There is much to be learned from the humble British Twitter Reaction to Hurling. Setting aside from what it tells us about ourselves, it shows that most people believe hurling to be a hybrid sport, with some viewers descriptions including "a mix between hockey and football", "a mix between football, rugby, and rounders" and as being composed of the best bits of "hockey, rugby, golf and keepie-ups".
Regardless of the accuracies of their assessments, it is proof of what people perceive as hybrid sports can, in fact, work remarkably well.
There are a whole host of sensational hybrid sports out there, including SlamBall (which is basketball with contact and trampolines beneath the nets) and Chess Boxing, a hybrid of, you guessed it, chess and boxing. In the latter, participants face-off in alternating rounds of chess and boxing.
These two examples are the kind of mad, heroic ingenuity of hybrid sports we need more in our lives. So why stop there? Here are our suggestions for five hybrid sports we need in our lives.
Okay, there is a general rule here that all sports are improved by putting them on horseback. (NFL on horses needs no further elaboration).
But we've decided to put forth the case for perhaps the greatest ascendancy sport of them all: archery and showjumping. It is a relatively straightforward idea: among the obstacles in the showjumping arena will be a number of targets, which the rider must hit. This brings the secondary channel of guiding a horse over an obstacle while carrying a bow and arrow.
Anything that has the potential to turn the RDS into a scene from the Lord of the Rings is to be encouraged.
Formula 1 Darts
Formula 1 is, sadly, as much an engineering competition as it is a test of the skills of drivers. While the nuanced differences between tyre choice and the timing of pit-stops enthrall some, we think F1 would be saved from a more obvious display of the talents of the drivers.
Therefore, how better to accentuate the absurd reactions and unerring accuracy of a racing driver than by having them throw darts at a dart board from a moving car at over 200 miles per hour?
We propose fixing a dart board 50 metres before the finishing line, with riders' darts scores being added to the points they earn through their finish in the race. To ensure against malpractice, racers will have to clock a minimum speed while approaching the dart board.
We can't see it being anything other than a huge success. It's no more ridiculous than the biathlon.
The Pole Vault Hurdles
Think about it.
Shorten the length of the pole, and increase the distance between the hurdles. Set a strict limit on the number of steps an athlete can take before using the pole to launch him/herself over the hurdles.
Perhaps it will be necessary to widen each lane and reduce the number of competitors in each race to prevent pole-related injuries, but other than that, it's a sure winner.
The Cool Runnings sequel we've all been waiting for. While the bobsleigh is, admittedly, pretty scary stuff as it is, we believe it would be greatly improved by breaking up the track with a few jumps.
Baseball and Hurling
The potential for hurling to be fused with other sports is limitless, but we've decided to mix our national sport with what was once America's game: baseball. So the baseball structure remains, but instead of mitts, catchers are given hurleys. It would be played on a sizeable GAA pitch - think Thurles and Croker - and the baseball pitch would mark the beginning of a play.
The fielders, then, would instead have to score a point from play with their hurleys rather than target the batter. Their aim is to score a point before the batter can make a home run. The length between the bases would be increased to allow for the task of scoring a point. The batter can be supported by a defence, trying to stop the opponents from converting a point.
Rejected ideas for other Hybrid Sports: Land swimming; America's Cup and the Dodgems; Race-Walking and the Steeplechase; Modern Jousting and Rugby; Sailing and Paintball; Ladder Darts.