The Mississippi Choctaws at Play: The Serious side of Leisure

The Mississippi Choctaws at Play: The Serious side of Leisure

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Author: Blanchard, Kendall (1942- )

Year: 1981

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

Place: Urbana


xv+196 pages with 12 figures and 35 photographs. Octavo (9 1/4" x 6 1'4") bound in original publisher's shades of reddish brown with inverse lettering and pictorial cover. First edition.

In this work Kendall Blanchard describes what an 18th century stickball game might have looked like:

"The nature of the playing field was never strictly defined. The only boundaries were the two goalposts at either end of the playing area and these could be anywhere from 100 feet to five miles apart, as was the case in one game in the 19th century... "There were no boundaries on the sides of the playing field, and the game's action simply followed the ball. Many times spectators were rousted from comfortable vantage points as the fleet-footed, fast-swinging...athletes scrambled after a far-flung pass... "The rules, like the layout of the playing field, were ambiguous and limited to only three or four stipulations. Of primary importance was the restriction that no player was to touch the ball with his hands, using instead only his sticks to carry and throw the small ball. At no time were spectators allowed to interfere with the process. If they did, a penalty was assessed against their team... "While players could tackle, block, or use any reasonable method to interfere with the other team's movement of the ball, there were implicit limits to acceptable violence." Mississippi Choctaws continue to play stickball. When the first Choctaw Fair was held in 1949, stickball was an important event, but it involved only a handful of teams. Today, anywhere from 8 to 10 teams meet during the fair in a single-elimination tournament. The championship game closes out the fair, with the fans filling the Choctaw Central High School football stadium to cheer their teams on.


A very good to fine copy issued without dust jacket.

SOLD 2015

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