Royal Shrovetide Football is thought to have been played in Ashbourne since at least the 12th century and is an important tradition for the town – but what do people who do not live in Ashbourne think of the medieval game?
Shrovetide involves two teams, the Up’ards and the Down’ards, who compete over two days to try to goal the single, oversized ball.
The goals are situated three miles apart and the team which goals the ball the most times over the two days wins. Covering such a distance, it’s no surprise people outside Ashbourne can often be left confused by the game.
In fact, as this social media post shows, a lot of people find it hard to explain the game to people in the first place:
Explaining Shrovetide to people is an absolute nightmare
— Stacey Scales (@stacey_scales) March 1, 2014
Others, however, simply can’t understand why they don’t get it:
I'm always so surprised when someone tells me they don't know what Shrovetide is
— Jamie Varro (@JamieVarro) March 2, 2014
So what do people that don’t live in Ashbourne really think of the game itself?
One person reacted by just being completely confused as to who was on which team:
Another person from Brighton wondered when the game was going to be played at Wembley:
Someone from Peterborough thought the game was brilliant and was telling the players to keep at it:
And others said they absolutely loved what the game was bringing to English culture.
It seems that some outsiders are shocked when they are told about Shrovetide in Ashbourne – and perhaps never fully understand the concept behind the massive medieval game.
The community of Ashbourne, however, loves the cultural game as it brings everyone together, with people proud to take part in the tradition.
And, once again this year, they are sure to have fun as the Up’ards and Down’ards battle it out for Shrovetide glory.