Eton Wall Game

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Eton Wall Game

November 30
Every year on St. Andrew's Day, England's prestigious Eton College holds the famous Eton Wall Game, a variety of rugby that has its own highly technical rules and is different from all other forms of the game. The game is played between two teams: the Collegers, who are boys receiving scholarships and living in the old College, and the Oppidans (which means "townspeople"), who live in boarding-houses in town.
The rules are so complex and mysterious that even the spectators are often confused, although the players seem to understand how to play the game. The object of the game is to win goals by maneuvering the ball into the opposing team's "calx," designated by a chalk line on a garden wall at one end of the field and by a mark on a tree at the other. The game is made up of many scrimmages along the brick wall that marks off the college athletic field for which the game is named, and goals are almost never scored.
CONTACTS:
Eton College
Windsor, Berkshire SL4 6DW United Kingdom
44-17-5367-1000; fax: 44-17-5367-1159
www.etoncollege.com
SOURCES:
EngCustUse-1941, p. 169
YrFest-1972, p. 86
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SPORTS PLAYED: Aikido, archery, athletics, basketball, capoeira, clay pigeon shooting, cricket, croquet, dragon boat racing, eventing, fencing, field game, fives, football, golf, hockey, judo, ju jitsu, karate, kung fu, lacrosse, mountaineering, polo, rackets, rock climbing, rowing, rugby, sailing, shooting, squash, swimming, table tennis, tai chi, tennis, volleyball, wall game, water polo, weight training.
But our host James, an Old-Etonian, was more keen on history, odd sports (anyone ever played the Wall Game?) and carving your name in your desk, which in Eton has been elevated to art form rather than a direct pass to the headmaster's office.
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Another wall game when we had a couple of pence was to all line up and chuck your halfpennies towards the wall.