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A longball variant still played in Germany. “German Schlagball (‘hit the ball’) is similar to rounders.” No other clues to schlagball are provided.
Other unverified sources state that schlagball evolve as early as the 1500s.
The game certainly features pitching and hitting. An early form was described by Gutsmuths as the German Ballgame (Deutsche Ballspiel). Rules can be found here. One write-up compares schlagball to lapta stating that while the running base in lapta is a line, in schlagball runners proceed along a series of discrete bases; this is a misapprehension. In modern Schlagball the goal line is replaced with two side-by-side "touch posts," either one of which may serve as the running base.
Endrei, W., and Laszlo Zolnay, Fun and Games in Old Europe. Budapest, (Corvina Klado, 1986).
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A. Notes from Bill Hicklin
"Schlagball is the German name for its variant of longball, which is still played in schools, and on a club basis in the northern coastal region. It is substantially the same as Gutsmuth's "German Ballgame;" it was touted by German nationalists in the 19th century as just that, the German National Pastime on a par with baseball in America and cricket in Britain. Rules are to be found in almost every German sports manual of the 19th and early 20th century, its popularity peaking in the 1920s before it yielded to the explosive growth of soccer. The last national Schlagball championship was played in 1954. Also played in Austria under the name Kaiserball or 'Imperial Ball.'"
Bill Hicklin, submission to Protoball, 2015.
B -- Dakota play. from Terry Bohn
" . . . the Dakota Territory was primarily settled by German immigrants (who played baseball). The capital city of Bismarck, North Dakota changed its name from Edwinton to Bismarck in 1873 in hopes the Chancellor would be flattered and help fund the Northern Pacific Railroad. It didn't work."
Terry Bohn, 19CBB posting, 11/19/2017.
Query: is there evidence that schlagball was played by German immigrants to the US?
C. -- FYI, Protoball's Brother-in-law's grandfather once taught schlagball at a German school. Maybe he can turn up details on schlagball's rules of play?
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