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).[1] 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,[2] date from the 12th century.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] 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,[6] 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.[7]

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.[8]

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.

Mobfooty
An illustration of so-called "mob football", a variety of medieval football.

History

The earliest account of ball games being played in post-classical Europe comes from the 9th-century Historia Brittonum, attributed to the monk Nennius. The text, written in Wales, mentions a group of boys "playing at ball" (pilae ludus).[9]

The earliest reference from France which provides evidence of the playing of ball games (presumably La soule) comes in 1147. This refers to the handing over of "seven balloons of greatest dimension". An early description of ball games that are likely to be football in England was given by William FitzStephen (c. 1174 – 1183). He described the activities of London youths during the annual festival of Shrove Tuesday:

After lunch, all the youth of the city go out into the fields to take part in a ball game. The students of each school have their own ball; the workers from each city craft are also carrying their balls. Older citizens, fathers, and wealthy citizens come on horseback to watch their juniors competing, and to relive their own youth vicariously: you can see their inner passions aroused as they watch the action and get caught up in the fun being had by the carefree adolescents.[10]

The earliest confirmation that such ball games in England involved kicking comes from a verse about Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln. This was probably written in the thirteenth century, being recorded by Matthew Paris, although the precise date is not known: "Four and twenty bonny boys, were playing at the ball.. he kicked the ball with his right foot".

In about 1200 "ball" is mentioned as one of the games played by King Arthur's knights in "Brut", written by Layamon, an English poet from Worcestershire.[1] This is the earliest reference to the English language "ball". Layamon states: "some drive balls (balles) far over the fields". Records from 1280 report on a game at Ulgham, near Ashington in Northumberland, in which a player was killed as a result of running against an opposing player's dagger. This account is noteworthy because it is the earliest reference to an English ball game that definitely involved kicking; this suggests that kicking was involved in even earlier ball games in England. In Cornwall in 1283 plea rolls No. 111. mention a man named Roger who was accused of striking a fellow player in a game of soule with a stone, a blow which proved fatal.[11]

14th century

The earliest reference to ball games being played by university students comes in 1303 when "Thomas of Salisbury, a student of Oxford University, found his brother Adam dead, and it was alleged that he was killed by Irish students, whilst playing the ball in the High Street towards Eastgate".[8]

In 1314, comes the earliest reference to a game called football when Nicholas de Farndone, Lord Mayor of the City of London issued a decree on behalf of King Edward II banning football. It was written in the French used by the English upper classes at the time. A translation reads: "[f]orasmuch as there is great noise in the city caused by hustling over large foot balls [rageries de grosses pelotes de pee] in the fields of the public from which many evils might arise which God forbid: we command and forbid on behalf of the king, on pain of imprisonment, such game to be used in the city in the future."

Another early account of kicking ball games from England comes in a 1321 dispensation, granted by Pope John XXII to William de Spalding of Shouldham: "To William de Spalding, canon of Scoldham of the order of Sempringham. During the game at ball as he kicked the ball, a lay friend of his, also called William, ran against him and wounded himself on a sheathed knife carried by the canon, so severely that he died within six days. Dispensation is granted, as no blame is attached to William de Spalding, who, feeling deeply the death of his friend, and fearing what might be said by his enemies, has applied to the pope."

Banning of ball games began in France in 1331 by Philip VI, presumably the ball game known as La soule.

Youths playing ball Gloucester Cathedral
Youths playing ball depicted on a misericord at Gloucester Cathedral.

In the mid-fourteenth century a misericord at Gloucester cathedral, England shows two young men playing a ball game. It looks as though they are using their hands for the game; however, kicking certainly cannot be excluded. It is notable for the fact that most other medieval images of ball games in England show large balls. This picture clearly shows that small balls were also used.

King Edward III of England also issued such a declaration, in 1363: "[m]oreover we ordain that you prohibit under penalty of imprisonment all and sundry from such stone, wood and iron throwing; handball, football, or hockey; coursing and cock-fighting, or other such idle games". It is noteworthy that at this time football was already being differentiated in England from handball, which suggests the evolution of basic rules. Between 1314 and 1667, football was officially banned in England alone by more than 30 royal and local laws. (See the article Attempts to ban football games for more details.)

Likewise Geoffrey Chaucer offered an allusion to the manner in which contemporary ball games may have been played in fourteenth-century England. In the Canterbury Tales (written some time after 1380) he uses the following line: "rolleth under foot as doth a ball".[12]

English Theologian John Wycliffe (1320–1384) referred to football in one of his sermons: "and now þei clouten þer shone wiþ censuris, as who shulde chulle a foot-balle"[13] It may be the earliest use of the word football in English.

15th century

That football was known at the turn of the century in Western England comes from about 1400 when the West Midland Laud Troy War Book states in English: "Hedes reled aboute overal As men playe at the fote-ball"[1]

Two references to football games come from Sussex in 1403 and 1404 at Selmeston and Chidham as part of baptisms. On each occasion one of the players broke his leg[14]

King Henry IV of England provides the first documented use of the English word "football" when in 1409 he issued a proclamation forbidding the levying of money for "foteball".[1][15]

In 1409 on 4 March eight men were compelled to give a bond of £20 to the London city chamberlain for their good behaviour towards "the kind and good men of the mystery of Cordwainers" undertaking not to collect money for a football (pro pila pedali).

