|Chart: Predecessor and Derivative Games|
|Glossary of Games, Full List|
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|Location||England (in the past century, predominantly in Sussex and other south east counties)|
|Eras||Predecessor, Pre-1700, 1700s, 1800s, Post-1900, Contemporary|
Stoolball’s first appearance was in the 1600’s; there are many more references to stoolball than to cricket in these early years.
Believed to have originated as a game played by English milkmaids using a milking stool set on its side as a pitching target, stoolball evolved to include the use of bats instead of bare hands and running among goals.
The modern form of the is actively played in counties in the south east of England, and uses an opposing pair of square targets set well off the ground as goals, and heavy paddles as bats. Since 2010, the game has experienced a renaissance, and now has active youth programs, a season-ending All-England match of prominent players, and the expansion of mixed-gender play. (The ancient game was played by women and men, but in recent years most players and have been women.)
McCray suggests that before 1800, there is no clear evidence that stoolball involved baserunning.
For a 2013 review of the recent upwelling of interest in stoolball, see Stoolball Today -- The Rejuvenation of an Ancient Pastime.
See also http://www.stoolball.org.uk/, an extensive site run by Stoolball England. The site is generous in reflecting the long history of the game.
L. McCray, "The Amazing Francis Willughby, and the Role of Stoolball in the Evolution of Baseball and Cricket," Base Ball, volume 5, number 1,. pages 17 to 20.
Writing in 1898, Gomme refers to a revival of stool-ball, and describes the rules, noting that hands were used to make hits, not bats.
Alice Bertha Gomme, The Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and Ireland (New York; Dover, 1964 – reprinted from two volumes printed in 1894 and 1898), pp 219-220
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