Europe

Rounders (England, Ireland)

Name of sport (game): Rounders
Name in native language: Rounders
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

England, Ireland

History:

Rounders, or something very like it was probably played several centuries prior to the first documentary evidence of the game. There is an engraving in the Bodleian Library dated 1344 which depicts a woman about to throw (underarm) a ball towards a chap wielding a large club which is thinner at the handle end. The engraving also has several other figures of both sexes which the illustrator did not include because they were mostly damaged or indistinct. These figures are waiting to catch or stop the ball once the batsman has hit it.
The description of the engraving does not mention any posts or bases so whether the game just involved hitting or whether running was also involved isn't known. But no wicket is shown so it doesn't appear to be an ancestor of Cricket. And people playing Stoolball hit the ball with their hand in those days so it cannot be that game.
Therefore, if the game is the ancestor of any modern game, Rounders seems to be the most likely candidate.
The other primary theory, equally vague, is that Rounders is a development of the old game of Stoolball. This game is mentioned in texts that go back as far as the fifteenth century. At this time, of course, there were no governing bodies dictating rules and so people played such games at fairs and on the village green in a variety of different ways. The only really consistent thing is that one player threw a ball and another player hit it - generally speaking with their hand. The stools were usually described as a wicket but in some versions, multiple stools were set up in a ring and players had to run from one to another.
The game of Baseball is indeed an old sport. Most texts that you will read quote that the earliest documentary evidence for the game is from 1744 when the game was referred to as Base-ball. This is a reference from what is probably the first ever book written for children, 'The Little Pretty Pocket Book' by John Newbery published in London. In fact, the earliest mention made was by the Reverend Thomas Wilson, a Puritan living in Maidstone, Kent who wrote a disapproving piece about games being played on Sunday in 1700: "I have seen Morris-dancing, cudgel-playing, baseball and cricketts and many other sports on the Lord's day".
Base-ball continues to be mentioned in England - for instance by Jane Austen in "Northanger Abbey" which was written around 1800. But the earliest reference to the name 'Rounders' found by this author is in in the English Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine of 1787 as a children's game - so the term was in use by that time.
In America, where the national sport is Baseball, arguments raged for some time over whether the game was invented in North America or England. Discoveries of the above references put an end to most such discussion, especially as the rules for Baseball published in an American "Book of Sports" in 1834 were an exact copy of the rules of Rounders from the "Boys Own Book" published in London in 1829. The game was obviously being called by both names and being played in the same way in both America and England by the same rules in the early 1800s
The USA was certainly playing proto-baseball before this: In 1778, one of George Washington's soldiers in the American war of Independence mentioned playing a game of "Base" in his diary. And anyway, it was known in North America since 1750 when 'The Little Pretty Pocket Book' was published there. The game really came to the fore in America around the mid-nineteeth century, when Alexander Cartwright of New York City initiated the first codification of the rules (the "Knickerbocker Rules"), from which modern baseball developed.
In 1889 the Liverpool and Scottish Rounders Association was formed. The first official rules did away with the practice of putting a running batter out by hitting them with a thrown ball. The National Rounders Association was formed in 1943 and is still active today working particularly with schools promoting and encouraging play. These days, at competition level, Rounders tends to be played more by girls than boys.
Source: https://www.tradgames.org.uk/games/rounders.htm

Description:

The rules of this sport come from Rounders England website: https://www.roundersengland.co.uk/play/rounders-rules/

Teams
Rounders games are played between two teams. Each team has a maximum of 15 players and a minimum of 6 players. No more than 9 players may be on the field at any one time. If a team is mixed, there should be no more than 5 male players. A list of players and substitutes should be submitted to the Umpire prior to play. Players once substituted may return during the game, but batters only in the position of their original number.

Batting
The batting team should wait in the backward area well away from 4th post. If out, wait in the backward area well away from 1st post. A batter should only enter the batting square when called to do so by the Umpire. The batter will have one good ball bowled to them. Batters can use 2 hands if they wish. Batters can take a no ball and score in the usual way, but once you reach 1st post you cannot return. You cannot be caught out or stumped out at 1st post on a no ball.