In 1410 King Henry IV of England found it necessary to impose a fine of 20S on mayors and bailiffs in towns where misdemeanours such as football occurred. This confirms that football was not confined to London.[14]

The Accounts of the Worshipful Company of Brewers between 1421 and 1423 concerning the hiring out of their hall include reference to "by the "footeballepleyers" twice... 20 pence" listed in English under the title "crafts and fraternities".[1] This reference suggests that bans against football were unsuccessful and the listing of football players as a "fraternity" is the earliest allusion to what might be considered a football club.

The earliest reference to football or kicking ball games in Scotland was in 1424 when King James I of Scotland also attempted to ban the playing of "fute-ball".

In 1425 the prior of Bicester, England, made a payment on St Katherine's day "to sundry gifts to football players (ludentibus ad pilam pedalem)" of 4 denarii. It is noteworthy that at this time the prior was willing to give his patronage to the game despite its being outlawed.[8]

In about 1430 Thomas Lydgate refers to the form of football played in East Anglia known as Camp Ball: "Bolseryd out of length and bread, lyck a large campynge balle"[16]

In 1440 the game of Camp Ball was confirmed to be a form of football when the first ever English-Latin dictionary, Promptorium parvulorum offers the following definition of camp ball: "Campan, or playar at foott balle, pediluson; campyon, or champion".[17]

In 1472 the rector of Swaffham, Norfolk bequeathed a field adjoining the church yard for use as a "camping-close" or "camping-pightel" specifically for the playing of the East Anglian version of football known as Camp Ball.[18]

In 1486 comes the earliest description of "a football", in the sense of a ball rather than a game.[19] This reference is in Dame Juliana Berners' Book of St Albans. It states: "a certain rounde instrument to play with ...it is an instrument for the foote and then it is calde in Latyn 'pila pedalis', a fotebal."[1] It is noteworthy that it was considered socially acceptable for a football to be included in medieval English Heraldry.

There is an account from 11 April 1497 of a sum of money "giffen [given] to Jame Dog [James Doig] to b[u]y fut ballis to the King".[1]. It is not known if he himself played with them.

The earliest and perhaps most important description of a football game comes from the end of the 15th century in a Latin account of a football game with features of modern soccer. It was played at Cawston, Nottinghamshire, England. It is included in a manuscript collection of the miracles of King Henry VI of England. Although the precise date is uncertain it certainly comes from between 1481 and 1500. This is the first account of an exclusively "kicking game" and the first description of dribbling: "[t]he game at which they had met for common recreation is called by some the foot-ball game. It is one in which young men, in country sport, propel a huge ball not by throwing it into the air but by striking it and rolling it along the ground, and that not with their hands but with their feet... kicking in opposite directions" The chronicler gives the earliest reference to a football field, stating that: "[t]he boundaries have been marked and the game had started.[1] Nevertheless the game was still rough, as the account confirms: "a game, I say, abominable enough . . . and rarely ending but with some loss, accident, or disadvantage of the players themselves."

Medieval sport had no referee.[20]

16th century

In 1510 comes the next description of early football by Alexander Barclay, a resident of the South East of England:

They get the bladder and blowe it great and thin, with many beanes and peason put within, It ratleth, shineth and soundeth clere and fayre, While it is throwen and caste up in the eyre, Eche one contendeth and hath a great delite, with foote and hande the bladder for to smite, if it fall to the ground they lifte it up again... Overcometh the winter with driving the foote-ball.

The first record of a pair of football boots occurs when Henry VIII of England ordered a pair from the Great Wardrobe in 1526. The royal shopping list for footwear states: "45 velvet pairs and 1 leather pair for football".[21] Unfortunately these are no longer in existence. It is not known for certain whether the king himself played the game, but if so this is noteworthy as his son Edward VI later banned the game in 1548 it because it incited riots.

The reputation of football as a violent game persists throughout most accounts from 16th-century England. In 1531, Sir Thomas Elyot noted in his Boke named The Governour the dangers of football, as well as the benefits of archery ("shooting"):

Some men wolde say, that in mediocritie, whiche I haue so moche praised in shootynge, why shulde nat boulynge, claisshe, pynnes, and koytyng be as moche commended? Verily as for two the laste, be to be utterly abiected of al noble men, in like wise foote balle, wherin is nothinge but beastly furie and extreme violence; wherof procedeth hurte, and consequently rancour and malice do remaine with them that be wounded; wherfore it is to be put in perpetuall silence. In class she is emploied to litle strength; in boulyng oftentimes to moche; wherby the sinewes be to moche strayned, and the vaines to moche chafed. Wherof often tymes is sene to ensue ache, or the decreas of strength or agilitie in the armes: where, in shotyng, if the shooter use the strength of his bowe within his owne tiller, he shal neuer be therwith grieued or made more feble.

