The Eton Wall Game reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Eton Wall Game

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The Wall Game as played at Eton College is a vigorous form of football played on a strip of ground 5 meters wide and 110 meters long just beside a slightly curved brick wall (which was erected in 1717). The most important match is the annual St. Andrew's Day game which is played between a team of ÓcollegersÔ (scholarship-holders) and a team of ÓoppidansÔ (the fee-payers who comprise most of the student body).

Each team tries to move the ball towards their opponent's end of the playing area. In those last few yards of the lengthy field (an area called the "calx"--which is Latin for chalk), a player can earn a "shy" (worth one point) by lifting the ball against the wall with his foot and then touching it with his hand. This also gives the scoring team the right to attempt a goal (worth nine points) by throwing the ball at a designated target (a garden door at one end of the field and a tree at the other end).

As the game lasts only 30 minutes, scoring is extremely rare (most games end 0-0). The last time anyone scored a goal in the St Andrew's Day game was is 1909 (there was a goal scored in a junior game in 2003, however). There are other matches played, however, and the average year will see six "shies" scored. (In the 2002 St Andrew's Day match, the oppidans won 2-0, with Prince Harry, younger son of The Prince of Wales, scoring one of the two shies).

Apparently, the fictional game of Quidditch, played in the Harry Potter universe, was inspired by the Eton Wall Game.

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