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In pictures: Jedburgh's ba game

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image captionThe annual ba' game took place in Jedburgh this week - one of a number of Borders towns with an ancient tradition of a street handball game. Pictures by PA/Dougie Johnston
image captionTwo teams - the Uppies and the Doonies - battle for possession of a small leather ball.
image captionThe teams represent those living to the north and south of the town's Mercat Cross.
image captionThe aim of the game is to carry a leather ball to a "goal" at either end of the town.
image captionInjuries are common and, with hundreds of people taking part and fighting for a grip of the ball, many shopkeepers board up their windows to avoid damage.
image captionThe ball is made of leather, stuffed with straw and decorated with ribbons and is thrown into a crowd to begin the annual game.
image captionThe ball can be hidden in clothing or thrown for someone to catch and run with.
image captionThe ba' can move up alleys, gardens and streets with the Uppies pushing towards the town's castle and the Doonies trying to force it towards the Jedwater.
image captionMany Borders towns play a version of the game with the event in Jedburgh held on the Thursday after Shrove Tuesday.
image captionAn exhibition celebrating the historic ba' games and links with a similar event in France opened in Jedburgh this week, titled Fraternity: Fellowship of the Ba.
image captionThe action is generally fast and furious if one runner picks up the ball.
image captionPlay is in the town centre starting at the Mercat Cross.
image captionThe boys' or callants' game takes place before the men's game later in the day.
image captionThe games can last for hours with plenty of tackles and scrummaging involved.
image captionThe leather ball at the heart of proceedings usually emerges unscathed.

Related Topics

  • Jedburgh