The All-Ireland Hurling Championship is Ireland’s highest level hurling championship. One of the two major sports leagues organised by the Gaelic Athletic Association, the All-Ireland Hurling Championship is amongst the most popular sports leagues in Ireland, and the All-Ireland Hurling Final is one of the most keenly anticipated events on Ireland’s sporting calendar.
The first part of the All-Ireland Hurling Championship is contested at a provincial level in Munster and Leinster to determine which counties from these provinces will advance directly to the semifinals. Several qualifying stages are then played to determine the other two teams for the semifinals, which are then followed by the All-Ireland Hurling Championship final at Croke Park.
All-Ireland Hurling Championship Betting
The All-Ireland Hurling Championship attracts strong interest in Ireland, with the sport boasting a history of betting that dates back to antiquity. The All-Ireland Hurling Championship is extensively covered by Ireland-based bookmakers Paddy Power and Boylesports, whilst UK bookmakers offer a more limited selection of All-Ireland Hurling Championship betting markets.
The fact that a wide variety of UK bookmakers offer odds on the outright winner of the All-Ireland Hurling Championship means that smart bets on this sports league are best made by using a quality odds comparison service.
All-Ireland Hurling Championship History
The sport of hurling is thought to be one of the most ancient sports in Europe that is still played today. The modern era of hurling commenced in 1884, when the Gaelic Athletic Association made the decision to codify the rules of the sport, and to establish a formal league system for the sport.
The inaugural All-Ireland Hurling Championship was played in 1887, and featured just 5 teams. However, the sport rapidly grew in popularity and the GAA was soon required to organise provincial championships, to determine which counties would compete in the nationwide All-Ireland Hurling Championship.
The popularity of the sport was mostly concentrated in the provinces of Leinster and Munster, and this soon created problems, as these two counties were disproportionately represented in the latter stages of the tournament. To rectify this situation the GAA recently introduced the somewhat complex qualification system used today, whereby certain counties gain automatic qualification for the final stages of the tournament whilst others must compete in regional qualifiers.