La soule, later choule, is a traditional team sport that originated in Normandy and Picardy. The ball, called a soule, could be solid or hollow and made of either wood or leather. Leather balls would be filled with hay, bran, horse hair or moss. Sometimes the balls had woolen pompons.
It would appear that ball games such as la soule developed naturally as a pastime, if only tossing the ball around. Such a game would be played wherever crowds of people met, e.g., after church services on Sundays or on religious holidays. La soule was played chiefly on the Christian holidays of Easter, Christmas, or on occasion at weddings or the day of the patron saint of the parish. The play could be aggressive, sometimes violent. It involved getting a ball to the opponents’ goal, using hands, feet or sticks. It was not uncommon for participants to be injured, and broken limbs were often reported. The sport seems to have been a very important stress release for the common villagers.
The rules of la soule were relatively simple. Generally two teams competed, often two parishes. The aim of the game was either to bring the ball back to just in front of the team's parish church, with or without the use of sticks (the ball was usually made from a pig's bladder, covered with leather) or to deposit the ball in front of the opposing team's parish church, which was sometimes quite far and entailed going through fields, forests and over rivers and streams. Occasionally, but not always, there were posts. The game was started at the geographical border between the two parishes; it was also sometimes organised between teams of single versus married men. The size of the team could vary from 20 to 200 players. However, sometimes three parishes played in a single game. In Auray, a soule involved 16 parishes, possibly with more than 500 participants. Nothing was forbidden by the rules, and the game could last for several days, until the players were completely exhausted.
All the parishes' inhabitants came out to watch and encourage players. A large crowd surrounded the player that threw up the ball to begin the game.
Before its prohibition, the clergy and nobility also took part in the sport. Members of the clergy could take part or at least launch the ball once at the beginning. In Vieux-Viel, the soule was launched at the door of the castle, and was then taken to the cemetery by the priests and the officers of the parish. Finally, the soule could be placed with the presbytery or a vault. In Vitré, it was displayed in the church the day of Saint-Étienne. However, in spite of the importance of the play, nobles and members of the clergy gave up participation during the 18th century.
Traditional games seem not to have had any particular pitch or defined playing field. Soule was practised in meadows, woods, moors, and even ditches or ponds. The goal was to bring back the ball to a place indicated; the hearth of a house or any other place chosen by the players. In certain cases, it was even necessary to soak the soule in a spring or pool of water before placing it in ash. The play was thus only one immense scrimmage intersected with more or less keen frays. The ball could be made of leather, fabric, or wood, a pig bladder filled with hay, or even a wooden block.
Fixed playing grounds were not necessary because the game was played in a wide, variable area. However, the game's start was always in a fixed area; the town square, a cemetery, castle, or meadow. Rules were not always precise. The dates of play were set often early in the new year, before springtime. After this time many of the souleurs would be busy in the fields.
The last recorded games seem to date from between 1930 and 1945. One of the last recorded games was between the villages of Saint-Léger-aux-Bois and Tracy-le-Mont in the Oise department of Picardy which is situated 35 miles north of Paris.
