THE CORK hurlers are ready to light up this year's unique All-Ireland championship.
Cummins Sports have supplied the Rebels with special yellow versions of their hugely popular All-Star sliotars for the 2020 campaign that begins with a Munster semi-final against Waterford in Thurles on October 31.
The GAA announced on Friday that only yellow sliotars will be permitted this winter at senior level. Kieran Kingston's squad arrived into training on Saturday morning with a full stock of the new balls courtesy of Cummins.
The Cork manufacturer supplies balls to Tipperary and Limerick as well as Cork.
The All-Star was first used in the 1976 All-Ireland, when the Rebels defeated Wexford. Willie Cummins made the sliotars for the final that featured his sons Ray and Brendan.
The Cummins are Leeside hurling royalty, as Willie was in the same half-back line as Christy Ring when the minor All-Ireland was captured in 1938. Kevin Cummins captained Cork to the minor title in 1964 and was one of the happiest men in Páirc Uí Chaoimh last Sunday when Blackrock ended an 18-year famine to beat Glen and land the Seán Óg Murphy Cup.
Yellow sliotars were previously trialled at the Fenway Classics in the United States, were a number of modified rules were in place in the small-sided goals-only version of hurling.
There are plans in place for a new standardised, microchipped ball, but the smart sliotar isn't the version being used in the coming months.
Other new rules for the inter-county campaign included one-minute water-breaks between the 15th and 20th minutes of each half, no maor uisce, panels of 26 at senior level, which drops to 24 for minor and U20, and backroom personnel of up to 12.