Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The ball called a "soule" could be solid or hollow and made of either wood or leather. Leather balls would be filled with hay, bran, horse hair or moss.
Some varieties of choule use a stick or bat to aid propulsion of the ball.
At Bellou-en-Houle contestants numbered up to 800 and there were said to be 6000 spectators. The ball was 3 ft around and weighed 13 pounds. In this game the losing side would often cut the ball in half with their knives. To prevent this the ball was sheathed in tin from 1841.
The game was usually played on Shrove Tuesday, it was also, as in Britain, on occasion played at weddings and the day of the patron Saint of the parish, Easter day, Christmas Day and sometimes Boxing day.
The object of the game was to get the soule to the parish goal which was often a pond, and immerse it in the water, the old belief was that the winning parish or village would be favoured a more abundant apple harvest.
- Tèqueurs et chouleurs de Normandie - Photos from an association promoting codified versions of traditional games for adults and children
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