Uppies and Downies

Uppies and Downies is a version of Medieval football, with roots in even earlier games,[1][2][3][4] 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.[5][6][7]

The game

The object of the game is to "hail the ball" (throw it up in the air three times) at the opposing team's goal. The Downies' goal is a capstan on the Prince of Wales' dock, while the Uppies' is the gates of Workington Hall Parklands.

Curwen Hall - geograph.org.uk - 571432
Curwen Hall.

There are no other ostensible rules of play and the game is primarily a rough and tumble scrum interspersed with break-away sprints by members of one team or the other, with some similarities to rugby. Some players from outside Workington take part, especially fellow West Cumbrians from Whitehaven and Maryport, resulting in about a thousand players on each team.[8]

The ball

Uppies and Downies balls
Uppies and Downies balls hailed in 1871 and 1950.

An Uppies and Downies ball is made from four pieces of cow leather. It is 21 inches (53 cm) in circumference and weighs about two and a half pounds (1.1 kg). Only three hand-made balls are produced every year and each is dated.

Prizes

The owner of Curwen Hall awards a sovereign to the player who hails the ball.

Socioeconomics

Uppies and Downies refer to the residents of the top (East) and bottom (West) of the town, which slopes down towards the sea. In the modern incarnation of the game, the Downies were originally residents of the marsh and quay, a working class area of the town demolished in the early 1980s and traditionally looked down at by the more affluent top of the town, where the local petty bourgeoisie lived.

Safety concerns

Due to its unpredictability, the game can spill over into the town centre. In the past, police have issued safety advice to visitors and local parents warning of getting caught up in the inevitable rough and physical encounter.[9]

Statues

A pair of coal-black iron-ore coloured figure statues created by Maryport sculptor Colin Telfer depict the Easter mass event; one stands outside Workington Hall, and the other at the town harbour.[10][11]

Threat from supermarket development

In 2009, proposed development plans to build a Tesco Extra store on the Cloffocks threatened the future of the event.[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ Hugh Hornby; Simon Inglis (2007). Uppies and Downies: The Extraordinary Football Games of Britain. English Heritage. ISBN 1-905624-64-6.
  2. ^ "The Uppies and Downies of England's Great Traditions". The Whitehaven News. 15 February 2008. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Football Extraordinary (Timaru Herald, Volume LXII, Issue 2977, 14 June 1899, Page 4)". National Library of New Zealand.
  4. ^ Thomas S. Henricks (1991). Disputed Pleasures: Sport and Society in Preindustrial England. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-27453-3.
  5. ^ Andy Byers (3 September 2009). "Don't View Uppies and Downies Through Rose Tinted Spectacles". Times & Star. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  6. ^ Safira Ali (2 May 2008). "Uppies and Downies raise £7,000 for RNLI". Times & Star. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  7. ^ P Cram (24 February 2006). "Uppies and Downies Worldwide". Times & Star. Archived from the original on 24 November 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Uppies & Downies" (PDF). Played in Britain.
  9. ^ "Police Issue Uppies & Downies Warning". Times & Star. 21 April 2006.
  10. ^ "Artist Captures Uppies and Downies". News and Star. 9 May 2008. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  11. ^ "Workington's Uppies and Downies Statues Will be Repaired". Times & Star. 20 April 2009.
  12. ^ Martin Wainwright; Helen Carter (11 January 2013). "Uppies beat downies – but Tesco plans threaten medieval sporting tradition". The Guardian.

External links

Cnapan Hotel

Cnapan, also known variously as Cnapan Country House or Cnapan Restaurant and Bed & Breakfast, is a Grade II listed hotel and restaurant in Newport, Pembrokeshire. It lies along the main road of the town, East Street, which is part of the A487 road, opposite The Golden Lion. It is regularly featured in The Good Hotel Guide and The Good Food Guide.

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.

Cumbria

Cumbria ( KUM-bree-ə) is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local government, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's county town is Carlisle, in the north of the county, and the only other major urban area is Barrow-in-Furness on the southwestern tip of the county.

The county of Cumbria consists of six districts (Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden, and South Lakeland) and in 2008 had a population of just under 500,000 people. Cumbria is one of the most sparsely populated counties in the United Kingdom, with 73.4 people per km2 (190/sq mi).