Bowling / No balls
A No Ball will incur if:
• The ball is not thrown in a smooth underarm action.
• The ball is above the batters head or below the batters knee.
• The ball bounces on the way to the batter.
• The ball is thrown wide or straight at the batters body.
• The Bowler’s foot is outside the square during the bowling action.

Running around the track
If a batter stops at a post, they must keep in contact with the post, with hand or bat. If they don’t, the fielding side can stump the following post to put the batter out. Batters can run on to a post even if it has been previously stumped (you don’t score if the post immediately ahead has been stumped). When the bowler has the ball in the bowling square a batter cannot move on, but if they are between posts they can carry on to the next. There cannot be two batters at a post. The umpire will ask the first to run on when the second makes contact. When at a post, the batter does not have to move on for every ball bowled. Once in contact with the post, a batter may turn the corner over the 2 metre line. Batters can move on as soon as the ball leaves the Bowler’s hand, including no balls. Batters must touch 4th post on getting home.

Scoring
• If the batter hits the ball and reaches and touches 4th post before the next ball is bowled, the batting team scores 1 Rounder.
• If the batter hits a no ball and reaches and touches 4th post before the next ball is bowled, the batting team scores 1 Rounder (you cannot be caught out on a no ball).
• A ½ Rounder is scored if the batter reaches 4th post without hitting the ball.
• A ½ Rounder is scored if the batter hits the ball and 2nd or 3rd post is reached and touched before next ball is bowled. However, if you continue this run and are put out before reaching 4th post, the score will be forfeited.
• A penalty ½ Rounder is scored for an obstruction by a fielder.
• A penalty ½ Rounder is scored for 2 consecutive no balls to the same batter.
• A penalty ½ Rounder is scored by the fielding team if waiting batters or batters out obstruct a fielder.
• A batter can score in the normal way on a backward hit but must remain at 1st post while the ball is in the backward area.

A player is out when
• The post a batter is running to is stumped.
• The batter is caught out.
• A batter overtakes another batter on the track.
• A batter deliberately drops or throws their bat.
• The batter misses or hits the ball and their foot is over the front or back line of the batting square.
• A batter runs inside the posts (unless obstructed).
• Side out.
• If the batter is ordered to make and maintain contact with the post and refuse to do so.
• The batter loses contact with the post; When the bowler has the ball and is in the square (except on an over run). During the bowlers action but before they release the ball.

pitch dimensions

Current status:

Practiced

Contacts:

Rounders England
Unit 15, Venture 1 Business Park, Long Acre Close, Holbrook Industrial Estate Sheffield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S20 3FR, United Kingdom
Phone: 07837 810 613
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Webside: https://www.roundersengland.co.uk/
Fb: https://www.facebook.com/RoundersEngland/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoundersEngland
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roundersengland/

Rounders England logo

GAA Rounders
Webside: http://www.gaarounders.ie/
Fb: https://www.facebook.com/GaaRounders
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBui6eggZbfelpit6FPg00Q
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Address:
National Rounders Secretary,
Croke Park Stadium,
Jones' Road, Dublin 3

GAA Rounders logo1

Sources of information :

Articles:
https://web.archive.org/web/20071112065508/http://www.nra-rounders.co.uk/dyncat.cfm?catid=17177 
https://www.britannica.com/sports/netball 
https://gulfnews.com/sport/rounders-all-round-show-1.770808 

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5Lxiy9_L9Q 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1gQCVVF10w 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M_SjjvSk3Y 

Gallery:

Documents:

pdfSimplified-Rules-2018.pdf

Running of the bulls (Spain)

Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Pamplona, Spain

Description:

