The Ba game is a version of medieval football played in Scotland, primarily in Orkney and the Scottish Borders, around Christmas and New Year.
Ba is basically mob football, or village football, where two parts of a town have to get a ball to goals on their respective sides. The two sides are called the uppies or the downies, depending on which part of town they were born, or otherwise owe allegiance to. The ball must be manhandled, and play often takes the form of a moving scrum. The game moves through the town, at times going up alleyways, into yards and through streets. Shops and houses board up their windows to prevent damage. Unlike traditional mob football, people are generally not hurt from play.
It is thought that at one time there may have been 200 similar games across the UK, with around 15 still being played.
Ba games are still played in:
Hawick is a town in the Scottish Borders council area and historic county of Roxburghshire in the east Southern Uplands of Scotland. It is 10 miles (16.1 km) south-west of Jedburgh and 8.9 miles (14.3 km) south-southeast of Selkirk. It is one of the farthest towns from the sea in Scotland, in the heart of Teviotdale, and the biggest town in the former county of Roxburghshire. Hawick's architecture is distinctive in that it has many sandstone buildings with slate roofs. The town is at the confluence of the Slitrig Water with the River Teviot. It also hosts the annual Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival.
Kirkwall is the largest town in Orkney, an archipelago to the north of mainland Scotland.
The Scottish Borders is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders the City of Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian, Midlothian, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian and, to the south-west, south and east, the English counties of Cumbria and Northumberland. The administrative centre of the area is Newtown St Boswells.
Jedburgh is a town and former royal burgh in the Scottish Borders and the traditional county town of the historic county of Roxburghshire.
Duns is a town in the Scottish Borders, Scotland. It was the county town of the historic county of Berwickshire.
The Royal Shrovetide Football Match is a "Medieval football" game played annually on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday in the town of Ashbourne in Derbyshire, England. Shrovetide ball games have been played in England since at least the 12th century from the reign of Henry II (1154–89). The Ashbourne game also known as "hugball" has been played from at least c.1667 although the exact origins of the game are unknown due to a fire at the Royal Shrovetide Committee office in the 1890s which destroyed the earliest records. One of the most popular origin theories suggests the macabre notion that the 'ball' was originally a severed head tossed into the waiting crowd following an execution. Although this may have happened, it is more likely that games such as the Winchelsea Streete Game, reputedly played during the Hundred Years' War with France, were adaptations of an original ball game intended to show contempt for the enemy.
Hurling is an outdoor team game played only in Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is played with a small silver ball. The sport is not to be confused with the Irish game, also called hurling; the two sports are fundamentally different in equipment and game-play.
The Kirkwall Ba Game is one of the main annual events held in the town of Kirkwall, in Orkney, Scotland. It is one of a number of Ba Games played in the streets of towns around Scotland; these are examples of traditional football games which are still played in towns in the United Kingdom and worldwide. Games are played twice a year, normally on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Medieval football is a modern term used for a wide variety of the localised informal football games which were invented and played in Europe during the Middle Ages. Alternative names include folk football, mob football and Shrovetide football. These games may be regarded as the ancestors of modern codes of football, and by comparison with later forms of football, the medieval matches were chaotic and had few rules.
Rugby union in Scotland is a popular team sport. Scotland's national side today competes in the annual Six Nations Championship and the Rugby World Cup. The first ever international rugby match was played on 27 March 1871, at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh, when Scotland defeated England in front of 4,000 people. Professional clubs compete in the Pro14, European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup, while the Scottish League Championship exists for over 200 amateur and semi-professional clubs, as does a knock-out competition, the Scottish Cup. The governing body, the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), is one of the ten first-tier member nations of World Rugby.
Ned Haig was a butcher and rugby union player notable for founding the sport of rugby sevens. He moved to Melrose when he was young. There he took up rugby and joined Melrose Rugby Football Club (RFC) in 1880. In 1883 Haig suggested hosting a sports tournament to help raise money for the Melrose RFC and came up with the idea of playing with seven rather than 15 a side and reducing the match length to 15 minutes.
Hailes or clacken is a Scottish ball game which dates to the 18th century and achieved its widest popularity in the nineteenth. It has now virtually died out, replaced by football, except at The Edinburgh Academy, where an exhibition match is played annually. The game is similar to shinty but played with wooden bats known as clackens.
Sport plays a central role in Scottish culture. The temperate, oceanic climate has played a key part in the evolution of sport in Scotland, with all-weather sports like association football and golf dominating the national sporting consciousness. However, many other sports are played in the country, with popularity varying between sports and between regions.
Uppies and Downies is a version of Hand Ba game, with roots in even earlier games, played in Workington, West Cumbria, England. The modern tradition began some time in the latter half of the 19th century, with the match played annually at Easter to raise money for local charities.
This article details the history of football in Scotland.
Jedburgh Castle was a castle at Jedburgh in Scotland. It was fought over during the Wars of Scottish Independence, and was demolished by the Scots commanded by Sir James Douglas of Balvenie in 1409. The site of the original castle was used to build the reform prison based on John Howard system, the construction of which started in 1820.
Played in Britain is a ten-year research project for English Heritage which seeks to record and celebrate Britain's sporting and recreational heritage, coinciding with the period from the staging of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester to the 2012 Olympics. Much of the research has been made publicly available in a series of books, also called Played in Britain, featuring historic buildings and sportscapes. The series also looks at sporting artefacts and archaeology.
Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball to score a goal. Unqualified, the word football normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Sports commonly called football include association football ; gridiron football ; Australian rules football; rugby football ; and Gaelic football. These various forms of football share to varying extent common origins and are known as football codes.