Royal Shrovetide Football

By Oliver Scarf

Sports, first prize singles

February 28, 2017

Members of opposing teams, the Up’ards and Down’ards, grapple for the ball during the historic, annual Royal Shrovetide Football Match in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, UK.

The game is played between hundreds of participants in two eight-hour periods on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday (the day preceding and the day marking the start of Christian Lent). The two teams are determined by which side of the River Henmore players are born: Up’ards are from north of the river; Down’ards, south. Players score goals by tapping the ball three times on millstones set into pillars three miles apart.

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