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Balloon-Ball.—XIV. Century

Balloon-Ball.—XIV. Century.jpg Bear and MonkeyThumbnailsAncient WrestlingBear and MonkeyThumbnailsAncient WrestlingBear and MonkeyThumbnailsAncient Wrestling

The balloon-ball, was a large ball made of double leather, which being filled with wind by means of a ventil, says Commenius, was driven to and fro by the strength of men's arms; and for this purpose every one of the players had a round hollow bracer of wood to cover the hand and lower part of the arm, with which he struck the ball. This pastime was usually practised in the open fields, and is much commended for the healthiness of the exercise it afforded. The balloon-ball seems certainly to have originated from the hand-ball, and was, I apprehend, first played in England without the assistance of the bracer; this supposition will be perfectly established if it be granted, and I see no reason why it should not, that the four figures represented below are engaged in the balloon-ball play: the original delineation occurs in a manuscript of the fourteenth century in the Royal Library.

The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England from the Earliest Period to the Present Time
By Joseph Strutt
Published 1845
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