Although many sixteenth-century references to football are disapproving or dwell upon their dangers there are two notable departures from this view. First, Sir Thomas Elyot (although previously a critic of the game) advocates "footeball" as part of what he calls vehement exercise in his Castell of Helth published in 1534.[22] Secondly English headmaster Richard Mulcaster provides in his 1581 publication the earliest evidence of organised, refereed football for small teams playing in formation.

The first reference to football in Ireland occurs in the Statute of Galway of 1527, which allowed the playing of football and archery but banned " 'hokie' — the hurling of a little ball with sticks or staves" as well as other sports. (The earliest recorded football match in Ireland was one between Louth and Meath, at Slane, in 1712.)

The oldest surviving ball that might have been used for football games dates to about 1540 and comes from Scotland. It is made from leather and a pig's bladder. It was discovered in 1981 in the roof structure of the Queen's Chamber, Stirling Castle. Whilst other uses for the ball, such as pallone, have been suggested, most notably by the National Museum of Scotland, due to its size (diameter 14–16 cm[23]), staff at the Stirling Smith Museum and researchers at the Scottish Football Museum have attributed its use to football, citing the description of the ball used in the Carlisle Castle game of 1568.[24][25]

The violence of early football in Scotland is made clear in this sixteenth-century poem on the "beauties of football":

Bruised muscles and broken bones
Discordant strife and futile blows
Lamed in old age, then cripled withal
These are the beauties of football

— Anonymous, translated from old Scots

The earliest specific reference to football (pila pedalis) at a university comes in 1555 when it was outlawed at St John's College, Oxford. Similar decrees followed shortly after at other Oxford Colleges and at Cambridge University.

Another reference occurred in 1555, when Antonio Scaino published his treatise Del Giuoco della Palla (On the Game of the Ball). It was mostly concerned with a medieval predecessor of tennis, but near the end, Scaino included a chapter titled, "Del Giuoco del Calcio" ("On the Game of Football"), for comparison. According to Scaino, the game was popular with students. It could be played with any number of players. The only rules seem to be that weapons could not be brought onto the field, and the ball could not be thrown by hand. The goal was for each team to try to cross the ball across a marked space at the opposite end of the field. To start, the ball was placed in the middle of the field and kicked by a member of the team that was chosen by lots. Scaino remarks that its chief entertainment for the spectators was to see "the players fall in great disarray & upside down."[26]

In 1568 Sir Francis Knollys described a football game played at Carlisle Castle, Cumbria, England by the retinue of Mary Queen of Scots: `20 of her retinue played at football before her for two hours very strongly, nimbly, and skilfully". According to contemporary sources and detailed publications Mary's retinue was predominantly Scottish, made up primarily by nobles who had followed her south in the aftermath of the Battle of Langside.[27][28]

The first official rules of Calcio Fiorentino (Florentine kick) were recorded in 1580, although the game had been developing around Florence for some time before that date. The game involved teams of 27 kicking and carrying a ball in a giant sandpit set up in the Piazza Santa Croce in the centre of Florence, both teams aiming for their designated point on the perimeter of the sandpit.[29]

In 1586, men from a ship commanded by English explorer John Davis, went ashore to play a form of football with Inuit (Eskimo) people in Greenland.[30]

17th century

Calcio fiorentino 1688
Illustration of a game of Calcio Fiorentino from 1688

In Wales, the game of cnapan was described at length by George Owen of Henllys, an eccentric historian of Pembrokeshire, in 1603:[31][32]

"This game... is thought to be of great antiquity and is as followeth. The ancient Britons being naturally a warlike nation did no doubt for the exercise of their youth in time of peace and to avoid idleness devise games of activity where each man might show his natural prowess and agility...... About one or two of the clock afternoon begins the play, in this sort, after a cry made both parties draw to into some plain, all first stripped bare saving a light pair of breeches, bare-headed, bare-bodied, bare legs and feet....The foot company thus meeting, there is a round ball prepared of a reasonable quantity so as a man may hold it in his hand and no more, this ball is of some massy wood as box, yew, crab or holly tree and should be boiled in tallow for m make it slippery and hard to hold. This ball is called cnapan and is by one of the company hurling bolt upright into the air, and at the fall he that catches it hurls it towards the country he plays for, for goal or appointed place there is none neither needs any, for the play is not given over until the cnapan be so far carried that there is no hope to return it back that night, for the carrying of it a mile or two miles from the first place is no losing of the honour so it be still followed by the company and the play still maintained, it is oftentimes seen the chase to follow two miles and more..."

The earliest account of a ball game that involves passing of the ball comes from Richard Carew's 1602 account of Cornish Hurling which states "Then must he cast the ball (named Dealing) to some one of his fellowes".[33] Carew also offers the earliest description of a goal (they pitch two bushes in the ground, some eight or ten foote asunder; and directly against them, ten or twelue score off, other twayne in like distance, which they terme their Goales") and of goal keepers ("There is assigned for their gard, a couple of their best stopping Hurlers").