The city of Pamplona is world-famous for its fiestas of San Fermín Festival. Thousands of people go there every year to experience the risk and the thrill of the running of the bulls, a tradition immortalised by Ernest Hemingway in his novel Fiesta. Over nine days, dressed in traditional red and white costumes, locals and visitors give themselves over to the festive spirit.
San Fermín starts at 6 am on 6 July. This is when the inaugural rocket is launched from the balcony of the Town Hall, marking the official start of the fiesta, and the crowd gathered in the square goes wild. The first running of the bulls takes place the next day: at 8 am the doors to the Santo Domingo corral are opened and hundreds of people run ahead of the bulls on a route around the old town to the bullring.
Every day from 7 to 14 July, this brief, intense race is repeated, taking just three minutes to run the 825-metre route. Rockets are launched to notify runners of the stages of the running: the first rocket when the corral gates are opened, the second when all the bulls have left, the third, in the arena, when the bulls enter the bullring, and the fourth when they are in the bullpens and the running of the bulls is finished. One of the most emotive moments occurs a few minutes before the running of the bulls starts, when the runners ask San Fermín to protect them, singing three times to of a small image located on Cuesta de Santo Domingo.
To amuse the children, every morning of the fiestas there is a parade of gigantes y cabezudos (carnival figures) around the city centre. Other events include outdoor dances, concerts, dance performances and, of course, bullfights, which are very lively thanks to the peñas or clubs cheering them on. San Fermín ends on 14 July at midnight, when the people gather in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento with lit candles, singing “Pobre de mí” (poor me), saying goodbye to their fiesta until the following year.
Source: https://www.spain.info/pl/kalendarz/swieto-sanfermines/

Current status:

Practiced

Sources of information :

Source of photos used in this article:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7243827/Two-runners-undergo-brain-scans-latest-Pamplona-bull-run-leaves-four-injures.html

Gallery:

Ruzzola (Italy)

Name of sport (game): Ruzzola
Name in native language: Ruzzola

Rvanje (Serbia)

Name of sport (game): Rvanje
Name in native language: Rvanje u koštac
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Serbia

Description:

Rvanje u koštac is played on mats and can be played on soft grass, outdoor, during summer festivals.It is a standing up wrestling style with clothes.
The wrestlers wear a T-Shirt and a short. Legs can grip legs. The arm position is fixed with hands gripping each other in the back.Weight and age categories. Tricks are mainly with hips and legs. Victory is given when the opponent is thrown on his back or rolled on the back during a short time.

S'istrumpa (Sardinia)

Name of sport (game): S'istrumpa
Name in native language: Sa Strumpa or s’Istrumpa or Lotta Sarda
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Sardinia

Sardinia

History:

Sa STRUMPA or s’ISTRUMPA, which is also known as the LOTTA SARDA (Sardinian Wrestling) is an ancient folk wrestling style culturally unique to the Sardinian people (the Sardinians, or the Sards). Its principles have been passed for centuries, primarily through practice and stories that from generation to generation descides the achievements of legendary characters.

The Sardinians trace their origin to the times of the pharaohs and were called SHARDANA, who belonged to the People of the Sea and believed to be the guards of the pharaohs of Egypt. The Sardinian people more likely have a Sumerian origin. This is supported by the structures called "Nuraghe" in the singular and "nuraghes" in the plural which can be found in different places all over Sardinia and which were erected long before the arrival of the Romans to that territory. In fact, the shape of those buildings recalls the cylindrical towers of Babylon, whose inhabitants the Babylonians had Sumerian origins. Among the most famous historical sites of Sardinia is the "ziqqurat" of Monte d'Accoddi, a former ancient temple which is unique not only to Europe, but to the whole entire Mediterranean region. It is located at the Monte d'Accoddi, in the Nurra, North-Western region of Sardinia, Canton of Logudoro. It’s appearance has a strong physical resemblance with those of the Mesopotamian ziqqurat temples.

When the Romans first arrived to Sardinia they settled on a territory in the North-West of Sardinia, which took the name of Romangia (also in Logudoro) which stands for Roman territory. Since Romans failed to colonize the hinterland areas of Sardinian they called it "Barbagia" which stands for "barbarian/uncivilized” territory.
Sardinia consists of quite a few micro-regions, for example Nurra and Romangia, which in turn are grouped into macro-regions, also called "cantons" and there are four of them: LOGUDORO, GALLURA, BARBAGIA and CAMPIDANO.

pomnik

Sa Strump ("istrumpare" - instruct, literally "thrown on the ground") is described by researchers of the past as part of "living archeology." It is part of the history of the Sardinia, which is three thousand years old and it is based on courage, loyalty and respect for the rules. There are several testimonies of this sport created over the centuries, with finds such as Uta from a nuragic bronze depicting "gherradores" and about thirty warriors, archers, wrestlers and boxers and is over two meters high, discovered in 1974 in Monti Prama, in Sinis, dated VIII or VII century BC.

