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Do You Know About Shrovetide Football

时间:2017-07-03 16:05来源:未知 作者:admin 点击:
To those who are less familiar, the Shrovetide Football Match is played for two days - on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday in Ashbourne, a small town in Derbyshire, England. The game is being played every year for the last seven to eight ce
To those who are less familiar, the Shrovetide Football Match is played for two days - on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday in Ashbourne, a small town in Derbyshire, England. The game is being played every year for the last seven to eight centuries. The origin of the game is still shrouded in mystery and this is more because the relevant records were destroyed in a fire breakout in 1890 in the office of the Royal Shrovetide Committee.

There are many versions about the origin of the game. However, one of the popular stories floating around suggests that the ball was in fact the severed head of an executed criminal that was thrown amongst the spectators - though there is not much of historical evidence to support this claim.

The game generally commences at 2.00 pm in the afternoon and ends late night at around 10.00 pm. If a goal is scored by either team before 5.00 pm, the game is said to have ended or continued with a new ball. Although it is widely known as Shrovetide Football, the ball is seldom kicked with the feet and instead players move it through the town by hugging.

The two opposing teams are known by the names - Up'Ards and the Down'Ards. The team members of Up'Ards are traditionally are those belonging to north of Henmore Brook. The Down'Ards team members are those hailing from south of the brook. The two goal posts are usually set 3 miles apart - one goal post at Sturston Mill where the Up'Ards are supposed to shoot, the other goal post at Clifton Mill where the Down'Ards are required to score.

The Shrovetide Football Match is in the nature of a moving brawl where one-half of the town is pitted against the other. The town along with the surrounding countryside is the playing field. Several thousand players from each team oppose each other.

The game is played with a special ball, larger than the usual football size and the ball is stuffed with Portuguese pork to enable the ball to float and not sink if it lands in the river. The local craftsmen hand-paint the ball and every time the ball is goaled it is repainted with the name of the scorer and the ball is presented to him. The actual process of scoring a goal entails a player hitting the ball against the goal post three successive times.

Records have been maintained since 1891 and documents showing details of each game and names of scorers are available. The records reveal that the game was cancelled only twice - the first time in 1968 and again in the year 2001 and on both occasions, it was because of the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. Strangely, the games were played uninterruptedly even during the world war years. Football fans visiting Ashbourne can see the records displayed on wooden plaques at The Green Man Hotel and the details are regularly updated.

Though Ashbourne is a small picturesque English town that is quite peaceful throughout the year, it suddenly comes to life during the annual Royal-Shrovetide-Football-Match which attracts huge crowds from all over.

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