Ball-Bias

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Game Ball-Bias
Game Family Baseball Baseball
Location England
Regions Europe
Eras 1800s
Invented No
Description

Ball-bias, a term as yet only found in seven scattered British sources from 1856 to 1898, was evidently the name of a batting-running game in the south-east of England.

David Block, who came across the game in 2013, tentatively concludes that, unlike early English base-ball, ball-bias probably used a bat.  The 1898 source's description: "ball-bias, a running game much like 'rounders,' played with a ball."

Most references to ball-bias appear from 1856 to 1880 in newspaper accounts of school picnics or church outings in the vicinity of the Sussex-Kent border south of London. 

The rules of the game are not well understood.  Block writes that "It appears that ball-bias was distinct from other baseball-related, locally-based games that I'd discovered in 19th century England.  These included Tut-Ball, played in the Sheffield area, and Pize Ball that was mostly found in the vicinity of Leeds.  These latter games were played without a bat, like English base-ball, whereas . . . ball-bias falls more in the bat-using category, alongside rounders."

 We have no present evidence that this game preceded English base-ball.

 

Sources

See David Block, "Base-Ball-Bias," December 2013 issue of the Next Destin'd Post (volume 2, number 7), page 1ff. 

The 1898 source cited above is the English Dialect Dictionary.



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