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Loyalist Dave

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Hey I bet that got some attention, this being a Traditional Muzzleloading Forum and all, and also the first day of the Rugby World Cup...,

So lets talk about spectator sports from say the AWI on up to the ACW.
(See how I brought the discussion back into proper parameters? :D )

So I know there were shooting matches, and horse racing, and I know that some folks lawn bowled (those with some cash I think), as well as some Golfed..., but for the average person, other than horse racing, shooting, and perhaps boxing, were there any spectator "sports"?

Like when did Rugby become a game for example? Was cricket a popular game yet by the AWI ??

LD
 

Treestalker

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Wow, Dave, I think this will make a great thread. Folks out in the country used to compete in all types of farm related activities, and contests of strength such as wrestling (I understand George Washington was good at that). Blacksmithing was/is a good 'sport'. I personally have a farrier's rasp I won many years ago in second place at a 'hammer in' near Livingston, Texas. I hope we hear from lots of folks on this topic, looks like fun!
 

Loyalist Dave

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OH I forgot, Quoits, which is a Roman game with discs having a hole in the center, sorta like "horseshoes" I am told was popular....
There was lots of gambling, dice games like Farkle and craps… and Whist (early Bridge)..
Of course there was Chess, and I think Backgammon (unsure), and checkers....

Now I also find that "Rounders" was called by one author "Base-Ball" in 1744, and was similar to what we call softball in some ways...

LD
 
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ppg1949

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At a local fair I was in a watermelon seed spitting contest. I'm guessing it derived from tobacco spitting contests that probably went on way back yonder.
 

tenngun

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And ‘kick’ an early soccer.
Any time a man needed a skill for a job they figured out ways to test each other.
Sailors would race each other up the mast and out the yard, or the early ancestor of lumberjack games, harpooned threw their harpoons and raced their boats.
Nine man Morris and goose was popular.
There was another game similar to chess played up until the seventeen century and used similar looking pieces. A king and his men were surrounded on a board and they had to break out to one side. I don’t know if it ever got here to America .... maybe in the Swedish colonies.
Hnefnatl... I don’t know how to say it.
 
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Loyalist Dave

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Hnefnatl..
Tafl games include Hnefatafl, Tablut, Tawlbwrdd, Brandubh, Ard Rí, and Alea Evangelii, and the games were known in Ireland and Britain (probably at least the East Coast of England where the Vikings had colonized.) It phased out in the 1100's for Chess.... The rules for tablut were recorded by Linneaus 1732, and these were translated from Latin to English in 1811...but that translation was flawed and the rules are now updated. You can find Tablut sets at a lot of game sellers at RenFairs but by the time of Henry VIII it wasn't really being played in England....

LD
 

tenngun

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The Swedes has a short run colony and were later absorbed by the Dutch. I don’t know if they were still playing it at that time. As mentioned rules were written down a century after the Swedes lost their toe hold.
As for tossing a caber??? What can you expect from guys in skirts drinking whiskey that’s been smoked with peat?
‘Ach mon! Hold ma haggis an wasch this’
 

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A couple'f other things from Highland Games that come from work:

While the "hammer" thrown in track and field is a ball on a chain, the hammer used in Scottish games is a ball on a wooden handle.

The sheaf toss involves using a pitchfork to heave a burlap bag stuffed with sixteen pounds of straw for height.
 

Zonie

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...
As for tossing a caber??? What can you expect from guys in skirts drinking whiskey that’s been smoked with peat?
‘Ach mon! Hold ma haggis an wasch this’
He might have said, "Hold ma haggis an wasch this" but you can bet he never said, "Hold ma whisky and wasch this."
The last time a Scott said that, his glass was dry before he ever got back to it. ;)
 

Loyalist Dave

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I found a game called Rounders, which is earlier and very similar to modern slow-pitch softball, and in fact once source called it "baseball". The biggest differences, you run clockwise around the bases which at most are 60' apart, you slow-pitch the ball underhand, and you use the bat one-handed. No mention of what was used for a ball, and like early baseball you could get a runner "out" if he was hit between bases by a thrown ball. :confused:

LD
 
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