6.9.07

Pushball on horseback: small research

Dear pushball lovers,

For this moment I am interested in the history of "pushball on horseback" and its origine. Do you play pushball in compatition in your country? Are you organised? What kind of rules do you use? Which tactics work (not)?
Can elephant play pushball with a large pushball (like the horses) or only with a big football with their nose? See YouTube.com site.

My background:
I'm Dutch and live in Rotterdam (Main Port of Europe). My first experience (with my horse) with pushball was in 1982 in Offental, Germany. Now we are training pony's and horses in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. After 3 year searching I finally found a large pushball for the horses. It's difficult to find the right ball-size for each horse breed - for the safety of the game is this essential! The pushball may not get stuck under the belly of the horse/pony.
This year I found Pushball Rules from 1928, used in Germany (origine Italy).

2 comments:

4beatgait said...

In 1907 the New York Times published "Equine Pushball Fascinates the Pacific Slope." According to the article, the exciting game attracted crowds of fans on America's west coast. PDF at: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=2&res=9407EFDB163EE233A25752C2A9629C946697D6CF&oref=slogin&oref=slogin
However, the game seems to have disappeared completely in this country until recently, when the "new" equine activity re-emerged as "horse soccer" and "equine soccer."
My friends and I use a 48 inch (122cm) "cageball"--a tough bladder caged inside a nylon cover, available from sporting goods suppliers. Mine has held up well for over a year of hard playing a game that we call "hoofball."

4beatgait said...

Our Hoofball Rules

So far we only have a few players, so we often play one-on-one. Occasionally we have played teams of two against one for a while when the one horse/rider has better ball control skills than the other two horses/riders. Two horses/riders against two are the most players that we’ve been able to get together so far. If we get more players involved I think that we would probably assign offense and defense positions within each team.

The rules that we have developed for our informal matches are minimal:

No biting, kicking or rearing, nor threatening any of the above (loss of possession and time-out penalty for minor threat, but we would have to ban from the game any horse that would seriously violate this rule);

no human contact with the ball (loss of possession penalty);
the horse in control of the ball may not break gait into a lope or gallop (loss of possession penalty);

the team that kicks the ball onto the out-of-bounds rail loses possession of the ball;

whenever the ball becomes lodged between two head-on horses, both players back off and approach the ball from another angle; and

after a team scores by kicking the ball between their designated goal cones, the opposing team takes possession of the ball until the ball passes the midway point of the arena where it comes into play.

Our games are very fast paced, so we take many breaks to let the horses air up, either spontaneously when the ball changes possession due to a score or out-of-bounds, or whenever any player requests a break.

Most of the above rules developed as specific instances of the overruling policy of our often fiercely competitive family: above all else in any competition, avoid risking injury to your horse.

Hoofball has provided us with more fun than anything! Our hoofball giggles of delight are matched only by seasonal trips to the ocean for horse surfing, where our Tennessee Walking Horses stalk waves, swim over swells and ride the surf in!--but seasonal water temperature and trailering costs limit that treat to once or twice per year, whereas I can access hoofball smiles and giggles most any time, even when my filly and and I are just kicking the ball around all by ourselves.