The first direct reference to scoring a goal is in John Day's play The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (performed circa 1600; published 1659): "I'll play a gole at camp-ball" (an extremely violent variety of football, which was popular in East Anglia).[34] Similarly in a poem in 1613, Michael Drayton refers to "when the Ball to throw, And drive it to the Gole, in squadrons forth they goe". In 1615 James I of England visited Wiltshire and the villagers "entertained his Majesty with a foot-ball match"[35]

Oliver Cromwell who left Cambridge University in 1617 was described by James Heath as "one of the chief matchmakers and players of football" during his time at the university.[36]

In 1623 Edmund Waller refers in one of his poems to "football" and alludes to teamwork and passing the ball: "They ply their feet, and still the restless ball, Toss'd to and fro, is urged by them all".[37] In 1650 Richard Baxer gives an interesting description of football in his book Everlasting Rest: "Alas, that I must stand by and see the Church, and Cause of Christ, like a Football in the midst of a crowd of Boys, tost about in contention from one to another.... and may drive it before him. ... But to be spurned about in the dirt, till they have driven it on to the goal of their private interests".[8] This is noteworthy as it confirms that passing of the ball from one player to another was part of football games.

The first study of football as part of early sports is given in Francis Willughby's Book of Games, written in about 1660. This account is particularly noteworthy as he refers to football by its correct name in English and is the first to describe the following: modern goals and a pitch ("a close that has a gate at either end. The gates are called Goals"), tactics ("leaving some of their best players to guard the goal"), scoring ("they that can strike the ball through their opponents' goal first win") and the way teams were selected ("the players being equally divided according to their strength and nimbleness"). He is the first to describe a law of football: "They often break one another's shins when two meet and strike both together against the ball, and therefore there is a law that they must not strike higher than the ball". His account of the ball itself is also informative: "They blow a strong bladder and tie the neck of it as fast as they can, and then put it into the skin of a bull's cod and sew it fast in". He adds: "The harder the ball is blown, the better it flies. They used to put quicksilver into it sometimes to keep it from lying still". His book includes the first (basic) diagram illustrating a football pitch.

Present day games

Shrovetide Football Kingston upon Thames 1865
Shrove Tuesday Football in Kingston upon Thames (1865)

England

Scotland

In Scotland the Ba' game ("Ball Game") can be found at:

Europe

Outside Europe

Extinct medieval ball games

  • United Kingdom
    • Chester-le-Street, had a game played between the Upstreeters and Downstreeters that was played until 1932
    • Dorking in Surrey
    • East Anglia: Camp ball was a popular sport in the 15th century.
    • Newton Ferrers in Devon
    • Kingston upon Thames, Twickenham, Bushey and Hampton Wick, all near London. "The custom was to carry a foot-ball from door to door and beg money:—at about 12 o'clock the ball was turned loose, and those who could would kick it. In the town of Kingston, all the shops are purposely kept shut upon that day, there were several balls in the town, and of course several parties. The game would last about four hours, when the parties retire to the public-houses, and spend the money they had collected on refreshments."The Every-Day Book
    • Teddington: "it was conducted with such animation that careful house-holders had to protect their windows with hurdles and bushes."The Chambers' Book of Days 9 February
    • Torrington in Devon had Out-Hurling. "Once played on Trinity Monday, The sport of 'Out-hurling' was included in the 1922 Great Torrington Revel' Day. The publication Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries 1922, volume 12, carried an account of the game, and noted that it had previously been a regular sport, and involved a small ball which was thrown 'over-hand', and a pitch approximately half a mile long (adjoining a brook)."Folklore, Culture, Customs and Language of Devon
    • In Wales a game known as Cnapan was once popular, notably at Llanwenog in Ceredigion, and Pwlldu in Pembrokeshire
  • Ireland

Pre-medieval games

  • Neolithic Britain & Ireland.
    • Carved Stone Balls found at various sites in Scotland, northern England and north eastern Ireland.[38] Spirals and rings of concentric circles carved on the balls can be found on standing stones and megalithic structures of the same period.[39] Sites such as Maughanby Circle and Newgrange were designed to monitor the movements of the sun with special emphasis on the winter solstice. The connection with megalithic art infers these carved stone balls had significant cultural importance to the pre-Celtic people who made them. They thought in a symbolic way and displayed ceremonial behaviour we may look upon today as religious. No written records exist for the Neolithic people of Britain and Ireland. From reading the archaeology it has not been possible to determine whether these peoples understood the concept of a ball game. However, as playing ball games feature in later religious festivities including Christmastide which coincides with Yuletide, the winter solstice and the Pagan rebirth of the sun the possibility cannot be ruled out.[40]
  • Ancient Greece
  • Ancient Rome
  • Roman Empire

