Thursday, 24 June 2010
Shove ha'penny update
I mentioned the other day that I was to represent Brighton Lions in the latest round of the Zone Olympics and that my event was to be shove ha'penny. But I have failed to report the outcome of the evenings fun and games. Since nobody has bothered to ask me about them, I assume that nobody who read that post is remotely interested - and I can't say that I can blame them. All the same, I will report on what happened, if only so that I ... Oh, never mind why - here goes.
Shove ha'penny, with its tradition of being a game played in English pubs since time immemorial, is a very simple game with rules that are easy to understand and very little by way of equipment. It is played on a board measuring approximately 2 feet 6 by a little under 18 inches. No, that sounds wrong - the board's depth is more than twice its width, so say 3 feet by 15 inches. A line is marked across the width of the board about 6 inches from the bottom, and another line about 6 inches from the top. The space between is also lined left to right, the lines being spaced at a very little more distance than the diameter of a tupenny piece - much the same size as the pre-decimal half-penny. The object of the game is to propel five coins in succession from the bottom of the board so that they come to rest between the lines. A point is scored for each (or any) coin which does not cover any part of a line and which has not gone beyond the top line and thus out of play. A coin is placed so that it projects slightly over the bottom of the board (which has been placed flat on a table) and is then "shoved" by tapping it with the base of the thumb. Simple enough. But getting your coins to land between the lines is a matter more of luck than skill! The game continues for an agreed length of time with players taking turns. It can be played singly or in teams. We played in teams of two.
In the first round my partner and I won - although I can't remember the score - and so progressed to the semi-final, which we also won. The final was a close-fought game, but in the end we lost by a fairly substantial margin.
I'll just mention in small print that our darts and pool pairs both lost in the first round so at the end of the evening Brighton were placed 5th out of 6.