One of the three national games of Ireland, hurling is a contact team sport (15 a side) played with a metre long ash stick and a small hard leather ball. Over a 12 month period, 413 players were treated for hurling-related injuries at Cork Regional Hospital. While hand and facial trauma predominate, the proportion between the two sites has changed substantially from previous reports with a reduction in the level of facial injuries. The wearing of a helmet, and optionally a supplementary faceguard, is seen to have contributed to this trend. Despite this welcome reduction of facial injuries, a certain resistance to the use of protective headgear is evident, particularly among older players.
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