There have been several attempts to revive the game in some form or other:
The 15th César Awards ceremony, presented by the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma, honoured the best French films of 1989 and took place on 4 March 1990 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. The ceremony was chaired by Kirk Douglas and hosted by Ève Ruggiéri. Too Beautiful for You won the award for Best Film.Alexander Khatuntsev
Alexander Khatuntsev (born 11 February 1985) is a Russian professional road bicycle racer who currently rides for UCI Professional Continental Team RusVelo. Khatuntsev has also rode for Unibet.com and Tinkoff Credit Systems.Attempts to ban football games
There have been many attempts to ban football, from the middle ages through to the modern day. The first such law was passed in England in 1314; it was followed by more than 30 in England alone between 1314 and 1667. Football faced armed opposition in the 18th Century when used as a cover for violent protest against the enclosure act. Women were banned from playing at English and Scottish Football League grounds in 1921, a ban that was only lifted in the 1970s. Female footballers still face similar problems in some parts of the world.Baseball Before We Knew It
Baseball Before We Knew It: A Search for the Roots of the Game is a 2005 book by David Block about the history of baseball. Block looks into the early history of baseball, the debates about baseballs beginnings, and presents new evidence. The book received the 2006 Seymour Medal from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).The account, first published in 1905, that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in 1839 was once widely promoted and widely believed. However, this belief was discredited almost immediately. Although the Doubleday myth was never taken seriously by historians, Block showed that the gospel that supplanted it was also deeply flawed. In this accounting, baseball was understood as the derivation of an English children's game, rounders, but America was allowed to retain patrimony over its national pastime through the assertion that it had been reinvented as a modern sport by the members of the New York Knickerbockers, who codified its rules for the first time in 1845. This idea, according to Block is wrong in almost every aspect. In the book, Block argues that baseball was not a product of rounders, and its essential form had already been established by the late 18th century.Block's new evidence in the matter includes the first known record of the term base-ball in the United States. It came in a 1791 ordinance in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, that banned ballplaying near the town's new meetinghouse. However, that was not the first appearance of "base-ball" in print. That distinction belongs to an English book, A Little Pretty Pocket-Book (1744). By 1796 the rules of this English game were well enough established to earn a mention in German scholar Johann Gutsmuths book on popular pastimes, that described "Englische Base-ball" involved a contest between two teams, in which "the batter has three attempts to hit the ball while at the home plate"; only one out was required to retire a side. The book also predates the rules laid out by the New York Knickerbockers by nearly fifty years. In the book, Block suggests that it was the English game of baseball that had arrived in the U.S. as part of "a sweeping tide of cultural migration" during the colonial period. Once on American soil, the game developed popular regional variations that included "town-ball", "round-ball" and the "New York game".English baseball was itself the product of a prolonged, nonlinear evolution. "Tut-ball" may have been its immediate predecessor. "Stool-ball", an earlier sport, may have been even more influential in the evolution of baseball, and is also a likely parent of cricket, which developed independently. Medieval texts also suggest that baseball's English antecedents may themselves have descended from Continental bat-and-ball games. An illustration in the French manuscript "The Romance of Alexander" (1344) depicts a group of monks and nuns engaged in a game, thought to be "la soule", that looks much like co-ed softball. Two other French games, théque and la balle empoisonée ("poisoned ball"), also bear similarities to early baseball. They could have migrated to England. In Block's words, the field is clear for the French to claim "parental rights over America's National Game."Block also notes in the book that American researchers during the past half-century "have made only minimal effort to document baseball's early history and for the most part have not been inclined to go looking to European sources for clues."Cornish hurling
Hurling or Hurling the Silver Ball (Cornish: Hurlian), is an outdoor team game played only in Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is played with a small silver ball. Hurling is not to be confused with the Irish game, also known as hurling. There are profound differences between the two sports.
Once played widely in Cornwall, the game has similarities to other traditional football or inter parish 'mob' games, but certain attributes make this version unique to Cornwall. It is considered by many to be Cornwall's national game along with Cornish wrestling. An old saying in the Cornish language goes "hyrlîan yw gen gwaré nyi", which translated into English means "hurling is our sport"In August, 1705, a fatality occurred during a hurling match at Camborne. The parish burials register contains the following entry 'William Trevarthen buried in the church. "Being disstroid to a hurling with Redruth men at the high dounes the 10th day of August". This is the only recorded death of a player during a hurling match.
Although the custom attracts fewer spectators, the annual hurling matches at St Columb Major have the same status in the Cornish calendar as the 'Obby 'Oss festival at Padstow and the Furry Dance at Helston in that all three are unique customs that have survived unchanged and have taken place annually since before records began.Cuju
Cuju or Ts'u-chü (蹴鞠, literally "kick ball") is the earliest form of football for which there is evidence according to FIFA, played in ancient China and also in Korea, Japan and Vietnam. It is a competitive game that involves kicking a ball through an opening into a net. The use of hands is not allowed. Invented in the Han Dynasty, it is first mentioned as an exercise in a Chinese military work from 3rd–2nd century BC.Goust
Goust is a hamlet in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department of southwestern France. At some point in the 19th century, folklore began to describe it as an independent Republic. Noted for its centenarians, one pensioner was reported to have reached the age of 123, although this is unconfirmed.Harpastum
Harpastum, also known as harpustum, was a form of ball game played in the Roman Empire. The Romans also referred to it as the small ball game. The ball used was small (not as large as a follis, paganica, or football-sized ball) and hard, probably about the size and solidity of a softball. The word harpastum is the latinisation of the Greek ἁρπαστόν (harpaston), the neuter of ἁρπαστός (harpastos), "carried away", from the verb ἁρπάζω (harpazo), "to seize, to snatch".This game was apparently a romanized version of a Greek game called phaininda (Greek: φαινίνδα), or of another Greek game called ἐπίσκυρος (episkyros). It involved considerable speed, agility and physical exertion.
