Puddox

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Interhouse puddox, July 2017

Puddox is a game that was introduced to Boston Grammar School by Robin Gracey in 1990/91. It is a combination of rounders and cricket. Two teams participate, made up of form members from each class and the teams are drawn randomly from a hat. Often first year teams (now year 7) would meet 15 year old lads but size meant little in Puddox, as Mr Gracey would attest, being quite short himself.

John Huggins recalls playing Puddox at Boston Grammar School in 1962. He believes it had migrated there from the Stamford School where it was popular.

The batting team sends out two players to stand at either end of the 'pitch' which is (as far as I remember) about the length of a cricket pitch. The bowler only bowls from one end, and a small baseball-style ball is used. Bowling uses the under-arm style. The batting team uses a small one-handed bat. Runs are made by running to the end of the pitch, just like cricket. I seem to remember a rule that you can only run if you'd made contact with the ball.

There is a time limit for each team (I think these games were played during lunch hours but that may be wrong!) and at the end of the game, scores are collated and the winning team is put through to the next round.

Puddox outside Boston Grammar School

Some people believe that Robin Gracey invented the game. There is evidence that the game in fact predates its introduction at Boston Grammar School by several decades.

"In the 1950s at my very small village primary school outside Preston we played a game called puddox/puducks/... I have never met anyone else who has heard of this game. I seem to remember it was a kind of cross between rounders and cricket."[1]

"It's a bat-and-ball game, which I remember playing, as 'Paddocks' in The Woodcraft Folk in the 1950s/60s, and I have it in Scout game books (as 'Puddock') from the 1920s..."[1]

"Bronzed by the sun and strengthened by their physical training, the men In the camp have competed during the last ten days in organised sporting events, including basket ball, volley ball, various branches of athletics, "puddox" (a combination of cricket and baseball) and several Indoor games."[2]

At Lord Wandsworth College, Long Sutton, Hampshire the game is called "puddex".[3]

David Dickinson says: “I played this game in a yearly ‘friendly’ game against the Boys Brigade at Portavadie, Argyll in the late 1950’s. It was played by them all summer at their camp there.”

The rules of "Puddock" according to The Inquiry Net

The Inquiry Net's strap-line is "Dead Bugs, Blow Guns, Sharp Knives, & Snakes: What More Could A Boy Want?" and it says "The purpose of this Website is to provide access to hard to find, out-of-print documents. Much of the content has been edited to be of practical use in today's world and is not intended as historical preservation. ".[4]

Requirements: - Three cricket wickets; a stick about 9 inches long, to act as a bail; a tennis ball and a wooden club or hand bat.

The Pitch: - As for cricket but with single wicket at bowler's end and with two wickets at batsman's. end (as for cricket but with center stump removed). The bail is laid along the top of the wickets.

The Game: - One player bats at a time. (When numbers are few both sides should field.)

The game is commenced by the bowler bowling underhand to the batsman in an effort to pass the ball between the wickets without removing the bail. (A rule might be made that full pitches only could be bowled.)

If the ball goes past it is returned to the bowler.

If the bowler succeeds in passing the ball between the wickets, without removing the bail, the batsman is out.

If the batsman hits the ball and is caught, (either direct or from the first bounce) he is out.

If the batsman touches the ball with his "bat" he must attempt to score two runs by running to the bowler's end and back again. The ball is promptly returned by a fieldsman to the bowler, who immediately tries to bowl the ball between the stumps, irrespective of where the batsman is. If the bowler succeeds the batsman is out, if he fails he bowls again with the batsman defending his wicket.

If a batsman is caught or bowled while running between the wickets those two runs do not count to his credit.

Each side bats in turn and the team scoring most runs wins.

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 CHILDLORE@JISCMAIL.AC.UK Archives
  2. The Age from Melbourne, Victoria - January 4, 1937, Page 10
  3. Founder's Day Is a Triumph - Lord Wandsworth College
  4. Puddock - The Inquiry Net