In 1985, to organize the first Istrumpa tournament, elderly people from Ollolai and neighboring regions conducted a search to obtain the necessary information to develop "modern" rules. It turned out that in the traditional fight of previous generations there were no written rules, neither weight classes nor duration of fight. Players often fought until they won, while one or both gave up with exhaustion. Victory was awarded after two wins from three clashes or three out of five. Weight categories and combat times were established, and the first technical regulations for this sport were developed. On its basis, in the same year, the first regional championships were organized, which were met with great favor of public opinion and the participation of athletes from many centers in the Sardinia.

In 1994, Federazione S’istrumpa was founded, which in 1995 was incorporated into the FILC (International Federation of Celtic Wrestling). Finally in 1997, Federazione S’istrumpa was included in the FILJKAM (Federazione Italiana Judo Lotta Karate Arti Marziali).

Among the most famous practitioners of the "su chintu partidu/chintzu partziu" variation of the Strumpa wrestling was a two-time Mr. Olympia winning bodybuilder Franco Columbu (1941-2019) of Ollolai, Barbagia and Barbagia, Sardinia.

Description:

This type of fight has kept its traditional rules and techniques. In the whole Sardinia it was practiced it in a similar way: for example "a manu and inthu", "inthu after inthu", "inthu partiu." The initial position is identical throughout the Sardinia: the warriors face each other half-bent forward, legs slightly buckle and slightly splay, one arm under the opponent's armpit, the other shoulder on the opponent’s shoulder to hold hands behind his back by the wrists or fingers. In another variation of this fight opponents are holding the belt.

The given below description and ruleset of the variation of the Strumpa Lotta Sarda" is present as it is practiced by the residents of Campidano (a plain located in South-Western Sardinia between Cagliari and Oristano) and adjacent areas such as Ogliastra (but not by the inhabitants of the other cantons such as Logudoro, Gallura and Barbagia) and where it is known as the STRUMPA or "sa Campidanesa.”

The wrestlers ("Gherradore" in the singular, "gherradores" in the plural) competed barefoot and were wearing canvas jackets, pants, and belts.

Below are the generally accepted wrestling modes of the STRUMPA CAMPIDANESE or "sa Campidanesa."

1. BRATZAS or BRATZOS or "a sa MUSINADA” Only following holds of the jackets are allowed: by the collar of the jacket, by the lapels of the jacket, by the sleeves of the jacket and around the biceps/triceps.

2. CHINTU PARTIDU or CHINTZU PARTZIU an equal back-hold grip, hooking legs and tripping being allowed. This variation of Strumpa is an official sport recognized by FIJLKAM. It also was practiced in the past, if both fighters mutually agreed on that.

3. In CHINTZU LIMPIU version, the wrestlers started at a distance from each other and the one who first takes a grip by the belt (not the trouser’s belt) took the lead. The tightening could cause his opponent lose his breath and could crush him to the ground. Other holds such as arm / head, arm / arm and arm / under-arm were allowed. Most likely it was CHINTZU LIMPIU that was called "sa CAMPIDANESA".

4. In this variation of Strumpa the wrestlers take holds of trouser’s belt and it is called CHINTADA / CHINTA CHINTA / CHINTA since CHINTOLZA or CHINTORZA means BELT of the pants. The wrestlers take holds of the trouser’s belt the socket of the hips, with the right arm under the opponent's left arm and the left arm above the other's right arm, and right cheek against right cheek.

The STRUMPA wrestling techniques are called TRASSAS ie "abilities", while unfair actions are called TRAMPAS. The Sa ZANGA, in reality, has the literal meaning of "cause", in the sense of a reason which causes the fall to the ground. The common Back Heel tripping is called CARCANGIU or CALCANZU.

