[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index][Search Archives]


Poster: David KUIJT <kuijt@umiacs.umd.edu>

Dafydd greets the Cheapside Rabble!  

Eogan (who loves games;) asked about Cambok.

For more detailed information, ask someone who was getting the Acorn about
two years ago to borrow their copy of the Oak (#7?  Something like that)
from that period.  I wrote an article.

Simple information:

There are the "rules" of Cambok, and there are the social conventions that
make it what it is here.

Cambok is the result of my research into period ball games.

The equipment (curved-end sticks and a leather-covered inflated ball about
the size of a volleyball) is based upon a surviving manuscript
illustration from the 15th century.  A modified version of that
illustration graces the front of the Varsity Cambok T-shirts that about
100 lucky Atlantians possess.  Ask around! 

The rules are based upon a selection of rules for period ball games, of
which there were many.

The name was chosen out of a bunch of possibilities used for period ball
games with sticks.  Lacrosse (NOT the modern game), Cambok, others that I
now forget.  Cambok, like Lacrosse, refers to the shape of the stick,
curved like a shepherd's crook or bishop's crozier. 

The "rules" are pretty simple:
1) You can't hold the ball, however briefly.
	You can kick it, bat it with your hands, strike it with your
stick, etc., but you cannot hold it.  No grabbing it, no running with it.

This rule is common to many period ball games.  I included it in Cambok
because holding balls means tackling.  Tackling means lots of injuries,
even with modern football equipment.

2) Try to get the ball in an enemy goal.
	Some period ball games had a "line" objective, some had a "point"
objective, and some had a "goal" objective.  I chose a "goal".

The social conventions are what make Cambok so fun for very large numbers
of people.

First, the objective of the game is NOT to injure each other.  If anyone
plays dangerously or brutally, I kick them out.  We're swinging oak plow
handles slightly disguised, here.  We don't need any jerks.

Second, the philosophy of Cambok is based upon the highlights film, not on
the final score.  Anyone who puts too much emphasis upon the score is
likely a jerk.

Third, teams are a flexible thing.  Nobody has fun if the teams are
unbalanced.  When I enter into a Cambok game I do it on the smaller side,
where my glory will shine the brighter.  Black Kane O'Shannon understood
this part of the game very well -- in the legendary four-hours-in-the-rain
game at Emerald some years back he switched sides basically at random, to
engender confusion.  Confusion and hilarity are important parts of the

Fourth, don't be an idiot.  That means you don't follow someone after the
ball into an area with lots of tent stakes, where someone might fall and
do themselves great injury.

Within the constraints above, there are no other rules.  There are no
boundaries, no stoppage of play until the ball gets too damaged to
continue.  There are no substitutions, no team sizes.  If you are tired,
stop playing.  When you recover, enter into the game again.  On the same
side or another.

The social conventions of Cambok are simple: don't be an idiot, and don't
be a jerk.  Anything dangerous (swinging your stick too wildly,
cross-checking, running full-tilt into someone who hasn't seen you) counts
as being an idiot if it is not deliberate, or being a jerk if it is
deliberate.  Anything that interferes with the enjoyment of everyone else
is being a jerk.

I forgot, there are two other rules inserted for safety.

1) No high-sticking.  Swing an oak plow-handle at eye level and you are
going to put an eye out.  This is very important in a game where you often
have forty people in a scrum. I don't like head injuries.

2) No grabbing, tackling, body-slamming, or cross-checking.  You may push
and shove to your heart's content, but no flying shoulder-strikes or the
like.  This is not a medieval rule, but it allows many more people to play
without fear of severe injury.

There is exactly one rule for fouls.

If a majority of the players think it is a foul, it is.  Regardless of
what was done or intended.

This saves us from having referees, and helps enforce the social rules of
the game without any major injuries.

Hmmmm -- two other things.  No armour, but wear good stout shoes.  Feet
and shins tend to take the bulk of the batterings of sticks.

Dafydd ap Gwystl

Meus Sanguis Camboki Fervet!
(Tuus Cruor Camboki Ex Naso Iactet)

List Archives, FAQ, FTP:  http://sca.wayfarer.org/merryrose/
            Submissions:  atlantia@atlantia.sca.org
        Admin. requests:  majordomo@atlantia.sca.org