1855c.3

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Demo Game of Wicket, Seen as a CT Game, Later Played in Brooklyn

Salience Noteworthy
Location Greater New York City
City/State/Country: Brooklyn, NY, United States
Game Wicket
Age of Players Adult
Text

In 1880 the Brooklyn Eagle and New York Times carried long articles that include a description of the game of wicket, described as a Connecticut game not seen in Brooklyn for about 25 years:

[A] "Instead of eleven on a side, as in cricket, there are thirty, and instead of wickets used by cricketers their wickets consist of two pieces of white wood about an inch square and six feet long, placed upon two blocks three inches from the ground. The ball also differs from that used in cricket or base ball, it being almost twice the size, although it only weighs nine ounces. The bat also differs from that used in cricket and base ball, it being more on the order of a lacrosse bat, although of an entirely different shape, and made of hard, white wood. The space between the wickets is called the alley, and is seventy-five feet in length and ten feet in width. Wicket also differs from cricket in the bowling, which can be done from either wicket, at the option of the bowlers, and there is a centre line, on the order of the ace line in racket and hand ball, which is called the bowler's mark, and if a ball is bowled which fails to strike the ground before it reaches this line it is considered a dead ball, or no bowl, and no play can be made from it, even if the ball does not suit the batsman. The alley is something on the order of the space cut out for and occupied by the pitcher and catcher of a base ball club, the turf being removed and the ground rolled very hard for the accommodation of the bowlers."

[B] "The game of wicket, a popular out-door sport in Connecticut, where it originated half a century ago, was played for the first time in this vicinity yesterday.  Wicket resembles cricket in some respect, but it lacks the characteristics which mark the latter as a particularly scientific pastime.  In wicket each full team numbers 30 players instead of 111, as in cricket.  The wickets of the Connecticut game are also different, , being about 5 feet wide and only 3 inches above the ground, and having a bar of white wood resting on two little blocks.  The space between wickets measures 75 feet by 10 feet, and is termed the 'alley'. . . .  [No scorebook is use to record batting or fielding.]  The bat sued is 38 inches long, and bears a strong resemblance to a Fiji war-club, the material being well-seasoned willow.  The Ball, although much larger than a cricket ball, is just as light and no quite so hard. . . . If a delivered ball fails to hit the ground before the [midway] mark it is called a 'no ball' and no runs for it are counted.  The game was originated in the neighborhood of Bristol.

"Yesterday's match was played between the Bristol Wicket Club, the champions of Connecticut, and the Ansonia Company, of Brooklyn, on he grounds of the Brooklyn Athletic Club."

Bristol won the two-inning match 162-127.

 

Sources

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, vol. 41 number 239 (August 28, 1880), page 1, column 8. 

"A Queer Game Called Wicket," New York Times, 8/28/1880.

 

Comment

There are inconsistencies in these accounts to be resolved.

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Submitted by David Ball, Gary Maxfield, Craig Waff
Submission Note 19CBB posting, 7/22/2003; Citation provided by Craig Waff, email of 4/24/2007.



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