Norse Stickball Rules as of 2013
Hosted by: Clan of the Picti Hoard
Picti in Charge: Lord Pyks Picti
- No Martial Arts
- No boundaries. (Spectators are at risk of becoming players if they don't run fast enough.)
- All body parts removed must be returned to their original owners at the end of the game, or at least something closely resembling them.
Honorable mention: If you have a disagreement with another player take it off the field. (Armor can be provided.)
- No Martial Arts
- No Death from above
- No one under 18 without written and oral permission from legal guardian and no one under 16 period.
- No boundaries. Spectators are at risk of becoming players if they don't run fast enough. (In recent years, there is usually a confined playing space such as a field, but spectators are always at risk of becoming players.*)
- All players must drink water.
- No hard soled footwear.
- Piercings and jewelry will be removed are taped down.
- Once you remove someone from the pile, Separate.
- If you have a disagreement with another player take it off the field. (Armor can be provided.)
- RETURN ALL BODY PARTS AT THE END OF GAME (or at least something similar).
There are two teams: shirts and skins (ladies, if you are going to play, be prepared to strip down). The winner of an initial scrimmage between team captains decides who has the option of picking a team member first or being on offense first.
You will need a stickball, a stick, and a shield. The shield usually stays in place at one end of the field (a movable shield decreases the difficulty). To start, one person on offense stands on the shield with the stick and ball, and the rest of the team is on the opposite side of the field. The team on defense lines up in the middle. The person standing on the shield tosses the ball in the air, putting it in play, swings the stick, and catches the ball. He then has to get the ball to his team (usually by throwing, though occasionally by running it out there).
It is then the offensive team's job to take it back to the shield, have some part of their body on the shield while maintaining control of the ball and yell "safe!." The defensive team tries to prevent this and make a turnover by having control off the ball, both feet firmly planted on the ground, and yell "I've got it" (before someone takes them down).
We play until 3 hours, 3 points, or 3 injuries (people off the field due to injuries). After the game is over, the two teams share a pot of Athel Brose, the lion's share going to the winning team and to be dispensed by each team captain.
Note: not to be confused with the American urban street game of Stickball or the Norse game Knattleikr. Though Knattleikr is similar, we do not use sticks. Knattleikr is an Ancient Icelandic game in which one team attempts to gain control of a ball and either take it back to their own area, or the opponents,(sometimes reported as a church). The game can go on for days and sometimes there are deaths because of the no-rules or penalties. See also La Soule which was usually specifically between parishes and can be dated to as early as 1147
The rules for our game were published in Issue #1 of The Elf Hill Times, January 1977. There has been an ongoing controversy with this game, mostly surrounding the SCA, Inc (and its representatives in the Crown) and legal liability. Contrary to rumors that it has ever been banned by the crown, it never has been. Through the first 15-20 years of the Egil Skallagrimsson Memorial Tourney, Norse Stickball was one of the main events. At Egils, Ulfhedinn was the "un-referee" for many years.