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Round Ball, Old Cat Played in Northwest MA Town
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"There was, of course, coasting, skating, swimming, gool, fox and hounds . . . round ball; two and four old cat, with soft yarn balls thrown at the runner."
G. Stanley Hall, "Boy Life in a Massachusetts Town Forty Years Ago," Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society Volume 7 (1892), page 113. Accessed 2/10/10 via Google Books search ("g.stanley hall" "boy life"). Hall grew up on a large farm in Ashfield MA, which is in the NW corner of the commonwealth, and about 55 miles east of Albany NY.
It is interesting that the game of wicket is not mentioned, given Ashland's location in western MA.
As of Jan 2013, this is one of three uses of "gool" instead of "goal" in ballplaying entries, all in the 1850s and found in western MA and ME. [To confirm/update, do an enhanced search for "gool".] This is the only entry that uses "gool" as the actual name of the game.Edit with form to add a comment
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