STOOLBALL

Share your memories and stories from your days at school, and find out the truth behind the rumours....Remember the teachers and pupils, tell us who you remember and why...

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Foureyes
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STOOLBALL

Post by Foureyes » Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:44 pm

Does anyone remember playing a game called "Stoolball" in the Prep - certainly in the 1940s and maybe later, also? As I recall, you had to prove yourself adept at this stupid game before being allowed to graduate to cricket. There were two posts some 15 feet apart and about 3-4 feet high, with a square target at the top of each - all made of wood. The batsman held a "bat" somewhat resembling a solid tennis racquet and the ball was made of string surrounded by leather, but somewhat softer than a cricket ball. The batsman held his bat at shoulder level. The bowler tried to hit the target and the batsman tried to hit the ball out into the field. Beyond that my memory fails me.

Can anyone remember it, what it was all about, why we played it and when it stopped?
:shock:

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Mid A 15
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Re: STOOLBALL

Post by Mid A 15 » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:45 pm

Foureyes wrote:Does anyone remember playing a game called "Stoolball" in the Prep - certainly in the 1940s and maybe later, also? As I recall, you had to prove yourself adept at this stupid game before being allowed to graduate to cricket. There were two posts some 15 feet apart and about 3-4 feet high, with a square target at the top of each - all made of wood. The batsman held a "bat" somewhat resembling a solid tennis racquet and the ball was made of string surrounded by leather, but somewhat softer than a cricket ball. The batsman held his bat at shoulder level. The bowler tried to hit the target and the batsman tried to hit the ball out into the field. Beyond that my memory fails me.

Can anyone remember it, what it was all about, why we played it and when it stopped?
:shock:
I don't recall playing it in my day but I do know that it is a traditional Sussex game so that is probably why you played it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoolball

Bat and Trap is a similar game and is played in Kent, particularly in the villages around Canterbury.
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Re: STOOLBALL

Post by sejintenej » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:59 pm

Foureyes wrote:Does anyone remember playing a game called "Stoolball" in the Prep - certainly in the 1940s and maybe later, also? As I recall, you had to prove yourself adept at this stupid game before being allowed to graduate to cricket. There were two posts some 15 feet apart and about 3-4 feet high, with a square target at the top of each - all made of wood. The batsman held a "bat" somewhat resembling a solid tennis racquet and the ball was made of string surrounded by leather, but somewhat softer than a cricket ball. The batsman held his bat at shoulder level. The bowler tried to hit the target and the batsman tried to hit the ball out into the field. Beyond that my memory fails me.

Can anyone remember it, what it was all about, why we played it and when it stopped?
:shock:
We still had it in 1952-3 as a prelude to cricket. The wicket was about a foot square. the bat had a handle a bit shorter than a tennis racket so the batsman had to stand very close to the target. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: From memory you bowled underarm from one third down the pitch so your target was not hard to hit.
I recall that the pitch where I had to play was close to the edge of the fielfd so it was not hard to stop play by the simple expedient of hitting the ball out of the grounds and into long grass; that was strongly disapproved of as unsporting.
Yes - you had to prove that either you were good at the game or (as I was too bad at it) that you were too dangerous to have on the pitch so that for everyone's safety they pushed you on to an equally boring game. Unfortunately I was not sufficiently accurate or fast at bowling overarm to damage the batsman so I didn't escape cricket though I came close to a beating for throwing the ball at the stumps when the batsman was in mid pitch and close to the line of fire. No pupils were damaged during my attempts at being out when I was in or in when I was out (and all the other nonsense). :( :( :(
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Post by englishangel » Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:30 am

It is indeed a Sussex game and AFAIK is still played unless the elf'n'safety people have had a go. those bats were wicked, and waving thewm around at head height could be very dangerous.

I went to a village C of E primary school and on Ascension Day we would walk to the village church across the fields for a service of Thansgiving, then back to school for a game of stoolball, sandwiches and squash, then have the afternoon off.

The year I was seven I got a ball (like a rounders ball) in the eye and got the most glorious shiner ever, the following year I got a whack in the centre of my forehead with the sharp edge of the bat which necessitated a trip to hospital and a couple of stitches, and the blood......

25 years later I bumped into the woman who whacked me and before she even said hello she asked if I still had the scar. (I do)
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J.R.
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Post by J.R. » Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:04 pm

We played stoolball when I was in Prep B.

It is still alive and well in Sussex, AND Surrey. We have a local team from near Dorking that play in the Sussex/Surrey League. The Captain drinks in our local club. Three generations of her family are still playing in the same team every summer.

It is predominately a ladies game.

http://www.stoolball.co.uk/play/
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Post by Vonny » Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:12 pm

I remember playing it ONCE at Horsham :lol:
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Post by midget » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:15 pm

Some of the girls at Hertford spoke of playing stoolball at primary school
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Post by kerrensimmonds » Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:20 pm

Stoolball is still very much alive and well in Sussex. Women students in the University's PE Department support at least two local teams, and one of the PE Lecturers is a regional organiser.
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Deb GP
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Post by Deb GP » Mon Nov 12, 2007 1:05 pm

OOo... After Uni, I played in the Surrey League for a year. It's a fab game. The mixed matches were enormous fun. I wish it was a bit more popular here in London. I first played at Primary School (in Horsham) and also played at CH.

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Great Plum
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Post by Great Plum » Mon Nov 12, 2007 1:15 pm

Mum for a number of years played Stoolball for a team in Southwater and they used to play a team of CH staff once a year on the prep pitches...
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J.R.
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Re: STOOLBALL

Post by J.R. » Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:46 pm

Eh ???
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kerrensimmonds
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Re: STOOLBALL

Post by kerrensimmonds » Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:02 pm

Wassat mean, JR????
Stoolball is a perfectly respectable - and indeed well known in Sussex country leagues - ball game.
(Is it me or have the avatars etc. moved to the other side of the page, on all pages here?)
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Re: STOOLBALL

Post by Vonny » Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:55 pm

kerrensimmonds wrote:Wassat mean, JR????
Stoolball is a perfectly respectable - and indeed well known in Sussex country leagues - ball game.
JRs post was in reply to a post by a spammer that has now been removed :)

kerrensimmonds wrote:(Is it me or have the avatars etc. moved to the other side of the page, on all pages here?)
No - it's not just you!
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J.R.
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Re: STOOLBALL

Post by J.R. » Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:26 am

Stoolball is regualarly played in our village just south of Dorking town.

I hadn't noticed the Spanners' post had been removed !
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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englishangel
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Re: STOOLBALL

Post by englishangel » Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:04 pm

Vonny wrote:
kerrensimmonds wrote:Wassat mean, JR????
Stoolball is a perfectly respectable - and indeed well known in Sussex country leagues - ball game.
JRs post was in reply to a post by a spammer that has now been removed :)

kerrensimmonds wrote:(Is it me or have the avatars etc. moved to the other side of the page, on all pages here?)
No - it's not just you!
and now they've all moved back again, I feel dizzy.
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