Little is known about the exact rules of the game, but sources indicate the game was a violent one with players often ending up on the ground. In Greece, a spectator (of the Greek form of the game) once had his leg broken when he got caught in the middle of play.Knattleikr
Knattleikr (English: 'ball-game') was an ancient ball game played by the Vikings of Iceland. The term is also applied to a modern sport created by re-enactors, and now played at a few United States institutions as a college club sport, based on what is known about the historical game.Kī-o-rahi
Kī-o-rahi is a ball sport played in New Zealand with a small round ball called a 'kī'. It is a fast-paced game incorporating skills similar to rugby union, netball and touch. Two teams of seven players play on a circular field divided into zones, and score points by touching the 'pou' (boundary markers) and hitting a central 'tupu' or target. The game is played with varying rules (e.g. number of people, size of field, tag ripping rules etc.) depending on the geographic area it is played in. A process called Tatu, before the game, determines which rules the two teams will use.
In 2005 kī-o-rahi was chosen to represent New Zealand by global fast-food chain McDonald's as part of its 'Passport to Play' programme to teach physical play activities in 31,000 American schools.
The programme will give instruction in 15 ethnic games to seven million primary school children.The New Zealand kī-o-rahi representative organisation, Kī-o-Rahi Akotanga Iho, formed with men's and women's national teams, completed a 14 match tour of Europe in September and October 2010. The men's team included 22-test All Black veteran Wayne Shelford who led the team to a 57–10 test win against Kī-o-Rahi Dieppe Organisation, the French Kī-o-Rahi federation.
Shelford's kī-o-rahi test jersey made him the first kī-o-rahi/rugby double international for NZ. The women's team coached by Andrea Cameron (Head of PE at Tikipunga High School) also won by 33–0. These were the first historic test matches between NZ and France.Lay Abbey
A Lay Abbey (Fr: Abbaye laïque) was a basic component of the Middle Ages in the western foothills of the northern Pyrenees. The adjective lay indicated that the property did not belong to a religious order. It is possible to identify a hundred lay abbeys, some only by conjecture due to the disappearance of the texts.List of sports
The following is a list of sports/games, divided by category.
According to the World Sports Encyclopedia (2003), there are 8,000 indigenous sports and sporting games.List of types of football
This is a list of various types of football, most variations found as gridiron, rugby, association football.Medieval football
"Medieval football" is a modern term used for a wide variety of localised football games which were invented and played in Europe during the Middle Ages. Alternative names include folk football, mob football and Shrovetide football. These games may be regarded as the ancestors of modern codes of football, and by comparison with later forms of football, the medieval matches were chaotic and had few rules.
