Fw: hist-games: Footy

Edwin Hewitt brogoose at pe.net
Thu Aug 21 20:56:02 PDT 1997

At 04:52 PM 8/21/97 -0700, you wrote:
>From: John Brattan 
>Subject: hist-games: Footy

>Members of my Viking reenactment group play a game called 'village
>football'. We all want to believe that Vikings and Saxons did play this
>game, but we have absolutely nothing but hearsay to go on. What we play is
>- two goal areas, two teams and a piece of material tied up with twine as
>the 'ball'. That's about it for rules etc. Some of us ask that there be no
>biting, gouging or damage of delicate parts of the anatomy, and sometimes
>we stick to these extra rules.
>Anyone got any idea on what really happened in a game of football in or
>around the C10th in Northern Europe/British Isles? Any references?
>John Brattan
>Secretary for Samildánach 
>of Maitland NSW
>Reenactors of the Viking invasions of Britain - C10th-C11th

The closest equivelent I've heard of is the game of "Hood".
Hood consists of a leather "hood" stuffed with straw, and two
teams try to get it to get it to their goal.  

The legend I'm familiar with is that a Norman lady in post-
conquest England was riding thru the countryside when her
riding hood flew off.  The local peasants ran after it, and
fought each other for it so they could reap the "reward"
of it's return.  The Norman lady was so delighted by the
"sport" that she donated a field so that it could be played
as a game.  The winning team was to be treated to ale by
the losers. 

I no longer remember where I heard this story, and I don't
even remember if the source was reliable.  But it is a 
fun story.

Full-time Idealist, Part-time Realist.

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