Pushball

Pushball

[poosh-bawl]
Pushball is a game played by two sides on a field usually 140 yd (128 m) long and 50 yd (45.7 m) wide, with a ball 6 ft (1.83 m) in diameter and 50 lb (22.7 kg) in weight. The sides usually number eleven each, there being five forwards, two left-wings, two right-wings and two goal-keepers. The goals consist of two upright posts 18 ft (5.5 m) high and 20 ft (6.1 m) apart with a crossbar 7 ft. from the ground. The game lasts for two periods with an intermission. Pushing the ball under the bar counts 5 points; lifting or throwing it over the bar counts 8. A touchdown behind goal for safety counts 2 to the attacking side.

The game was invented by M. G. Crane, of Newton, Massachusetts, in 1894, and was taken up at Harvard University the next year, but never attained any considerable vogue. In the United Kingdom the first regular game was played at the Crystal Palace in 1902 by teams of eight. The English rules are somewhat different from those obtaining in the United States. Pushball on horseback was introduced in 1902 at Durlands Riding Academy in New York, and has been played in England at the Military Tournament.

"Pushball on horseback" variations continued in Europe, and recently resurfaced as a growing equine activity in the United States, with variations including "Horse Soccer," "Equine Soccer," and "Hoofball." The various games provide great fun for both horse and rider, while serving as a valuable training tool that can be enjoyed by one or more horsemanship team players. The most important safety factor (aside from basic horsemanship foundation and equine communication skills) requires that your ball be at least as tall as your mount's breastbone. Some play with a durable 48 inch diameter cageball - a tough bladder caged inside a separate nylon cover, available from sporting goods suppliers.

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