2009 Season
   
 

Probably our best known "player "

 

The league has been in existence since at least 1973 when it had 24 teams.

It is well supported, with 76 teams last year and peaking with 77 this year- our two best years to date.

The league this year will again have 8 sections and will play 18 games between May and September.

Games are played on Thursday evenings between teams of 6 players (unlike other local leagues who play 8).

Competition heats are played throughout the season, culminating in our Finals Night - held in October.



Aunt Sally For Beginners

The origins and history of the game are not entirely clear - visit 'A History of Aunt Sally' on our Links page opposite.

The modern game is essentially pub sport - to be enjoyed with copious quaffing of ale on balmy summer evenings(??). The serious players also take part in indoor winter leagues.

The object of the game is to see how many times you can knock a wooden 'doll' off a post by throwing 6 sticks at it from a distance of 30 feet - simple!

You can see the 'doll' in the pictures below- a 6" high wooden skittle, sitting on a swivelled post 2' 6" above the ground. Just behind the doll is a canvas backdrop to catch the incoming stick. A painted bullseye helps you aim at the doll.

The stick is a wooden cylinder 18" long and 2" or less in diameter. Its weight varies between 1-2lb according to the player's preference.

Now the hard bit - you stand 30 feet away, behind a throwing line (called variously 'hockey', 'hocking' or 'oche') and throw each of your six sticks in turn at the doll. You can only throw underarm.

To score, your stick must knock the doll cleanly off the swivel, without first touching either the swivel or the post. The scorer down at the other end will call 'Doll' if it hits cleanly or 'Iron' if it doesn't.

 

                                  A clean 'Doll'                                                                    An 'Iron'

Failure to score anything with 6 sticks is referred to as a 'blob' - the unfortunate player being subject to much derision (mainly from their own side!) - and in some cases a fine of 50p!

On the toss of a coin, the winning team will elect to either 'set' (throw) or put their opponents in. Each of the six team members throws all of their sticks and the dolls are totalled. The opposing team then all throw. The team with the highest doll score will be awarded that leg; a match being the best of three legs (also called 'horses').

Should the doll count be equal at the end of a leg, then the process is repeated with each player having only 3 sticks each ( a 'Three Sticker').

If it's still a draw then it's done again with only 1 stick each (a 'One Sticker'). Still a draw? - then back to 6 sticks and keep going until someone wins.

Even if there's an outright winner after 2 legs, the third leg will be played, because total doll score counts in final league positions and possible promotion in the following season.

After the conclusion of the match proper comes the high point for many - The Beer Leg.

Winners of the beer leg get bought a drink by their opponents ! Once a month every beer leg winner also gets a case of beer from our sponsors.

Matches alternate - home and away, giving the opportunity to visit a variety of pubs.

Aunt Sally is a game that can be played and enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities and it would be great to think that by visiting this site, someone might be inspired to have a go at our 'beautiful game'.

If you're outside the UK and you know of Aunt Sally (or something similar) being played near you, get in touch and let us know about it (photos welcome). We've already been contacted from the USA, China and the Czech republic!


So, you think you have good hand to eye co-ordination ? Want to give it a try ? - On the first page of the League option in the main menu, you'll find a list of the pubs in our league - ring one and see if you can have a go.

Rremember that League matches are played on Thursday nights between 8:30 and around 10:00pm - a good time to spectate, but don't expect to get a game!