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Round Ball Played North of Portland, Maine with "Cat Stick" and "Gools"
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"Fast Day was a holiday. Usually that day Loring Hill had become bare of snow and, if so, here was a game of round ball on it.
"The Village Square, where now stands the round iron water tank was often a lively scene. Baseball and "Nines" did not then exist. But round ball was played, sides being chosen by two players putting alternate hands on the bat (or as we called it the cat stick), the one first reaching the top having the first choice. The ball was not hard but soft and a player was put out either by being caught out as now, or by being struck by the ball thrown at him when running for a base, or as we said then a gool, meaning goal. It was a soft ball, compared with now, but it sometimes stung pretty smartly.
Alfred Cole and Charles F. Whitman, Buckfield, Oxford County, Maine (Journal Printshop, Lewiston, 1915)., page 894.
Buckland is about 45 miles north of Portland.
The ages of players is not clear.
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".] One of these 1850s.33 uses "gool" as the name of the game.Edit with form to add a comment
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