Compromise: Shinty-Hurling and International Rules Football as Marriages of Game Logic and Sporting Identities


Ireland is home to the Gaelic games: hurling and Gaelic football. The two sports represent outliers in the landscape of modern sports both in their intrinsic connection to each other via similar game logics, but also in their connection to Irish identity. This is evident both in the history of the Gaelic Athletic Association as well as the manner in which the sports are marketed to the public in the present day. An even further outlier is present in two sports that emerge from a compromise with each of the Gaelic games’ rulebooks. These are shinty-hurling, played annually between Scotland and Ireland, and international rules football, played annually between Australia and Ireland. The resultant sports are a fascinating spectacle: endless frustration among the players on either side at the limitations imposed by the other sport’s rulebook, but also a subtle elation among players and spectators alike at the incredibly unique phenomenon unfolding on the field. The two compromise sports occupy an obscure space in modern sport. They are a form of sporting diplomacy and take place against a backdrop of complicated, interwoven histories of conquest, colonialism, and migration. They are also obscure in their infrequency: a sporting event that occurs as a single match once per year is not necessarily sustainable as an enterprise. This unique situation is deserving of further scholarly investigation on account of the myriad lessons in sport marketing, game logic development, and informal diplomacy that lie within its existence.


Bennett Burke
Student, Sport Studies, University of Texas at Austin, Texas, United States


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Media Marketing and Identity


Identity, Logic, Diplomacy, Ireland, Australia, Scotland, Shinty, Hurling, Football, Marketing

Digital Media


Compromise (pptx)