The Strumpa Lotta Sarda matches are contested for the back falls. The back fall is when one of the two wrestlers is thrown down flat on his back.
The side falls, according to FIJLKAM regulations do not count. For the throw to be counted, the attacker must fall on top of his opponent. If the attacker will let go his hold before landing the throw is not counted even if the opponent touches the ground with his back.

Pietropaolo De Montis presenting the techniques of s'istrumpa:

sistrumpa6

sistrumpa8

sistrumpa7

 

Current status:

The Strumpa Sardinian wrestling gatherings traditionally were held not so much for the passion of this discipline (sport) but to demonstrate one's personal "value" in their own community (or "balentia"; su "bulente"). In fact it was a “man of value” who inclines to do good for his people. There also were wrestling meetings where the "money bets" were made which was barely legal.
In recent years, in addition to Ollolai, tournaments have been organized in various other centers, such as Fonni, Sardara, Ozieri, Dorgali, Villamassargia, Villagrande, Oliena, Urzulei, Lanusei, Sorgno, Tertenia, Tonara, Orosei, Thiesi, as well as shows at Baratile, Oristano, Cagliari, Sassari, Nuoro, Desulo, Olbia and Monti.
The sport of Strumpa is officially recognized by the Italian Federation of Judo, Karate and Martial Arts (FIJLKAM). The STRUMPA was placed within the Martial Arts sector of the FIJLKAM. Just like any other traditional sport it’s defined by its proper name, cultural identity and unique set of rules. The Strumpa wrestlers participate in the international tournaments organized by the FILC (International Federation of Celtic Wrestling).

Importance (for practitioners, communities etc.):

In the popular tradition, there were many opportunities to try s'istrump: rural feasts, haircuts, grape harvest, threshing, weddings, military visits, military rallies, etc. S'istrumpa sometimes served as entertainment and fun. In addition, it has always been recognized as an educational value, tests that involved children were carried out under the vigilant supervision of fathers and the elderly.

Contacts:

FIJLKAM (Federazione Italiana Judo Lotta Karate Arti Marziali)
Via dei Sandolini, 79
00122 Ostia Lido
Fax: 06/56434801
Webside: https://www.fijlkam.it/
Fb: https://www.facebook.com/fijlkam
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FijlkamOfficial
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fijlkam_official/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/FIJLKAMchannel

fijkam logo

Sources of information :

Thank you for the information A.S.D. Polisportiva Gigliotti Team of Nuoro, which promotes martial arts. Great work by three brothers: Giovanni, Marco, Edoardo Gigliotti, who are athletes and coaches (highly decorated Champions in Sardini, Italy and worldwide).
Facebook link: https://it-it.facebook.com/PolisportivaGigliottiTeamNuoro/
Site: https://sites.google.com/site/polisportgigliotti/

Materials of Italian pro-wrestler Mr. Michele (Mike) Raho of Bergamo.

Articles:
https://www.fijlkam.it/arti-marziali/s-istrumpa/storia-s-intrumpa.html 
Rules: https://www.fijlkam.it/arti-marziali/s-istrumpa/regolamento.html

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYE7aorBqGo&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0I77IQihJy1moSjZtkaZFxDR4iG5Ci3G5dMGgu--3-u-OspJuY3v52TuM 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNko02ZFN84  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYE7aorBqGo 

Gallery:

Documents:

pdfIstrumpa.pdf

Salto del pastor (Gran Canaria)

Name of sport (game): Salto del pastor
Name in native language: Salto del pastor
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Canary Islands, Gran Canaria

History:

The Salto del Pastor Canario, is an activity spread throughout the Canary Archipelago, and that has its origin in the pastoral world, like the fight of the club.
The Canarian shepherd had to adapt to the rugged island terrain for his commuting and his daily tasks, for that reason he helped himself with a long wooden stick, generally of the Canary Island Pine (Pinus canariensis) with a termination, in a metallic point; in the past, the end was sharpened or ended in an animal horn point, called a spit.

