Goal Ball

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Game Goal Ball
Game Family Baseball Baseball
Regions US
Eras 1800s, Predecessor
Invented No
Description

Another name for early base ball, perhaps confined to certain areas.  Usage of the name is known in New England.  As of June 2012, the Protoball Chronology lists 10 references to the game of Goal Ball or Goal, or games in which bases are term "goals."  All refer to play in the six New England states, and all but two are found before 1850.  A new reference to the game "gould" in 2020 may denote he same game (see 1854.23.

On 11/3/2020 Brian Turner added the following clarification:  "As best I can tell based on examples I've put together for an article I'm doing for Base Ball, "gould" (AKA "gool") are regional pronunciations of "goal." The region in which those terms occur includes western Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, mostly in rural communities where (I surmise) old-time game names may have survived into the 19th century. Peter Morris has identified two instances associated with Norway, Maine, where "gool" is used as synonymous with "base" as late as the 1860s, but when one of those the incidents was recalled in the 1870s, it's clear that the use struck the lads of Bowdoin attending the game as risible. The use of "goal" for "base" is consistent with Robin Carver's 1834 inclusion of the term in The Book of Sports. One must be cautious about anointing every use of "goal" or "gool" or goold" as synonymous with base and therefore "base ball," since, like base by itself, goal can be used to describe other sorts of games. By itself, "base" can refer to Prisoner's Base, a running game that seems to resemble a team form of tag.  So too "goal" by itself."

 

Sources

The best known references to Goal Ball are Robin Carver, The Book of Sports (Boston, Lilly Wait Colman and Holden, 1834), pp 37-40, -- see Protoball entry 1834.1 --  and Boy’s and Girl’s Book of Sports (Providence, Cory and Daniels), pp 17-19 -- see Protoball Chronology entries 1835.6 and 1854.23.

Comment

For searches, "gool," "gould," and  "gool ball" have sometimes given relevant results.

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