Description of the Rules of Football as played at Marlborough College (1863)

[T]he game is identical with that of Rugby, and the collegers find it a matter of little or no difficulty to get up a game or two every year with past Rugbæans at Oxford, who take a trip to the college ground for that purpose, or receive them at the university.

The Marlborough ground is 120 yards long, and 60 yards broad, the width between the goal-posts being 8 yards; the cross-bar is 9 feet from the ground. These dimensions are rather less than those of the "Old Bigside" at Rugby, but about the same proportions are observable.

The most important points of difference between the two games -- and these are not very material -- are the uniform distance of 30 yards in front of "touch" for the "place kick" at Marlborough, instead of the kick from an undefined place at Rugby; and not allowing the "free kick" which a Rugbæan may claim after a catch. The Marlborough system of kicking from a definite spot is an improvement on the Rugby method, but, as we have said, the two games may be looked upon as the same, both of them permitting running with the ball, hacking and mauling, &c.



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The author died in 1924, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.