Donnerstag, 3. März 2022

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football Part II - or the reason why we are on the balcony in March!


For football fans:

The second day of the 2022 game. Here is a further instalment concerning the game of Royal Shrovetide Football from the town of Ashbourne in Derbyshire. This is a game played with a raw raging passion seldom been seen since the battlefield of Agincourt. Shrove Tuesday saw the first day of this year‘s game end in a one:one draw between the Uppards of the town and the Downards. On Ash Wednesday, the second day, the score was 2:0 in favour of the Uppards. This meant that on aggregate for the two days, the score was 3:1 to the Uppards, which is a phenomenally high score for Shrovetide football. In normal soccer with 22 men on the pitch for a mere 90 minutes, such a score is not unusual. In this Shrovetide game there are countless men, running into the hundreds and often into thousands, and a few brave women, on the pitch for eight hours a day for two whole days, and the goals are three miles apart. So under these conditions 3:1 is certainly a historically high score. 

In the modern games of rugby football and soccer it is only possible to attack (tackle) those opposition players that are actually in possession of the ball. American football has, however, gone back to the roots of this much older tradition and allows tackling on any opposition players, regardless of them having the ball or not. Certainly this year’s game in Ashbourne was a lot freer with much more sight of the ball in play and more open than in the past, when one often seemed never to  actually see the ball at all.

One often hears in UK cricket matches for example of "bad light stops play" on dark late afternoons. This does not happen with Shrovetide football!

Here are some videos and still photos to give you a „feel“ For the game. It’s a bit like F1, just a bit slower:

Here is a final game report and the end celebrations in the link below:

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