Target Ball

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Game Target Ball
Game Family Baseball Baseball
Regions Britain
Eras 1800s, Post-1900
Invented No

Target Ball appears to have strongly resembled stoolball, and thus cricket.  An illustration in its rulebook shows a paddle-shaped bat, a round "target" not much larger than the bat, and a ball marked like a tennis ball or double-eight-sewed stoolball.

"Target Ball supplies the need so much felt in girls' schools of a summer game which will take the place that cricket does in boys' schools."

The targets are placed 15 yards apart.  Baserunning is mandatory for hit balls.  "Bowlers" deliver balls underhand.  Deliveries that bounce are declared "no balls."  Balls are described as soft lawn-tennis balls.

Modern stoolball uses rectangular wicket separated by 16 yards, but no other differences from target ball are yet known.




M. Alexander Hughes, The Rules of Target Ball (F. H. Ayres Ltd., undated).  A palm-sized 7-page booklet, held in the W. W. Grantham Collection, Lewes, England.  From its location in the Collection, Target Ball may have been played in the late 19th, and in the first half of the 20th centuries.


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