Chronology:Tut-Ball

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1850c.34 Tut-ball Played at Young Ladies School in England

Location:

England

Game:

Tut-Ball, Rounders - Britain

Age of Players:

Youth

"'Tut-ball,' as played at a young ladies' school at Shiffnal fifty years ago. The players stood together in their 'den,' behind a line marked on the ground, all except one, who was 'out' and who stood at a distance and threw the ball to them. One of the players in the den then hit back the ball with the palm of the hand, and immediately ran to one of the three brickbats, called 'tuts,' which were set up at equal distances on the ground, in such positions that a player running past them all would describe a complete circle by the time she returned to the den. The player who was 'out' tried to catch the ball, and to hit the runner with it while passing from one 'tut' to another. If she succeeded in doing so, she took her place in the den, and the other went 'out' in her stead. This game is nearly identical to 'rounders.'"

 

Sources:

Alice B. Gomme, The Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and Ireland (David Nutt, London, 1898), page 314. Accessed 2/10/10 via Google Books search (gomme tutt-ball 1898). Gomme adds that "pize-ball" is a similar game, and that in the past Tut-ball was played on Ash Wednesday in the belief that it would ward off sickness at harvest time. Shifnal, Shropshire, is in the west of England, about 25 miles northwest of Birmingham.

Circa
1850
Item
1850c.34
Edit

1850s.50 Benefits for Adults Seen in Ballplaying in English Shire: Tutball Rules Described

Location:

England

Game:

Tut-Ball, Rounders, Stoolball

Age of Players:

Juvenile, Youth, Adult

"Yorkshire: Now only played by boys, but half a century ago [1850's] by Adults on Ash Wednesday, believing that unless they did so they would fall sick in harvest time.  This is a very ancient game, and was elsewhere called stool-ball. [West Yorkshire]. Shropshire: Tut-ball; as played at a young ladies school at Shiffnal fifty years ago. (See also 1850c.34).  The players stood together in their 'den,'behind a line marked on the ground, all except one, who was 'out', and who stood at a distance and threw the ball to them.  One of the players in the den then hit back the ball with the palm of the hand, and immediately ran to one of three brick-bats, called 'tuts' . . . .  The player who was 'out' tried to catch the ball and to hit the runner with it while passing from one 'tut' to another.  If she succeeded in doing so she took her place in the den and the other went 'out' in her stead.  This game is nearly identical with rounders." 

Sources:

Joseph Wright, The English Dialect Dictionary (Henry Frowd, London, 1905), page 277.  Part or all of this entry appears to credit Burne's Folklore (1883) as its source.

Comment:

Note: This describes a scrub form of tutball/rounders.  It suggests that all hitting was forward, thus in effect using a foul line, as would make sense with a single fielder.

The claim that tutball and stoolball used the same rules is surprising; stoolball is fairly uniformly described as having but two bases or stools, and using a bat.

Decade
1850s
Item
1850s.50
Edit


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