plus two $40 fees, for a total of $100 for the year. If you add Gaelic football, it’s $140 for the year. If that’s still not clear, blame the writer of this blog, who always preferred English over Math in school.
Where can I get equipment when I’m ready to commit?
This is a tricky one. See, because we play an Irish sport, the best equipment comes from Ireland, but we do have one American supplier.
- American Hurling (America)
- US Hurling (America)
- The GAA Store (Northern Ireland)
- Azzurri Sport (Ireland)
- O’Neills (Ireland)
On occasion, one of our members will be lucky enough to go to Ireland. You may be able to convince them to pick up a hurley or other items for you.
Where can I find all the latest info?
The best bet is always the website. We update the calendar on a regular basis, complete with times and addresses. Sometimes things change at the last minute, especially if inclement weather is involved. To keep up with those announcements, you can do one of two things:
- Send a text message to 81010 with the message: @hurling for text notifications.
- Join the Facebook group.
We also have a Google group, but the information found there might not be the most up to date.
Are there frosty beverages involved?
For the love of all things Irish, yes. We do visit some local establishments for refreshments and fellowship after most training sessions and matches. Please don’t feel uncomfy if you don’t drink. Many of our members are there for a frosty sweet tea, soda, or water. Just…some are there for beer, too.
Who makes all the decisions around here?
We try to open up the biggest and most impactful decisions to the whole club. Everyone who has paid dues gets a vote. Some of the smaller decisions—mostly of the organizational type—are handled by the board. The board members for 2018 are as follows:
- Chairman: Liam Barry
- Vice Chair: Danny Espensen
- Treasurer: Jesse Gentry
- Registrar: Ryan Culligan
- Secretary: Molly Buckley
- PR: Jen Barry
Each board position has a term of two years. Elections are held during the Annual General Meeting in December. Should a position vacate for any reason, the board appoints a new member until elections can be held.
How can I get involved?
If you’d like to offer more than just your skills on the pitch, we’re always excited to provide opportunities through our committees. Take a look at some of the potential groups and just let a board member know if your specific passions or talents might be of service.
Those are the biggest questions, but maybe you have more. If so, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was previously posted on June 15, 2016. It has been updated with current information.