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Magoun, Francis Peabody (1929). "Football in Medieval England and Middle-English literature." The American Historical Review, vol 35, No. 1.
  2. ^ Ruff, Julius (2001). Violence in Early Modern Europe 1500–1800. Cambridge University Press. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-521-59894-1.
  3. ^ Jusserand, Jean-Jules. (1901). Le sport et les jeux d'exercice dans l'ancienne France. Retrieved 11 January 2008, from http://agora.qc.ca/reftext.nsf/Documents/Football--Le_sport_et_les_jeux_dexercice_dans_lancienne_France__La_soule_par_Jean-Jules_Jusserand ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  4. ^ "History of Football – Britain, the home of Football". FIFA. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  5. ^ http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1835/50/pdfs/ukpga_18350050_en.pdf
  6. ^ Spooner, Andrew (22 January 2006). "Take Me Out To The Ball Game". The Independent. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  7. ^ "The history of Royal Ashbourne Shrovetide Football". BBC. 24 December 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d Marples, Morris (1954). A History of Football, Secker and Warburg, London
  9. ^ Historia Brittonum, ch. 41.
  10. ^ "Florilegium urbanum - Introduction - FitzStephen's Description of London".
  11. ^ Medieval Cornwall by L. E. Elliot-Binns.
  12. ^ https://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext00/cbtls12.txt
  13. ^ Sermon XIX // Select English Works of John Wyclif. Edited by Thomas Arnold. – Vol. II. – Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1871. – 423 pp. - P. 280.
  14. ^ a b Marples, Morris (1954). A History of Football, Secker and Warburg, London, p36
  15. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary".
  16. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 2007-04-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "Sports and Pastimes of the People of England: II. Rural Exercises Generally Practised: Chapter III".
  18. ^ Marples, Morris (1954). A History of Football, Secker and Warburg, London, p37
  19. ^ "football" at EtymOnline.com
  20. ^ Olmert, Michael (1996). Milton's Teeth and Ovid's Umbrella: Curiouser & Curiouser Adventures in History, p.85. Simon & Schuster, New York. ISBN 0-684-80164-7.
  21. ^ "Who's the fat bloke in the number eight shirt?" The Guardian Accessed 2010–06–13
  22. ^ Marples, Morris (1954). A History of Football, Secker and Warburg, London, p66
  23. ^ VisitScotland official website Archived 12 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ Inglis Simon; A Load of Old Balls, English Heritage, 2005, P20.
  26. ^ Scaino, Antonio. Trattato del Giuoco della Palla. Trans. P. A. Negretti. London: Raquetier Productions Ltd., 1984.
  27. ^ Letter written by Sir Francis Knollys to Secretary Cecil, on 2 June 1568, and published in Anderson, James; Collections Relating to the History of Mary Queen of Scotland, Vol IV, Part I. London, 1728. Pp62-63.
  28. ^ Keith, Rev Robert; History of the affairs of church and state in Scotland from the beginning of the reformation to the year 1568, Vol 2, Edinburgh, 1844. P827.
  29. ^ Halpern, J. Balls and Blood, Sports Illustrated. Vol 109, No. 4: August 4, 2008, p. 42.
  30. ^ Richard Hakluyt, Voyages in Search of The North-West Passage Archived 12 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine, University of Adelaide, December 29, 2003
  31. ^ Jarvie, Grant (1999). Sport in the making of Celtic cultures. Sport and nation. London: Leicester University Press. pp. 58 and 73. ISBN 0-7185-0129-2. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  32. ^ Collins, Tony; Martin, John; Vamplew, Wray (2005). Encyclopedia of traditional British rural sports. Sports reference. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge. pp. 66–67. ISBN 0-415-35224-X. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  33. ^ "Richard Carew - The Survey of Cornwall Page 63".
  34. ^ "Sports and Pastimes of the People of England: II. Rural Exercises Generally Practised: Chapter III".
  35. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 April 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2007.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  36. ^ "Oliver Cromwell - Quotes about Oliver Cromwell".
  37. ^ https://www.gutenberg.org/files/12322/12322-8.txt
  38. ^ "Archaeology Data Service: myADS" (PDF).
  39. ^ "Archaeology Data Service: myADS" (PDF).
  40. ^ FIFA.com. "History of Football - Britain, the home of Football - FIFA.com".
1869 New Jersey vs. Rutgers football game

The 1869 New Jersey vs. Rutgers football game occurred between the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) and Rutgers College played on November 6, 1869. The rules governing play were based on the London Football Association's 1863 rules that disallowed carrying or throwing the ball. For spectators, therefore, the game more closely resembled soccer than gridiron football. Because gridiron football developed from the rules of association football and rugby football, many also consider the game played on November 6 to be the first gridiron game and the first collegiate football game.Rutgers won the game 6–4.

Atherstone Ball Game

The Atherstone Ball Game is a "Medieval football" game played annually on Shrove Tuesday in the English town of Atherstone, Warwickshire. The game honors a match played between Leicestershire and Warwickshire in 1199, when teams used a bag of gold as a ball, and which was won by Warwickshire. At one time similar events were held in many towns throughout England, but Atherstone's is now one of at least three such games that are still played each year at Shrovetide, the others being the Royal Shrovetide Football match held in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, and The Alnwick Shrovetide Football Match in Alnwick, Northumberland.