Description:

Depending on the area of the Island or the Archipelago, it was called in a certain way, in Gran Canaria it is called Garrote.
The length of this working tool was a function of the place where the grazing was carried out, being shorter in areas of the Coast and Midlands, than in the areas of Summit; in turn, the stick was also used as a combat weapon between different rival factions that fought to use the same space destined to feed the cattle.
El Garrote in Gran Canaria consists of the following different parts
El palo: it is the main instrument through which the shepherd slides, built in wood, although depending on the island different species are used. In the case of Gran Canaria, the normal thing is that it was made with Canary Pine wood (Pinus canariensis), although we can also find specimens made of barbuzano, almond, eucalyptus, etc.
El regatón: it is located at one end of the stick. It is made of iron or steel. The spike is nailed to the ground as a support point, to later slide on the stick. It is composed of a hollow part called a cube or cup, where the wood is introduced. The other part is solid in the shape of a cube or quadrangular pyramid that ends in a point.
Anilla: it is a metallic cover placed at the opposite end of the spout, either so that the wood does not open, or as an ornament. Leather and in some cases goat horns are also used. This element is not used in all the Islands.
There is no fixed measure for the club. The measurements usually range between two and four meters. The measurement depends on where the club is used, since at the top it is usually higher because the orography is more rugged, while in the mid-coast and coastal areas it is usually shorter since the relief is less.
The regatón oscillates between fourteen and thirty-eight centimeters, keeping a direct relationship with the length of the stick.
The puyas or puyones are part of the regatón, and are between five and twelve and a half centimeters, depending on the type of regatón.

pastor

Sources of information :

Books:

Noda Gómez, T., La elaboración de la lanza del salto del pastor, en El PAJAR. Cuaderno de Etnografía Canaria. Asociación Cultural "Día de las Tradiciones Canarias". Pinolere. II Época, nº 7, Agosto 2000, Anual, La Orotava, Tenerife

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpAj_WFOJng&fbclid=IwAR34gOo-XfoMzNrLQJ5Y6Za6vjzFAZhw3Q_9FMZBes5qYayYPFHyDbD6yVk 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVhfUEjoGV4&fbclid=IwAR26ndbFhvfHwxVPsQNG695a_w-RFO-Pe02nIT67wV5AfJZ5BG85HHELnCY 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P0t3uAyp5E&fbclid=IwAR38Hxdv2ppc-DC4Nu5vk901NwECFS0b9EvlMGG1trZowptdB9IHMorDBrM 

Savate (France)

Name of sport (game): Savate
Name in native language: Savate
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

France

History:

Savate France

Schwingen (Switzerland)

Name of sport (game): Schwingen
Name in native language: Schwingen
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Switzerland

Description:

Schwingen is played on wood sawdust, outdoor, during the summer festivals. It is a Free style wrestling with clothes.
Wrestlers wear short made of jute (strong canvass), with a belt, over their clothes. They start by gripping the belt on the back with the right hand, and with the left on the pant (caleson). Wrestling can finish with ground work. The goal is to put the opponent on a flat back.

Shinty (Scotland, Ireland)

Name of sport (game): Shinty
Name in native language: Shinty
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Scotland, Ireland

Sources of information :

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRbFToHkBk0

Stoolball (England)

Name of sport (game): Stoolball
Name in native language: Stoolball
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Stoolball is a bat and ball game now played mainly in the counties of Sussex, Kent and Surrey (England).

History:

It has its origins from at least the 15th century and some argue that cricket is derived from stoolball. It is game for both sexes: both adults and older children.
The origins of the game, and indeed its name, comes from placing milking stools on the ground and defending them with a hand. The stools were also suspended from trees.

base stoolball orig

The game we know as baseball may be relatively modern, but it has medieval roots. Many bat-and-ball games were played throughout the Middle Ages at religious festivals and events. One game, stool ball (sometimes possibly stow ball, or stob ball, or stump ball) dates back at least to the 14th century, and many historians believe that it is the common ancestor of both baseball and cricket. It was also the first bat-and-ball-type game known to have been played in North America (at Plymouth in 1621 at Christmastime, no less, much to the chagrin of Governor Bradford). In this game, the pitcher tries to hit a stool or stump with the ball, while the batter tries to defend the target using bare hands or a bat.
Stool ball was known for being played by both women and men together, and there are indications that it was a sort of springtime ritual, played at Eastertime. Some of the poetic mentions of the game imply an undertone of sexuality; "playing at stool ball" was used at least once as an euphemism.