Cumbria is the third largest county in England by area, and is bounded to the north by the Scottish council areas of Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders, to the west by the Irish Sea, to the south by Lancashire, to the southeast by North Yorkshire, and to the east by County Durham and Northumberland.

Cumbria is predominantly rural and contains the Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered one of England's finest areas of natural beauty, serving as inspiration for artists, writers, and musicians. A large area of the southeast of the county is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park while the east of the county fringes the North Pennines AONB. Much of Cumbria is mountainous, and it contains every peak in England over 3,000 feet (910 m) above sea level, with Scafell Pike at 3,209 feet (978 m) being the highest point of England. An upland, coastal, and rural area, Cumbria's history is characterised by invasions, migration, and settlement, as well as battles and skirmishes between the English and the Scots. Notable historic sites in Cumbria include Carlisle Castle, Furness Abbey, Hardknott Roman Fort, Brough Castle and Hadrian's Wall (also a World Heritage Site).

Early history of American football

The early history of American football can be traced to early versions of rugby football and association football. Both games have their origin in varieties of football played in Britain in the mid–19th century, in which a football is kicked at a goal or run over a line, which in turn were based on the varieties of English public school football games.

American football resulted from several major divergences from association football and rugby football, most notably the rule changes instituted by Walter Camp, a Yale University and Hopkins School graduate considered to be the "father of gridiron football". Among these important changes were the introduction of the line of scrimmage, of down-and-distance rules and of the legalization of interference.In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, gameplay developments by college coaches such as Eddie Cochems, Amos Alonzo Stagg, Parke H. Davis, Knute Rockne, John Heisman, and Glenn "Pop" Warner helped take advantage of the newly introduced forward pass. The popularity of college football grew in the United States for the first half of the 20th century. Bowl games, a college football tradition, attracted a national audience for college teams. Boosted by fierce rivalries and colorful traditions, college football still holds widespread appeal in the United States.

The origin of professional football can be traced back to 1892, with William "Pudge" Heffelfinger's $500 contract to play in a game for the Allegheny Athletic Association against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. In 1920 the American Professional Football Association was formed. This league changed its name to the National Football League (NFL) two years later, and eventually became the major league of American football. Initially a sport of Midwestern industrial towns, professional football eventually became a national phenomenon.

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.

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.

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.

North East England

North East England is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It covers Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and the area of the former county of Cleveland in North Yorkshire. The region is home to three large conurbations: Teesside, Wearside, and Tyneside, the last of which is the largest of the three and the eighth most populous conurbation in the United Kingdom. There are three cities in the region: Newcastle upon Tyne, the largest, with a population of just under 280,000; Sunderland, also in the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear; and Durham. Other large towns include Darlington, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, South Shields, Stockton-on-Tees and Washington.

Pattini

Pattini (Sinhala: පත්තිනි දෙවියෝ, lit. 'Pattiṉi Deviyō', Tamil: கண்ணகி அம்மன், lit. 'Kaṇṇaki Am'man'), is considered a guardian deity of Sri Lanka in Sri Lankan Buddhism and Sinhalese folklore. She is also worshipped by Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus by the name of Kannaki Amman. She is considered the patron goddess of fertility and health--particularly protection against smallpox, which is referred to as deviyange ledé ('the divine affliction') in the Sinhala language.

According to Sinhalese mythology, the Bodhisattva Pattini was incarnated as Kannagi in order to rid the Pandya kingdom of its evil three-eyed king. She was said to have been born of a mango fruit, which was cut down by the god Sakra with an arrow.

Played in Britain

Played in Britain is a ten-year research project for English Heritage which seeks to record and celebrate Britain's sporting and recreational heritage, coinciding with the period from the staging of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester to the 2012 Olympics. Much of the research has been made publicly available in a series of books, also called Played in Britain, featuring historic buildings (such as grandstands, pavilions, swimming pools and billiard halls) and sportscapes (such as golf courses, racecourses, rivers and lakes). The series also looks at sporting artefacts and archaeology.