The two-hour game is played in the town's main street, Long Street, and sees groups of players compete for possession of a giant ball that is specially made for the occasion. The match is usually started at 3.00pm on Shrove Tuesday by a celebrity guest, usually someone associated with the area, who is invited to throw the ball from an upstairs window of the Atherstone branch of Barclays Bank. The game itself has few rules, two being that play is restricted to Long Street and participants are not allowed to kill anyone. The winner is declared at 5.00pm, the title going to the person who has possession of the ball when the whistle sounds. Ahead of the game itself, sweets and pennies are thrown from Barclays Bank to local children. The ball is decorated with ribbons before the game, and prizes are also awarded to anyone who gets hold of one, as well as to the person who gets the golden penny, thrown into the crowd shortly before the game commences.Medieval football matches were more common before the 20th century, but their violent nature led the government of the time to pass the Highways Act 1895 to prevent it being played in the streets, although games continued to take place in Atherstone. Before the 1970s the game was played throughout the town, but was restricted to Long Street because the ball frequently ended up in the Coventry Canal. In 1986, a public meeting was held to determine the game's future after that year's event got out of hand. The outcome of this meeting was the formation of a Ball Game committee, which now has responsibility for organising the event.For several years the ball was made by the sportswear manufacturer Webb Ellis. Following the 2017 game Webb Ellis cancelled their contract to make the ball. As a consequence, Atherstone upholsterer, Pete Smith, was commissioned to produce the ball for the 2018 game. This marked the first occasion the ball had been made in the town since 1982. Smith based his design on an original cardboard template made by local craftsman Brian Brown.Coverage of the game was first heard on BBC radio in 1934, and footage of it was first shown on television in 1958.

Ba game

Ba game is a version of medieval football played in Scotland, primarily in Orkney and the Scottish Borders, around Christmas and New Year.

Ba is basically mob football, or village football, where two parts of a town have to get a ball to goals on their respective sides. The two sides are called the uppies or the downies, depending on which part of town they were born, or otherwise owe allegiance to. The ball must be manhandled, and play often takes the form of a moving scrum. The game moves through the town, at times going up alleyways, into yards and through streets. Shops and houses board up their windows to prevent damage. Unlike traditional mob football, people are generally not hurt from play.Ba games are played in:

Duns: The Ba' games forms part of the Duns Summer Festival. Goals are at opposite corners of the Market Square, by the White Swan hotel and the old Post Office. It is played between the married men and bachelors of the town.

Jedburgh: Play starts at the Mercat Cross in the centre of the town. The uppies, who first entered the town or were born south of the Mercat Cross, hail (score) the ba at the top of the Castlegate by throwing the ba over a fence at the Castle. The downies, who first entered the town or were born to the north, hail by rolling the ba over a drain (hailing used to be done by throwing the ba over a burn which has now been built over, the drain is directly above the burn) in the road at a street just off the bottom of High Street. The laddies' game starts at midday and the men's game at 2pm. Both games run until the last ba has been hailed. Most years this means that both games are running at the same time. There is no boundary as to where the game is played, with most of the play occurring in the town centre. This can prove awkward for shoppers, trying to avoid getting caught up in the game, and shopkeepers, who put shutters on their doors and windows.

Roxburgh

Kirkwall (Kirkwall Ba game)

Scone: In this version the men of the parish would assemble at the cross, with married men on one side and bachelors on the other. Play went on from 2 o'clock till sunset. Whoever got the ball in his hands would run with it till he was overtaken by one of the opposition. If he was not able to shake himself loose, he would throw the ball to another player unless it was wrestled away by one of the other side. No player was allowed to kick the ball. The object of the married men was to "hang" the ball: to put it three times into a small lid on the moor which was their "dool", or limit; while that of the bachelors was to "drown" or dip the ball in a deep place in the river, which was their limit. The party who achieved either of these objectives won the game; if neither won, the ball was cut into equal parts at sunset.

Workington

Camping (game)

Camping, also known as campyon, campan, or campball was a Medieval football game played in England. It appears to have been popular in Norfolk and other parts of East Anglia. Of all the traditional forms of football played in Europe, it appears to have been one of the toughest and most dangerous. This probably explains why it died out during the early 19th century.

The first ever English-Latin dictionary, Promptorium parvulorum (ca. 1440), offers the following definition of camp ball: "Campan, or playar at foott balle, pediluson; campyon, or champion" [1]

The game was originally played in the middle of town where the objective was to take the ball to the opposing side of town. It was later played in the country often in a special field set aside for the purpose known as a camping-place, camping close or camping pightle. A reminder of this old game can be found in Swaffham where, behind the market place lies the Camping land where the game was played. The custom in Medieval times was to play games after Church services and often camping fields were sited near the Church.

