Ashbourne Shrovetide Football
The Up'ards' goal post at Sturston Mill
Goals and scoring
Don't expect to see the ball kicked between two posts and into a net during the Shrovetide game. Winning a game takes more than that!
The object of the game is to get the ball to your goal post.
There are two goal posts, one at Sturston Mill (for the Up'ards), the other at Clifton Mill (for the Down'ards). They are no less than three miles apart!
Contrary to popular belief, it is not possible for just anyone to goal the ball.
The Down'ards' goal post at Clifton Mill
When the ball gets within striking distance of the post, leading players, usually drawn from a handful of well-known local families, draw lots as to who goals it.
As the ball nears one of the goals, the game is paused while the ball is handed to the player selected to score.
To goal a ball, the scorer stands in the River Henmore and taps the ball three times against the stone goal plinth.
Once a ball is goaled, that particular game ends.
If the ball is goaled before 5pm, a new ball is turned up at Shaw Croft and a new game started. The scorer is allowed to keep the ball.
There are two games, one on Shrove Tuesday and one on Ash Wednesday. The game has to finish by 10pm on each day.
last updated: 31/12/2009 at 17:28