The Ancient National Game of Stoolball A Match at Horsham Park The Gazetter 1878The Ancient National Game of Stoolball - A Match at Horsham Park', The Gazetter, 1878

In many stool ball games, tansy-cakes were the traditional winners' prize. Tansy-cakes were a traditional Eastertime food, so this is another connection of stool ball to Easter celebrations.
Unfortunately, no one knows exactly what the rules of the period versions of stool ball were. Since it was a folk game, it was likely to have varying rules at various times and places. From post-period references to the game, we know that in some versions of the game, there was no bat, and bare hands were used instead. Other versions had no baserunning, just a single stool or stump base that the batter was expected to defend. But bats and running the bases were included in some versions, too.
(https://slumberland.org/sca/articles/stoolball.html)

In the following centuries the rules were formalised and the stools replaced with the wickets mounted on posts or stakes. There was a great revival during the First World War when the game was thought suitable for the recuperating wounded soldiers and even a match was placed at Lord's, the home of cricket, in 1917.
The game remained popular until the Second World War when social changes meant a decline in its popularity.

Edward Martin A game of Stoolball at West Tarring Sussex 1856
Edward Martin, A game of Stoolball at West Tarring, Sussex, 1856

Description:

Like cricket it has eleven players-a-side who play in much the same positions. The wickets are a square board of wood on top of a wooden post or stake. The batter defends the board with a bat shaped rather like an elongated table tennis bat and made of willow. The wickets are sixteen yards apart.

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The bowler, and this is what make the game so suitable for all, can only bowl underarm to try and to hit the wicket. The batsman meanwhile has to try and hit the ball and score runs by running between the wickets. There are eight balls an over.
The pitch is smaller than cricket - 90 yards diameter - and does not have to be level, which harks back to its earliest origins when in the 15th century there were complaints of the game being played in churchyards after Sunday service.

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Current status:

Practiced

Importance (for practitioners, communities etc.):

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Contacts:

Stoolball England
https://www.stoolball.org.uk/  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
tel.: +44 7708 197740
logo

Ditchling Stoolball Club
https://www.facebook.com/ditchlingstoolball/ 
Tel.: 07967383735
http://www.ditchlingstoolballclub.co.uk/ 
Ditchling Stoolball Club

West Kent Ladies Stoolball League
https://www.facebook.com/West-Kent-Ladies-Stoolball-League-787407521290700/ 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
West Kent Ladies Stoolball League

Worthing Ladies Stoolball Club
Tel: 01903 261806
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Worthing Ladies Stoolball Club

Fletching Stoolball Club
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Fb: https://www.facebook.com/Fletching-Stoolball-Club-142009162676382
Fletching Stoolball Club logo

Stedham Stoolball Club
Fb: https://www.facebook.com/stedham.stoolballclub.5

Sources of information :

Articles:
https://lordgreys.weebly.com/articles-and-features/stool-ball 
https://slumberland.org/sca/articles/stoolball.html 
https://protoball.org/Stoolball_Today_--_The_Rejuvenation_of_an_Ancient_Pastime 
https://www.mastersofgames.com/rules/stoolball-rules.htm 

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcbHImoLms0 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWjKYR3HIt4 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13kbcbjekBY 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekpXrfLJeG4 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITqskvM7HAw&feature=emb_logo 

Gallery:

Documents:

pdfDimensions_of_a_stoolball_pitch.pdf

pdfMelissa_Mantle_Coaching_Manual.pdf

pdfRules_of_stoolball_review_2008.pdf

Contact

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Fundacja IRSiE

30/63, Świętokrzyska street
Warsaw, 00-116

traditionalsports@sportinstytut.pl

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