Although this game was rough, it was not without rules. In fact there is evidence from Moore (1823) that there were teams, goals, rules and even ball passing between team members (a development often attributed to much later):

Each party has two goals, ten or fifteen yards apart. The parties, ten or fifteen on a side, stand in line, facing each other at about ten yards’ distance midway between their goals and that of their adversaries. An indifferent spectator throws up a ball the size of a cricket ball midway between the confronted players and makes his escape. The rush is to catch the falling ball. He who first can catch or seize it speeds home, making his way through his opponents and aided by his own sidesmen. If caught and held or rather in danger of being held, for if caught with the ball in possession he loses a snotch, he throws the ball [he must in no case give it] to some less beleaguered friend more free and more in breath than himself, who if it be not arrested in its course or be jostled away by the eager and watchful adversaries, catches it; and he in like manner hastens homeward, in like manner pursued, annoyed and aided, winning the notch or snotch if he contrive to carry or throw it within the goals. At a loss and gain of a snotch a recommencement takes place. When the game is decided by snotches seven or nine are the game, and these if the parties be well matched take two or three hours to win. Sometimes a large football was used; the game was then called “kicking camp”; and if played with the shoes on “savage camp.”

Matches were often between rival parishes and stirred local passions. According to the historian Moore, writing in 1823, "amid shouting and roaring of the population the players were not disposed to treat one another gently." Some games even turned so nasty that there was serious injury and loss of life.

It was recorded that a match at Diss Common in the early nineteenth century was so brutal that nine men were killed or died of their injuries. While some people thought that camping was a combination of all athletic excellence others saw it as little more than a stand up fight. The contest for the ball 'never ends without black eyes and bloody noses, broken heads or shins, and some serious mischief,' a writer said in 1830 when camping popularity was at its height.

A modified game called "civil play" banned boxing as a component of the game. The game was played by passing the ball from hand to hand. To score, a player had to carry the ball through his own goal. Matches were usually for the best of seven or nine goals or snotches which normally took two or three hours, but a game of fourteen hours had been recorded in a county match.

A feature of so-called friendly matches were prizes for those who played well. These consisted of money, hats, gloves or shoes. Incidents of violence seem in the end to have turned public opinion against camping and it was gradually replaced by a gentler kicking game. This game had roused great scorn amongst camping enthusiasts when it first began to make its influence felt in the 1830s.

Chaos League

Chaos League is a fantasy-based sports management game developed by Cyanide Studios and published by Digital Jesters. It was released in Europe on 8 August 2004 and later in North America on 8 March 2005. The game is a spin on American football, the violence of the Medieval football with no rules and rugby-style of sports yet set in a fantasy world with teams being made up of fantasy races such as dwarves, elves, orcs and undead, along with the use of magic and other fictional elements during a "match". The tone of the game is satirical with comedic color commentary and adverts for fictional in-game universe products. An official expansion was later released in 2005 bundled with the original, titled Chaos League: Sudden Death that added new features and gameplay tweaks.

While not a direct video game adaption, Chaos League bears resemblance to Games Workshop's Blood Bowl tabletop board game, which is also about fantasy sports. Cyanide Studios would later develop the video game version of Blood Bowl in 2009, which itself utilizes certain features from Chaos League.

Cnapan

Cnapan (alternative spellings criapan, knapan or knappan) is a Welsh form of Celtic medieval football. The game originated in, and seems to have remained largely confined to, the western counties of Wales, especially Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. According to George Owen of Henllys, in his Description of Pembrokeshire (1603), cnapan had been "extremely popular in Pembrokeshire since greate antiquitie [sic]". Cnapan was one of the traditional ball games played to celebrate Shrovetide and Eastertide in the British Isles. These games were the forerunners of the codified football games first developed by Public Schools which led to the creation of Association football and rugby football in the 19th century. Cnapan continued to be played until the rising popularity of Rugby Union Football resulted in the game falling into decline.

College Football Hall of Fame

The College Football Hall of Fame is a hall of fame and interactive attraction devoted to college football. The National Football Foundation (NFF) founded the Hall in 1951 to immortalize the players and coaches of college football.

From 1995 to 2012, the Hall was located in South Bend, Indiana.

In August 2014, the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame opened in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The facility is a 94,256 square feet (8,756.7 m2) attraction located in the heart of Atlanta's sports, entertainment and tourism district, and is adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park.

Dribbling

In sports, dribbling is maneuvering a ball by one player while moving in a given direction, avoiding defenders' attempts to intercept the ball. A player can dribble with their legs (in association football, for example), hands (basketball and handball), stick (bandy, field hockey, and ice hockey) or swimming strokes (water polo). A successful dribble will bring the ball past defenders legally and create opportunities to score.

Football in Italy

Football (Italian: calcio, [ˈkaltʃo]) is the most popular sport in Italy. The Italian national football team is considered to be one of the best national teams in the world. They have won the FIFA World Cup four times (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006), trailing only Brazil (with 5), runners-up in two finals (1970, 1994) and reaching a third place (1990) and a fourth place (1978). They have also won one European Championship (1968), also appearing in two finals (2000, 2012), finished third at the Confederations Cup (2013), won one Olympic football tournament (1936) and two Central European International Cups (1927–30 and 1933–35).

