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Game Schlagball
Game Family Baseball Baseball
Location Germany
Regions Europe
Eras Predecessor, Pre-1700, 1700s, 1800s, Post-1900
Invented No

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).


" . . . 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?


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