The ancient Irish sport of hurling is described by one American as a "sort of athletic manslaughter" in this hilarious video from the 1920s.

The short video, shared on Twitter by the "We, The Irish" podcast, features black and white newsreel footage of old games of hurling.

The American narrator describes the traditional Irish sport as a fast game of "skill and endurance". 

"In case you haven't heard, hurling is an old Irish game, a sort of athletic manslaughter," the video's narrator says.

"The idea is to sock a ball with this pretty club, or bat, or shillelagh. Played for hundreds of years, it's a fast he man's game of skill and endurance and no fooling". 

The commentator then tells two fighting players to "take it easy" after a "battle" breaks out around the net. 

Hurling, according to 1920s America.

— We, The Irish Podcast (@wetheirishpod) May 31, 2022

What is hurling?

Hurling, one of Ireland's native Gaelic games, is older than the recorded history of Ireland and is thought to predate the arrival of Christianity. 

Some historians estimate that the game first emerged in 1200BC in Tara, County Meath. 

The game was organized around written rules in 1884 following the founding of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in Thurles, County Tipperary. 

Hurling is thought to be the fastest field sport in the world due to the high velocity of the sliotar. It is also thought to be among the oldest sports in the world. 

Limerick are current All Ireland Hurling champions, while Kilkenny have won more All Ireland titles than any other county, with 36 Liam McCarthy Cups to their name.

Back in 2019, another American, comedian Josh Pray, went viral for his animated reaction to learning about hurling:

* Originally published in 2022, updated in July 2023.