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Copy of Sport Studies: Mob Football
Transcript of Copy of Sport Studies: Mob Football
Mob football is the name given to some varieties of Medieval football, which emerged in Europe during the Middle Ages.
The idea of the game is to move a ball 'often a pig's bladder was used' into a designated 'goal' area. This could be done in any means, as long as it did not lead to manslaughter or murder.
The sport usually involved groups of men from two connecting villages (or two groups from either end of a single village) fighting to move a ball from one side to the other.
There were no written rules to the game although many villages would make their own rules that would differ to those of another village.
In the Middle Ages the game was often played annually as part of a festival or tradition. The events were held on public holidays such as Shrove Tuesday when men would have been given the day off work.
Mob football was often played in order to settle any disputes and disagreements between men. Often the men would be under the influence of alcohol as they would be off work that day so could spend their time socialising in pubs.
Later on the game became an annual event in certain villages as part of tradition. These annual events became a huge spectacle in some places as a chance for neighboring villages to compete against eachother.
Large groups of men often from two competing villages. The majority came from the downer (lower) class as they could not afford the equipment to play the upper class sprts of the time such as real tennis.
It was played in villages withought a designated boundary, the ball had to travel from one end of a village to the other.
The sport can still be witnessed in some parts of the United Kingdom, notably Christmas and New Year in the Orkney Islands Kirkwall Ba game, and the Royal Shrovetide Football Match on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday in Ashbourne in Derbyshire, England.
Characteristics of festival games
Localised/confined to a particular area
Regionalised due to lack of transport
Violent/baiting of animals/cruel/settle scores let off steam
Rural focus/large playing area
Functional purpose/combat skills
Provide entertainment/chance to gamble
Role of the church
Time/holy day/church calendar gave opportunity for games
Church supported games/gave status
Church provided grounds/area to play