As with any sport, there are risks associated with playing the sport of hurling. However, it isn't any more dangerous than other sports, especially when members and referees are trained. Prior to 2010, it was optional to wear helmets. However, starting in 2010, the GAA now requires helmets for all scrimmages, matches and tournaments. Attached below is a summary of an injury study that was done between 2007 and 2009. The most common injuries by category were soft tissue damage with hamstring pulls being the most common. The next most common was fractures, mostly to fingers.
In order to minimize the risk of injury, Naperville Hurling Club will rigorously enforce safety rules, including no chopping (swinging down with the hurley) and front to front or front to back bodily contact. Contact from the sides is allowed. You can read more about the rules on the "How do you play?" tab. Further, any scrimmage or match play will require helmets to be worn. Warm-ups will be thorough and sufficiently long to ensure muscles are relaxed and ready for vigorous activity. Finally, we encourage members to purchase and wear protective gloves. The gloves are covered on the "Equipment & Cost" tab. They are reinforced on the back of the glove to reduce the risk of injury to the hands from incidental contact with the hurley sticks.
The study was published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine and can be read at the following link. "A prospective study of injuries in elite Gaelic games." Newer articles can be read at the following links: "Risk factors for hand injury in hurling; a cross-sectional study," and "Dramatic impact of using protective equipment on the level of hurling-related head injuries: an ultimately successful 27-year programme."