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America Sees First European "Games?"

Salience Peripheral
Tags Antedated Firsts
Location Vinland (North America)
Immediacy of Report Retrospective
Age of Players Adult

"Now winter was coming on, and the brothers said that people ought to start playing games and finding something amusing to do.  They did so for a time, but then people started saying unpleasant things about each other, and they fell out with each other, and the games came to an end. The people in the two houses stopped going to see each other, and that was how things were for a great deal of the winter.


Johan Grundt Tanum Forlag, "The Saga of the Greenlanders; Eirik the Red Takes Land in Iceland," Vinland the Good: The Saga of Leif Eiricsson and the Viking Discovery of America (Oslo, 1970), page 39.


Three older siblings of Leif Ericksson travel to Vinland and occupy two houses built in an earlier Vinland journey by Leif's father, Eirik the Red.

Note: Accounts of Viking games state the among the games was a "stick and ball" variety.  As of April 2, 2022, Protoball has not located a source for such a conclusion, or any details of how such a game was played (let alone whether it involved baserunning).  


From Bruce Allardice, April 3, 2022:

"Outdoor games [among the Vikings] were greatly popular. Based on Viking warrior skills, there were competitions in archery, wrestling, stone throwing and sword play. Horse fighting was also popular; two stallions would be goaded into fighting. Occasionally mares would be tied up around the field, within the sight and smell of the stallions. The horses would battle until one was killed or ran away.

Vikings engaged in running, swimming, tug-of-war called toga-honk and wrestling. Vikings also played a ball game with stick and ball. It wasn’t uncommon for someone to get hurt or even killed, as Vikings played rough. Women did not participate in these games, but they would gather to watch the men.

Children played with wooden toys their parents carved, or they played ball and also engaged in child versions of adult games. Child-sized replicas of weapons such as swords, shield and spears were found buried with other grave goods."

The stick-ball game was Knattleikr (English: 'ball-game'), an ancient ball game similar to hurling played by Icelandic Vikings.





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Are the Sagas taken as accurate by scholars of Viking exploits?

When did the three siblings live in Vinland?  Were the houses built in what is now US or Canada?

When were the Sagas written? 


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Submitted by Protoball Functionary
Submission Note Entered 4/1/2022


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