The Middle Ages saw a rise in popularity of games played annually at Shrovetide throughout Europe, particularly in Great Britain. The games played in England at this time may have arrived with the Roman occupation but there is little evidence to indicate this. Certainly the Romans played ball games, in particular Harpastum. There is also one reference to ball games being played in southern Britain prior to the Norman Conquest. In the ninth century Nennius's Historia Britonum tells that a group of boys were playing at ball (pilae ludus). The origin of this account is either Southern England or Wales. References to a ball game played in northern France known as La Soule or Choule, in which the ball was propelled by hands, feet, and sticks, date from the 12th century.These archaic forms of football, typically classified as mob football, would be played between neighbouring towns and villages, involving an unlimited number of players on opposing teams, who would clash in a heaving mass of people struggling to drag an inflated pig's bladder by any means possible to markers at each end of a town. By some accounts, in some such events any means could be used to move the ball towards the goal, as long as it did not lead to manslaughter or murder. Sometimes instead of markers, the teams would attempt to kick the bladder into the balcony of the opponents' church. A legend that these games in England evolved from a more ancient and bloody ritual of kicking the "Dane's head" is unlikely to be true. These antiquated games went into sharp decline in the 19th century when the Highway Act 1835 was passed banning the playing of football on public highways. In spite of this, games continued to be played in some parts of the United Kingdom and still survive in a number of towns, notably the Ba game played at Christmas and New Year at Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands Scotland, Uppies and Downies over Easter at Workington in Cumbria, and the Royal Shrovetide Football Match on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday at Ashbourne in Derbyshire, England.Few images of medieval football survive. One engraving from the early fourteenth century at Gloucester Cathedral, England, clearly shows two young men running vigorously towards each other with a ball in mid-air between them. There is a hint that the players may be using their hands to strike the ball. A second medieval image in the British Museum, London clearly shows a group of men with a large ball on the ground. The ball clearly has a seam where leather has been sewn together. It is unclear exactly what is happening in this set of three images, although the last image appears to show a man with a broken arm. It is likely that this image highlights the dangers of some medieval football games.Most of the very early references to the game speak simply of "ball play" or "playing at ball". This reinforces the idea that the games played at the time did not necessarily involve a ball being kicked.Pig bladder
Pig bladder (also pig's bladder) is the urinary bladder of a domestic pig, similar to the human urinary bladder. Today, this hollow organ has various applications in medicine, and in traditional cuisines and customs. Historically, the pig bladder had several additional uses, all based on its properties as a lightweight, stretchable container that could be filled and tied off.Royal Shrovetide Football
The Royal Shrovetide Football Match is a "Medieval football" game played annually on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday in the town of Ashbourne in Derbyshire, England. Shrovetide ball games have been played in England since at least the 12th century from the reign of Henry II (1154–89). The Ashbourne game also known as "hugball" has been played from at least c.1667 although the exact origins of the game are unknown due to a fire at the Royal Shrovetide Committee office in the 1890s which destroyed the earliest records. One of the most popular origin theories suggests the macabre notion that the 'ball' was originally a severed head tossed into the waiting crowd following an execution. Although this may have happened, it is more likely that games such as the Winchelsea Streete Game, reputedly played during the Hundred Years' War with France, were adaptations of an original ball game intended to show contempt for the enemy.One of the earliest references to football in the county of Derbyshire comes in a poem called "Burlesque upon the Great Frost" from 1683, written after the English Civil War by Charles Cotton, cousin to Aston Cockayne, Baronet of Ashbourne (1608–84):
Two towns, that long that war had ragedBeing at football now engagedFor honour, as both sides pretend,Left the brave trial to be endedTill the next thaw for they were frozenOn either part at least a dozen,With a good handsome space between 'emLike Rollerich stones, if you've seen 'emAnd could no more run, kick, or trip yeThan I can quaff off Aganippe.
Shrovetide football played between "Two towns" in Derby is often credited with being the source of the term "local derby". A more widely accepted origin theory is The Derby horse race. Whatever the origins the "local derby" is now a recognised term for a football game played between local rivals and a Derby is a horse race.
A previously unknown tentative link between Royal Shrovetide football and La soule played in Tricot, Picardy was established in 2012 by history and sociology of sport lecturer Laurent Fournier from the Universite de Nantes. Whilst undertaking a study of "folk football", he noticed that the Coat of arms of the Cockayne family (seated in Ashbourne from the 12th century) painted on a 1909 Shrovetide ball displayed in the window of the Ashbourne Telegraph office contained three cockerels in its heraldic design. He recognised this matched the emblem of Tricot (also carrying three cockerels) where La soule is played on the first Sunday of Lent and Easter Monday. He was welcomed to Ashbourne by the Royal Shrovetide Committee and was a guest at the Shrovetide luncheon. Research into Royal Shrovetide Football's lost history is ongoing (August 2012).Sébastien Duret
Sébastien Duret (born 3 September 1980 in Cholet) is a former French racing cyclist.Vitaliy Buts
Vitaliy Buts (born 24 November 1986 in Mykolaiv) is a Ukrainian road bicycle racer who rides for UCI Continental team Kyiv Capital Team. He has been riding since 1997 and turned professional in 2009 with the Lampre–NGC team.
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