Italy's top domestic league, the Serie A, is one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world and it is often depicted as the most tactical national football league. Italy's club sides have won 48 major European trophies, making them the second most successful nation in European football. Serie A hosts three of the world's most famous clubs as Juventus, Milan and Inter, all founding members of the G-14, a group which represented the largest and most prestigious European football clubs; Serie A was the only league to produce three founding members. Juventus, Milan and Inter, along with Roma, Fiorentina, Lazio and, historically, Parma but now Napoli are known as the Seven Sisters of Italian football. Italian managers are the most successful in European Football, especially in competitions such as the Champions League. More players have won the coveted Ballon d'Or award while playing at a Serie A club than any other league in the world.

Football in Sussex

Football in Sussex refers to the sport of association football in relation to its participation and history within Sussex, England. Football is one of the most popular sports in Sussex with over 500 football clubs and 38,000 players in the county.The game of football is first documented in Sussex in 1403 as medieval football. The modern game of football began with public schools. According to John Cairney, goalkeeping was first developed at Lancing College, which had originated its own code of football by 1856. The first goal in the FA Cup was scored by former Lancing College student Jarvis Kenrick in 1871. In the next decade, the Sussex FA was founded in 1882, with the Sussex Senior Cup beginning almost immediately in the 1882–83 season. Leagues began shortly afterwards, including the West Sussex Football League in 1895 and the East Sussex Football League in 1896. The Sussex County Football League was created in 1920.As winners of the Southern League in 1909–10, Brighton and Hove Albion played the winners of the Football League in the 1910 FA Charity Shield. Albion won the match and were dubbed 'Champions of England'. Brighton joined the Football League in 1920; it was not until almost a century later that Sussex gained a second team in the Football League when Crawley Town gained promotion in 2011. In 2017 Lewes became the world's first professional or semi-professional football club to pay women and men equally. In the same season Brighton & Hove Albion became Sussex's first full-time professional women's team and for the first time won promotion to the FA Women's Super League, the top tier of women's football.The largest football stadium in the county, Falmer Stadium has been used for to host men's friendly and women's international football matches, and is expected to be a host stadium for the UEFA Women's Euro 2021 competition.

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.

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).

Scoring the Hales

Scoring the Hales (also known as The Alnwick Shrovetide Football Match) is the name of a large scale shrovetide football match played yearly in Alnwick, Northumberland. Once a street contest, it has now moved to a field named The Pastures across the River Aln from Alnwick Castle.

The fixture between the parishes of St Michael and St Paul, first recorded in 1762, is one of the few surviving games of medieval football still being played. The game has only a few rules and involves large teams of roughly 150 persons on either side. The goals are decorated with greenery and stand about 400 yards apart. As well as the large teams, the tradition attracts hundreds of spectators.The original game started with the ball being sent over the barbican of the castle to the crowd assembled below. It was then kicked through the streets of the town. Kicking the ball through the town was discontinued in the 1820s and the game was moved to the pastures. Nowadays the game is proceeded by a piper-led procession from the castle to The Pastures, beginning with the ball being ceremonially thrown from the castle, a role traditionally undertaken by the Duke of Northumberland.The game is won by whichever team is first to score two "hales" or goals. After the game the ball is carried to the river and thrown in. Whoever manages to get it out at the far side of the river is allowed to keep the ball, but they have to swim the River Aln to get it.

The Street, Lawshall

The Street is a linear settlement in the civil parish of Lawshall in the Babergh district in the county of Suffolk, England. It extends from Lawshall Hall in the west to Donkey Lane in the east. The settlement includes Swanfield, east of the Swan Public House and the small residential development of Hall Mead which is opposite All Saints Church.

The Street is located between Harrow Green and Hanningfield Green and is just over one mile off the A134 between Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury.

Uppies and Downies

Uppies and Downies is a version of Medieval football, with roots in even earlier games, played in Workington, West Cumbria, England. The modern tradition began some time in the latter half of the 19th century, with the match played annually at Easter to raise money for local charities.

William Spalding

William Spalding may refer to:

William de Spalding (before 1300 – after 1321), accidentally killed a man whilst playing medieval football in 1321

William Spalding (MP) (before 1355 – after 1400), represented Southwark (UK Parliament constituency)

William Spalding (writer) (1809–1859), Scottish author and educator

Yubi lakpi

Yubi lakpi is a seven-a-side traditional football game played in Manipur, India, using a coconut, which has some notable similarities to rugby. Despite these similarities, the name is not related to the game of rugby or Rugby School in England, it is in fact of Meitei origin, and means literally "coconut snatching". Emma Levine, an English writer on little known Asian sports, speculates:

"Perhaps this was the root of modern rugby? Most Manipuris are quite adamant that the modern world 'stole' the idea from them and made it into rugby... this game, which has been around for centuries, is so similar to rugby, which evolved a great deal later, that it must be more than a coincidence."However, traditional football games can be found in many parts of the world, e.g. marn grook in Australia, cuju in China and calcio Fiorentino in Italy and Levine provides no documentary or material evidence of its antiquity.

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