History's Weirdest Sports

The Eton Wall Game, Berkshire, England, 21st century. Canal

2. The Eton Wall Game is an almighty ruck played by rich kids which usually ends 0-0

Eton College is one of England’s oldest and most prestigious private schools, with the record for producing the highest number of prime ministers. It also invented one of history’s weirdest sports which is still played today, The Eton Wall Game. Since at least 1766, Eton scholars, The Collegers, have competed against the rest of the school, The Oppidians, in teams of ten. The game takes place on The Furrow, a strip of land measuring 5 x 110 meters, overlooked by an uneven wall erected in 1717, upon which spectators usually sit. It is played on St Andrew’s Day (November 30th).

The game begins with Oppidians throwing their caps over the wall and then scaling it themselves, where the Collegers await. Each team must carry the ball from one end to the other (the Calx), without using their hands, to score ten points. The teams form a phalanx either to help or prevent whoever is in possession carry the ball to the other end. Goals can also be scored by kicking the ball to the other end, and matches last 55 minutes in total, including a 5 minute half-time break. Scoring, however, is not easy: most games end 0-0.

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