SHOVE HA'PENNY FOOTBALL

 
This is a game for 2 or 4 players, and as far as I can remember it originated sometime between the wars. An additional player can take part by acting as referee, time keeper and scorer.

In the days of sterling coinage ( s d), two pennies and a half penny were used to play, but today, two ten pence pieces and the old five pence piece (one shilling) would suffice or any three coins of comparable size.

The field of play is a smooth surface like a table, ideally 4 Ft. long by 2 Ft. wide, although any reasonable size will do.

At each end of the table the goals are marked and are usually about 4 inches wide. Chalk is the best marking medium, as this prevents the players from experiencing the wrath of the table owner. Coloured sticky tape can also be used to mark the goals. The best surface is the modern formica top kitchen table. Using mother's beautifully and lovingly polished antique oak table is not recommended as it is generally accepted that mother would not be pleased.

For a small fee, probably a couple of pounds or so, a suitable piece of chipboard already covered with a laminate can be bought and permanently marked out as an actual football pitch.

If 4 players play, they play as two teams of two players. Each team is organised in whatever way suits that team. E.g. Player A will be the defender and will be responsible for play in his own half and player B will be the attacker and will be responsible for his team's play in the opponent's half. Or player A can take the left side of the field and player B can take the right side.

As well as coins of the realm and a playing surface, each player will need a "shoving" implement. A gents nylon comb is perfect but a short ruler or something similar would do.

A game lasts 5 minutes each way or first to reach 5 goals with half time coming after one side has scored 3 goals.

The method of play is basically to shove the larger coin, the player, with the comb so that it strikes the smaller coin, the ball, and propels it goalwards or at least away from your own goal.

When playing the player or ball with the comb, the comb should push the player or ball a short distance, no more than about 3 inches, to propel it forward. Players should avoid "lengthy" pushes as this only leads to arguments and also tends to be inaccurate. A players coin must stop being pushed BEFORE it strikes the ball. PUSH SHOTS ARE NOT ALLOWED.

If a player and ball are touching or are so close as to make a "push shot" inevitable, the player must play away.

If a goal is scored as a result of a "push shot" the goal is dis-allowed and a goal kick is awarded.

If a player follows the ball into goal, whether it is a "push shot" or not, the goal is dis-allowed and a goal kick is awarded.

If a player touches another player except when bouncing off the ball, it is a foul and a free kick is awarded to the injured player. If a player bounces off a goal post and strikes another player, it is a foul.

If a defender commits a foul and it takes place closer to the defender's goal line than the half way line, a penalty to the attacking side is awarded.

If the attacking side sends the ball over the goal line but not through the goals, a goal kick is awarded to the defending side. If a defender sends the ball over the goal line but not through the goals, a corner kick is awarded to the attacking side.

If a player sends the ball off the table at the side, the opposing player has a throw in.

Own goals stand except if any of the rules have been contravened.

The game is started and re-started after half time, by a kick off in the centre of the table. After a goal has been scored the game is re-started by a kick off in the centre of the table.

A shot at goal may only be attempted if the WHOLE of the ball is closer to the goal line than the half way line and the player is WHOLLY in that half of the field of play.

When a player is attempting to make a shot at goal, in order to prevent arguments as to whether the ball went in or not or hit the post, the defender is obliged to place a finger tip on each goal post mark, whilst the shot is being taken. The tips of the fingers should rest on the edge of the table and not protrude onto the field of play.

If a player leaves the field of play, he is replaced at the point of exit and wholly on the table.

PENALTY
The defender PLACES his player on the goal line and positions his fingers as goal posts. Once the player has been positioned he may not change his position. The attacker PLACES the ball about six inches away from the goals and in line with the centre. The average hand span is about the right distance.

The attacking player is PLACED behind the ball, 2 inches away and also in line with the centre of the goals. The attacker pushes the player with his comb towards the ball, so that it strikes the ball and knocks it goalwards. If a goal is scored the game is re-started with a centre kick off. If a goal is not scored the game continues as normal.

GOAL KICK
The side not taking the goal kick must push his player anywhere onto the field of player FIRST. The side taking the goal kick, places the ball about three inches away from the goal line and in line with the centre of the goals. The player is placed on the goal line in the centre of the goals and wholly on the table. The goal kick can be taken in one of two ways:-

1. Push the player at the ball to knock it forward and when the ball has come to rest, do so again. On the first push, the ball MUST NOT travel into the opposing half. If the ball does stop in the opposing half, the goal kick is re-taken. If the ball again lands in the opposing half, the goal kick is forfeited and a free kick is awarded to the opponents and is taken on the centre spot.

2. Push the ball forward with the comb, but not into the opponent's half, and then push the player forward with the comb towards the ball. If the ball is then pushed into the opponent's half the above ruling applies.

FREE KICK
Both players and ball are left where they came to rest after the foul had been committed. The player who committed the foul first pushed his player into a defensive position. The side taking the free kick first pushes the ball forward and then pushes his player towards the ball. A goal cannot be scored direct from a free kick.

THROW IN
As for Free Kick except the ball is re-placed onto the table at the point of exit. A goal cannot be scored direct from a free kick.

CORNER
The defender PLACES his player in a defending position on the goal line, FIRST. The attacking side positions his player by pushing his player into position. (Only ONE push is allowed) The ball is placed as close to the corner as is practical. The ball is pushed towards the player, then the player is pushed towards the ball. A goal can be scored direct from a corner kick.

KICK OFF
The ball is placed in the centre of the table and the player taking the centre is placed anywhere behind the ball and close to it. The opponent is placed anywhere in front of the ball BUT NOT CLOSER THAN THREE (3) INCHES AWAY. The centre is taken in one of two ways.

1. The ball is pushed forward and then the player is pushed towards the ball. A goal cannot be scored direct from the kick off.

2. The player is pushed to strike the ball and then pushed again. A goal cannot be scored direct from a kick off.

METHOD OF PLAY
Each side plays alternately, except when there is a free kick, corner etc., by pushing his player with his comb around the field of play.

To decide which side kicks off, either a coin is tossed or the ball is placed in the centre of the table and each player is placed within an inch of each goal line. Each player has one push to see who gets closest to the ball. In the event of a tie or a dispute as to who is closest, the attempt is made again.

If the skill of the players is such, that after the third attempt it is still undecided as to who will take the centre, a coin is tossed.

FINALLY, the table is small, the coins are light and man is big and butch. Skill wins games and not blasting the coins from one end of the table to the other, willy nilly.

 
 

Back To The Contents

Click here to go back to the books page.