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Study shows number of uncontested puck-outs in 2023 League rose to 49%

Hurling is in a state of change and revealing statistics show how the ball stays in play much less than in the past

There can be no doubt that hurling is always changing and that is emphasised by a new study which shows that almost half of puck-outs (49%) were uncontested in this year’s League.

The study, commissioned by the GAA and undertaken by Gaelic Stats, deduced that the number of unchallenged restarts has increased 13% from 2018 (as revealed by the Irish Examiner).

There’s no doubting that the accuracy of goalkeepers has continued to increase during that five-year period but the spike in short puck-outs is the primary reason behind the rise.

In an analysis of 15 games, just 10% of puck-outs landed beyond the ’45 in the opposition half in contrast to 21% in 2021, which shows that the game continues to focus more and more on retaining possession.

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Nearly a third of all puck-outs were passed to a team-mate before their own ’45 line, more than double compared to the 2016 league and championship.

Verney’s Quiz

Fouls inside the goal-scoring zone – 25m in-field from each sideline and inside the 20m line – dropped to 10% of all fouls from 20% in 2019, which is a glowing endorsement of the black card ruling.

The study also established the average number of hand-passes has shot up from 76 to 104 between the 2016 league and championship and this year while stick passes have remained consistent at 145.

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The amount of time which the ball was in play has also dropped to 38%, a decrease of 5% from 2016, and that percentage equates to 28.5 minutes over the course of a 75-minute game.



Round 1: April 22: Antrim 1-19 Dublin 1-19, Corrigan Park; Galway 0-24 Wexford 2-12,
Pearse Stadium; Kilkenny 0-29 Westmeath 0-7, UPMC Nowlan Park.

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Round 2: April 29: Wexford 1-30 Antrim 1-26, Chadwicks Wexford Park; Dublin 2-23
Westmeath 1-14, Parnell Park; April 30: Kilkenny 0-28 Galway 1-25, UPMC Nowlan Park.

Round 3: May 6: Dublin 1-22 Wexford 0-23, Croke Park; Galway 6-33 Westmeath 0-17, TEG Cusack Park; May 7: Kilkenny 5-31 Antrim 3-20 Corrigan Park.

Round 4: May 20: Kilkenny v Dublin, UPMC Nowlan Park; May 21: Galway v Antrim, Pearse Stadium; Wexford v Westmeath, Chadwicks Wexford Park.

Round 5: May 28: Wexford v Kilkenny, Chadwicks Wexford Park; Dublin v Galway, Croke Park; Westmeath v Antrim, TEG Cusack Park.

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Final: June 11


Round 1: April 23: Limerick 1-18 Waterford 0-19, FBD Semple Stadium; Tipperary 5-22 Clare 3-23, Ennis.

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Round 2: April 29: Clare 1-24 Limerick 2-20 TUS Gaelic Grounds; April 30: Cork 0-27
Waterford 0-18, Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

Round 3: May 6: Cork 4-19 Tipperary 2-25, Pairc Ui Chaoimh; May 13: Waterford v Clare, FBD Semple Stadium.

Round 4: May 21: Clare v Cork, Ennis; Tipperary v Limerick, FBD Semple Stadium.

Round 5: May 28: Limerick v Cork, TUS Gaelic Grounds; Tipperary v Waterford, FBD Semple Stadium.

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Final: June 11

“Hindsight is the foresight of a gobs***e”

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