2016

For ages the original crosse/crossage players in the ancient county of Hainaut – the northwest of France and the southwest of Belgium – were mainly farmers. In summer, they were too busy on the fields to play their favorite game. Only in the winter months, they had time to play. If you want to know more about the crosse season, click here.

Aux premiers siècles de l’histoire, les joueurs originaux de la crosse/du crossage sur le territoire de l’ancien comté de Hainaut – le nord-ouest de la France et le sud-ouest de la Belgique – étaient surtout des fermiers. En été, ils étaient trop occupés à labourer leurs champs pour jouer leur jeu favori. En hiver, il y avait plus de temps pour s’amuser aux jeux. Si vous aimerez savoir plus de la saison du jeu de crosse/le crossage tapez ici.

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Under the auspices of the ‘Stichting Nederlands Golf Archief Early Golf’ (Foundation Netherlandish Golf Archives Early Golf) the booklet ‘Colf Kolf Golf – Early Golf / Vroeg Golf’ has been published. The publication written by Do Smit (colf and kolf) and Michiel Eijkman (golf) explains the origin of the three games and what they have in common.
‘Early Golf / Vroeg Golf’ seems an excellent gift for any golf and sports enthusiastic.
The hardcover booklet contains 80 pages with some 40 pictures in full colour. The texts are both in English and Netherlandish. The price is 12 € 75 plus postage. For further information and ordering see www.colf-kolf.nl.

Some time ago an article was published in the French golf magazine ‘Golf Européen’ (March 2013), which explained the function and the importance of dimples on a golf ball. It was Rory McIlroy, one of the leading professionals in the world, who wanted to see how far he could hit a golf ball without dimples.
His experiment made us to have a look at the balls used in the long gone past in the games of colf, crosse, golf and mail. Here you can read about our findings.

In the history of European stick and ball games, women and children have hardly ever played a more than marginal role. It took until the end of the 19th century for women in sports to become notable, often under the patronage of men.
During the many centuries of the existence of the games of crosse, colf, mail and golf not much has been written, drawn or painted of women and children playing these games. It was far more the exception than the rule when references were made in words or pictures to women and children hitting balls with a club. Certainly for ages these games were considered (by men) as being unsuitable for women. Playing in the streets, churchyards, fields and in and around the towns was not an acceptable environment. In the Middle Ages, cursing, swearing, drinking and fighting were more common.
If you want to know more about women in mail history click hear.

The game of crosse has always been a working class game, without saying that the gentry did not like the game. When a game is popular, there is a good chance that it will be mentioned in one way or another in songs and poems.
In the course of the centuries crosseurs played their game in the vicinity of cafés (often their ‘clubhouse’), where they had a few glasses of wine or beer and sometimes a simple meal.
It is obvious that there existed many ‘pub songs’ to celebrate victory or defeat.
When from the end of the 19th century, crosse societies were founded, many of these societies had club songs. Most of these songs were lost when many of these societies were disbanded in the 1970’s.
An exception is the ‘Marche des Crosseurs’ from 1901 which we present you here, including its sheet of music.
Happy singing!

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Le jeu de crosse a toujours été un jeu pour le peuple, sans que cela veuille dire que la noblesse n’aimât pas aussi y jouer. Quand un jeu est populaire, il y a de fortes chances pour que des chansons ou des poèmes s’en empare.
Au fil des siècles, les crosseurs jouaient aux alentours de leurs bistrots (souvent leur « club house ») là où ils prenaient quelques verres de vin ou de bière et quelquefois un repas simple. Il est évident que beaucoup de chants de bistrot célèbrent la victoire ou la défaite.
Quand à partir de la fin du 19ème siècle, des sociétés de crosse furent fondées, beaucoup d’entre elles eurent leurs chansons de club. La plupart de ces chansons se sont perdues quand, dans les années 1970, beaucoup de sociétés se sont dissoutes.
Une exception est la « Marche des Crosseurs » de 1901 que nous vous présentons ici ; même la feuille de musique a survécu jusqu’à nos jours.
Bon chant !

In the history of European stick and ball games, women and children have hardly ever played a more than marginal role. It took until the end of the 19th century for women in sports to become notable, often under the patronage of men.
During the many centuries of the existence of the games of crosse, colf, mail and golf not much has been written, drawn or painted of women and children playing these games. It was far more the exception than the rule when references were made in words or pictures to women and children hitting balls with a club. Certainly for ages these games were considered (by men) as being unsuitable for women. Playing in the streets, churchyards, fields and in and around the towns was not an acceptable environment. In the Middle Ages, cursing, swearing, drinking and fighting were more common.
If you want to know more about women in colf history click hear.
Happy reading.

It is said that originally the game of colf (like the game of golf) was a winter game. That people played colf in extreme ‘arctic’ conditions is rather exceptional.
Some four hundred years ago a Netherlandish complement played colf within the polar circle. Click here to read more about colf in the freezing cold.

In the course of the years not much attention has been paid to the influence of nature on Scottish golf and continental colf, crosse and mail.
Why did players use wooden balls of approximately the same size? Could it be that golfers used balls defined by the size of boxwood branches?
Do we accept that the whippy feature of the ash wood shaft was enhanced by the moon phases and that the end of the playing season was determined by the growth of certain weeds?
Here you can read about our findings.

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