A Long Way From Paume

16/08/17: An intrepid band of Eton Fives tourists made their way to France last weekend to take part in the 2017 World Cup of Paume Artignoscaise, a traditional handball game played for centuries in the Provencal village of Artignosc-sur-Verdon up against the wall of the village church.

Continue Reading

Westward Ho!

The Old Citizens tour of the West Country and Wales May 2017

John Reynolds reports: Three-a-side fives exists! Bat fives lives! Handball is still being played in Wales!

The Old Citizens have just completed a voyage of discovery to three fabulous fives (in the loosest sense) courts in the West Country and South Wales.

Continue Reading

Fives at Auckland Grammar School

20/10/16 2016: There is an interesting article in the 2016 edition of "Ad Augusta", the Auckland Grammar School magazine about their former Fives court and Fives/Handball in New Zealand.

CLICK HERE for the magazine and scroll down to p.30/31

Sept 2014: The Only Way is Asia

Anthony Theodossi reports:

The first time I ever heard about courts in Malaysia was oddly enough my first time I ever set foot on a Fives court; it was the day the courts were re-opened at Emanuel School and I asked coach Howard Wiseman where else in the world this strange, but wonderful, game was played. Little did I realise that 18 years down the line I would be jetting off there with my partner in crime, Ryan Perrie, to coach in this wonderful country.

Continue Reading

July 2014: A Night At The Opera

Dale Vargas reports:

Krystyna and I were at Glyndebourne last evening and took the opportunity of investigating the remains of the Eton Fives courts there (I believe there were two and the dimensions of the space would support that).

Continue Reading

A ball in the compost pit and other tales: A look into the history of the College courts of Cambridge

This article first appeared in the Fives Federation Annual Review in 2010. Since then an attempt has been made - although the project is currently on hold - to renovate the Caius College courts. Cambridge also now has three new courts in the West Cambridge University Sports Centre.

Continue Reading

Fives "causes swearing, fighting, quarreling and much wickedness"

No, not an extract from Nick Bunyan's long (un)anticipated autobiography, but a quote from the Martock Churchwardens' accounts for the year 1740. Versions of handball or Fives were prevalent in churchyards for centuries, especially in the West Country (CLICK HERE for more on this topic) and this account, published in "Notes & Queries for Somerset and Dorset" in December 1921, gives a wonderful flavour of how the game was played, the problems it caused and the lengths to which some people went to stop it. 

Continue Reading
Dec 2013: Fives in Nigeria

Eton Fives is not purely a UK sport; if you ever had any doubts check out the recent article on Nigerian Fives in the Economist by CLICKING HERE

Boxing, Betting and Drinking: The Recipe for Fives Success!

Mark Yates has discovered this chapter about Fives from a book called "The Sports of the World with Illustrations from Drawings and Photographs - Vol I" edited by F.G.Aflalo and published in 1903. The chapter was written by Eustace Miles, Old Marlburian, Real Tennis champion and prolific author, many of whose books are still available on Amazon. Click HERE to see his Wikipedia entry. The chapter extols the virtues of Fives and is a fascinating read.

Continue Reading

Why Eton Fives is a civilised - and civilising - game

04/01/13: In this newly published article, multiple Kinnaird winner John Reynolds explains his take on the unique moral dimensions of the sport of Eton Fives.

Playing Eton fives civilises people - it makes them more honest and generous. That's what I reckon, based on my experience over 40 seasons. Of course, I'm no paragon but I am probably more civilised than I would have been if the game hadn’t worked its magic on me.

Continue Reading