Town Ball, Georgia (1830s)

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Rule Sets
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Official Rule Sets
Early New York Club Rules
1845 Knickerbocker Rules
1848 Knickerbocker Rules
1852 Eagle Rules
1854 Unified Knickerbocker-Eagle-Gotham Rules
1856 Putnam Rules
1857 Convention Rules
National Association of Base Ball Players Rules
1858 NABBP Rules
1859 NABBP Rules
1860 NABBP Rules
1861 NABBP Rules
1863 NABBP Rules
1865 NABBP Rules
1866 NABBP Rules
1867 NABBP Rules
1868 NABBP Rules
1869 NABBP Rules
1870 NABBP Rules
Chadwick's Summary of Rules Changes, 1871
Massachusetts Rules
1858 Dedham Rules
1863 New Marlboro Rules

Published Descriptive Rule Sets
Gutsmuths' Englische Base-ball 1796
La balle empoisonnée (Poisoned Ball) 1815
Rounders 1828
Base, or Goal-ball 1834
Base Ball 1835
Feeder and Rounders, 1841
Rounders ca. 1860

Informal descriptions
Base Ball, upstate New York (1820s)
Town Ball, Georgia (1830s)
Gotham Club Rules (1837)
Baseball, Ontario (1838)
Round Ball, Massachusetts (1840s)
“A Game of Ball”, Massachusetts (1853)
Townball, Cincinnati (1860s)
Round Town, Virginia (1890s)

Related games
Cricket
The Laws of Cricket (1774)
Longball
Gutsmuths' Deutsche Ballspiel
German Schlagball
Polish Palant (Pilka Palantowa)
Danish Longball (Langbold)
Russian Lapta
Roundball
Swedish Brännboll (Burn-ball)
German Brennball (Burn-ball)
Norwegian Dødball (Dead-ball)
Finnish Pesäpallo
Irish Rounders
British Baseball

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from The Farm and the Fireside: Sketches of Domestic Life in War and Peace by “Bill Arp," Constitution Publishing Company (1892) pp 267-268. Bill Arp was the nom de plume of Charles Henry Smith, a Georgia politician who was born in 1826. He’s talking about his school days in Lawrenceville, Georgia in what must have been the 1830s.


What glorious sport in playing town-ball and bull-pen and cat and rolly-hole and knucks and sweep-stakes. Base-ball has grown out of town-ball; it is no improvement. The pitcher used to belong to the ins and threw the best ball he could, for he wanted it hit, and knocked as far away as possible, but now he belongs to the outs and wants it missed. We used to throw at a boy to stop him running to another base, and we hit him if we could, but these modern balls are hard and heavy and dangerous, and many a boy goes home with a bruised face or a broken finger. We used to take an old rubber shoe and cut it into strings and wind it tight into a ball until it was half grown, and then finish it with yarn that was unraveled from an old woolen sock. Our good mothers furnished everything and then made a buckskin cover and stitched it over so nice. Oh, my, how those balls would bounce, and yet they didn’t hurt very bad when hit by them. They were sweet to throw and sweet to catch…When we played town-ball some of the outs would circle away off 200 yards, and it was glorious to see them catch a ball that had nearly reached the sky as it gracefully curved from the stroke of the bat. We had an hour and a half for recess, and most of it was spent in town-ball or bull-pen.

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