What the Atherstone Ball Game is and when it starts

ATHERSTONE’s 821st Ball Game event is only one day away on Shrove Tuesday.

Here’s what you need to know about the event if you are going to be visiting Atherstone to watch the historic brawl for all ball game for yourself.

Wild scenes from last year’s ball game (Urban Pictures on YouTube)

What is it?

The Atherstone Ball Game is a medieval football game, and it is a free-for-all that local residents can join in, in hopes of keeping the ball to themselves before the klaxon sounds at the finish time of 5pm.

The rules for the event are listed below.

Make sure that you are holding the ball once the ball game finishes.

There is no such thing as a ‘team’ or ‘group’, it is every person for themselves in the ball game.

Players cannot leave the town with the ball in question.

Finally, the most important rule is that you cannot kill anybody.

When is it?

The event shall take place tomorrow (25 February) in the afternoon at 3pm and run until 5pm.

The ball shall be thrown out by two former Coventry City football players, Dave Bennett and Kirk Stephens from the balcony at Atherstone Conservative Club.

At 3pm, the Atherstone Ball Game shall start. Participants will aim to get the ball down Long Street at least three different times.

At around 4:30pm, it becomes likely that participants will aim to try and deflate the ball. They do this so they have a higher chance of keeping it to themselves, and if players go in as friends to help, they may support them whilst doing so.

At 5pm, the klaxon will sound to let people know the ball game is over. The winner will be determined once the chief marshal and organisers can see who is in possession of the ball once the klaxon sounds.

A photograph of the ball used for the 2012 game (Adrian Roebuck for Wikimedia)

Additional information

Event marshals and organisers will be keeping an eye on the players and get involved in the game if necessary.

Police are in attendance, but the police do not interfere with the game whilst it is taking part and observe the game just like a regular bystander would.

Businesses located on Long Street and the road where the ball shall be thrown out of will be boarded up so that they don’t risk getting their storefronts damaged. Some players have even been known to climb atop the stores in the past.

Our very own Hinckley Reporter for Notizie will be heading down to the scene on Long Street to take photographs, notes, and live stream the event.

Keep your eyes on our Facebook page for live feed coverage of the Ball Game at http://facebook.com/notizienewsdesk.

Updates on the game will come your way over our Hinckley Reporter’s Twitter account, @Mason_Notizie.

Notizie will also be live streaming Hinckley’s 10th Annual Pancake Race tomorrow morning from 12 noon until 1pm, exclusively on Facebook Live.

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