The Played in Britain research project is led by author and architectural historian Simon Inglis, best known for his books on football grounds, stadiums and football history. Simon Inglis is also the series editor of the Played in Britain books.

Quidditch (sport)

Quidditch is a sport of two teams of seven players each mounted on broomsticks played on a hockey rink-sized pitch. It is based on a fictional game of the same name invented by author J. K. Rowling, which is featured in the Harry Potter series of novels and related media.[3] The game is also sometimes referred to as muggle quidditch to distinguish it from the fictional game, which involves magical elements such as flying broomsticks and enchanted balls. In the Harry Potter universe, a "muggle" is a person without the power to use magic.

The pitch is rectangular with rounded corners 55 meters (60 yards) by 33 meters (36 yards) with three hoops of varying heights at either end.[4] The sport was created in 2005 and is therefore still quite young. However, quidditch is played around the world and actively growing.[5] The ultimate goal is to have more points than the other team by the time the snitch, a tennis ball inside a long sock hanging from the shorts of an impartial official dressed in yellow, is caught. Rules of the sport are governed by the International Quidditch Association, or the IQA, and events are sanctioned by either the IQA or that nation's governing body.

To score points, chasers or keepers must get the quaffle, a slightly deflated volleyball, into one of three of the opposing hoops which scores the team 10 points.[6] To impede the quaffle from advancing down the pitch, chasers and keepers are able to tackle opposing chasers and keepers at the same time as beaters using their bludgers—dodgeballs—to take out opposing players. Once a player is hit by an opposing bludger, that player must dismount their broom, drop any ball being held, and return to and touch their hoops before being allowed back into play.[7] The game is ended once the snitch is caught by one of the seekers, awarding that team 30 points.[8]A team consists of minimum seven (maximum 21) players, of which six are always on the pitch, those being the three chasers, one keeper, and two beaters. Besides the seeker who is off-pitch, the six players are required to abide by the gender rule, which states that a team may have a maximum of four players who identify as the same gender, making quidditch one of the few sports that not only offers a co-ed environment but an open community to those who do not identify with the gender binary.[10] Matches or games often run about 30 to 40 minutes but tend to be subject to varying lengths of time due to the unpredictable nature of the snitch catch. If the score at the end of the match including the 30 point snitch catch is tied (such that the team that caught the snitch was 30 points behind the other), the game moves to overtime where the snitch is constrained to the pitch's dimensions and the game ends after five minutes or when the snitch is legally caught.

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).

St Columb Major

St Columb Major is a town and civil parish in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. Often referred to locally as St Columb, it is approximately seven miles (11 km) southwest of Wadebridge and six miles (10 km) east of Newquay

The designation Major distinguishes it from the nearby settlement and parish of St Columb Minor on the coast. An electoral ward simply named St Columb exists with a population at the 2011 census of 5,050.Twice a year the town plays host to "hurling", a medieval game once common throughout Cornwall but now only played in St Columb and St Ives. It is played on Shrove Tuesday and then again on the Saturday eleven days later. The game involves two teams of several hundred people (the 'townsmen' and the 'countrymen') who endeavour to carry a silver ball made of apple wood to goals set two miles (3 km) apart, making the parish, around 25 square miles (65 km2) in area, the de facto largest sports ground in the world.

Workington

Workington is a coastal town and civil parish at the mouth of the River Derwent on the west coast of Cumbria, England. Historically in Cumberland and lying in the Borough of Allerdale, Workington is 32 miles (51 km) southwest of Carlisle, 7 miles (11 km) west of Cockermouth, and 5 miles (8 km) southwest of Maryport. At the 2011 Census it had a population of 25,207.Workington is the seat of Allerdale Borough Council, which holds the Allerdale Borough Council elections. Sue Hayman is the MP for the constituency of the same name that includes other towns in Workington's hinterland.

Workington A.F.C.

Workington Association Football Club is an English football club based in Workington, Cumbria. The club competes in the Northern Premier League Division One North West, the eighth tier of English football.

The club plays its home matches at Borough Park, which has a capacity of 3,101. The club is often referred to as Workington Reds (red being its home colour) to distinguish it from Rugby League club Workington Town. Its traditional rivals are Carlisle United and Barrow.

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