The hurling ball, commonly referred to as a ‘sliotar’ within the sport, is a small sphere that resembles a baseball. While the origins of the word sliotar are uncertain, it is thought to be connected to the Gaelic words ‘sliabh’ (mountain) and ‘thar’ (across), after an old Irish story about a man hitting a silver ball across a mountain.

As the sliotar is unique to hurling, understanding more about it is essential when it comes to buying sliotars for yourself or your hurling team.

With this in mind, we have created a comprehensive guide with all the information you need to know about hurling sliotars. We’ll cover topics such as the size and weight dimensions, materials used to make sliotars, colours and more! After reading our guide you will be fully equipped with all the knowledge you need so you can buy sliotars with confidence.

sliotar dimensions and weight

Sliotar size and weight dimensions

All sliotars approved for use in official matches must adhere to official GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) rules. Training with sliotars that are made to GAA specifications is important so that you can get used to feel of the sliotar and become accustomed to how it responds off the hurling stick.

In this section we will go through the size and weight dimensions of hurling balls used in both adult and junior matches.


A standard, regulation size sliotar has a diameter of anywhere between 6.9cm-7.3cm. This doesn’t account for the ‘rib’ (stitching) of the ball, which should be between 1.8mm-2.6mm in height and between 3.6mm-5.4mm in width. Circumference measurements aren’t listed within GAA regulations, however, assuming the diameter was 6.9cm-7.3cm, this would make the circumference of the sliotar 21.7cm-22.9cm.

The cover that protects the cork inner core of the ball must be between 1.8mm and 2.7mm in thickness. GAA rules also specify that any lamination coatings on the cover can’t be any thicker than 0.15mm.


The overall mass of the sliotar, including the rib, should be between 110 grams and 116 grams. This is light enough to allow players to hit the sliotar with force, and gives the sliotar a true flight path/trajectory without damaging the hurling stick.

What size sliotar is used in junior hurling?

At each age group in hurling, there are slight amendments made to the size and weight dimensions of the sliotar. Younger players will use lighter, softer, and slightly larger sliotars to allow them to make consistent contact with the ball and help them develop skills such as ball control and ball striking. Making hurling slightly easier for juniors gives them a greater chance of success, which in turn will increase their confidence and ensure a smooth transition to using full size sliotars. Junior players may not have developed the same strength as older players, so a lighter ball also reduces the risk of injury and allows for safer play.

GAA Go Games provide players up to and including the age of 12 the opportunity to play Camogie, Gaelic Football and Hurling. For hurling, there are three different size sliotars that are used over the three age categories. Junior sliotars include ‘First Touch’ which are lighter and larger than a standard size sliotar and used by players under the age of 8. This allows the youngest players to pick up the basic skills of hurling whilst enjoying the sport. ‘Quick Touch’ is closer to standard size but is still lighter and has a softer feel, which helps to promote player safety for players up to the age of 10. ‘Smart Touch’ sliotars are heavier than Quick Touch sliotars but still lighter than regulation match sliotars. They are designed to provide a happy medium between Quick Touch and match sliotars for players up to the age of 12. All players over the age of 12 will use a standard size and weight sliotar.

If you’re wondering which size sliotar you need for you or your child, use our table below!

Sliotar Sizes by Age
Sliotar Name Diameter Weight Recommended Age
FORZA First Touch 9.1cm (3.6in) 80g Under 8 years old
FORZA Quick Touch 6.8cm (2.7in) 70g 8-10 years old
FORZA Smart Touch 6.8cm (2.7in) 80g 10-12 years old
FORZA Training/Match Sliotar 7.3cm (2.8in) 115g Over 12 years old

What materials are used to make a sliotar?

Hurling sliotars are hard solid spheres that are slightly larger than a tennis ball and resemble the appearance of a baseball. Sliotars typically consist of either a cork core that is covered by two pieces of leather stitched together with a waxed linen thread, or a polyurethane core surrounded by durable synthetic, microfibre polyurethane exterior. Both sets of materials make for a lightweight, long-lasting, weatherproof sliotar that retains its shape under the harshest of impacts.

Until the 1960s, sliotars were partly made of horsehair and weighed over 200g. However, they became soggy in wet conditions and would often lose their shape. Since then, the cork/leather design has been used in all forms of hurling due to its hard-wearing and water-resistant nature. Rubber cores were experimented with by the GAA in the early 2000s, but it was found that these sliotars had an unpredictable bounce and travelled quicker in wet conditions. Polyurethane has only recently been used to manufacture sliotars, yet it displays the same performance characteristics as the cork/leather alternative.

Playing with a sliotar manufactured from the appropriate materials is essential for adhering to the weight regulations outlined above. For training purposes, this will also help you become accustomed to the feel of the sliotar, how it responds off the stick, and the trajectory of the hurling ball as it flies through the air.

All FORZA Touch, Match and Training sliotars are constructed from a three-phase moulded Polyurethane core which helps the ball maintain its shape and weight under any impact and in all weather conditions. Conforming to GAA approval test regulations, the durable synthetic microfibre polyurethane exterior gives a consistent feel and bounce all-year round.

Junior sliotars
Match sliotars

Sliotar colours

The colour of the sliotar you use will depend on the level you are playing at. According to GAA regulations, all sliotars must be fluorescent yellow to ensure visibility in all light conditions. The rib of a sliotar is typically black in colour, with the stitching being either red or white. Traditionally, sliotars were also white in colour, but match sliotar licensees have begun phasing out the production of white sliotars.

In junior matches, the colour of the ball used will represent the age group of the participants. First Touch sliotars, used in under-8s matches, combine white and blue, Quick Touch sliotars, used in matches for 8–10-year-olds, are white and orange, and Smart Touch sliotars, used in matches for 10–12-year-olds, are white and red. Each Touch ball has slight differences in dimensions, which aren’t obviously noticeable, so the colours help distinguish between each type of sliotar.

How fast can a sliotar travel?

Due to the lightweight design and sturdy exterior, hurling sliotars can travel at high speeds. At the highest level, the skill, strength, and technique of players means they can hit the sliotar at speeds updawards of 180kmph (111.8 mph)!

Now that you've read our complete hurling sliotars guide, why not explore our extensive range of FORZA hurling equipment? We stock sliotars, hurling sticks, GAA goal posts, goal nets, training gear, GAA pitch equipment and more! Whether you're a newcomer to the sport or a seasoned professional, we have everything you need to take your hurling game to the next level.