Let's Play Stoolball!

Let's Play Stoolball!

Let's Play Stoolball

Your Heritage

Roffey South
Stoolball England
Sussex schoolchildren were introduced to stoolball, a medieval forerunner of cricket, in a wide-ranging sport and rural history project.

The sport, which was played by women and girls as well as manual labourers, was an important part of community life. The project worked with local schools to set up a number of competing stoolball clubs. Children also took part in art and singing workshops and created exhibitions, all focused on aspects of rural life.

The project was run by Stoolball England, the sport’s official body, which organised a number of workshops and coaching sessions. Pupils taking part also visited a bat maker to see how traditional willow stoolball bats were crafted.

The young researchers also interviewed elderly villagers about their memories of the sport. A highlight was an exhibition game in costume at the Weald & Downland Museum where participants experienced a real sense of leisure activity in a rural Sussex of a bygone era.

Anita Broad, Stoolball England Education and Research Officer, says: "Through this project I have shown how the rich resource of Sussex stoolball heritage, combined with the fun of playing, can be used to inspire new young players and maybe some new oral historians."

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