The Field Game
The Field Game is one of Eton’s two brands of football, the other being the famous Wall Game. It is like soccer in some ways – the ball is round and a player is not allowed to pick it up – but the off-side rules are more complicated (there being both horizontal and lateral offside) and there is also a scrum called a ‘bully’. A team scores goals much as in soccer (although there is no goal-keeper), and one can also score ‘rouges’ (rather like tries) and attempt to convert them. Seven players make up the bully, a 'fly' plays behind the bully players (similar to a scrum-half) and there are three 'behinds'. Whilst the fly and the behinds generally possess greater footballing skill, the key to success lies with the bully players and their teamwork and fitness.
The Field Game occupies a prime position in the games programme throughout the Lent Half and and one of its strengths is that boys of all skill levels can make a valuable contribution to the fortunes of their House. The majority of boys are able to play the Field Game for their House two to three times a week in competitions. There is a Senior House knockout competition for boys in B–D which encourages much partisan support throughout the rounds owing to its long tradition at Eton (the pitch is lined with spectators of all ages during the final).
There is also a Junior House competition for boys in E and F which extends throughout the half and also enjoys great prestige.
The most skilful boys in C and B have the opportunity to represent the School in one of the seven teams which play against Old Etonian opposition once a week. Apart from being close contests and much enjoyed, these fixtures allow boys who have left the School to keep in touch – some captains have been bringing down scratch sides for over twenty years and they have become particularly popular in recent years with recent Old Etonians, over 50 captains returning with their teams last season.
Click here for details of this half’s fixtures (the Field Game is played only in the Lent Half).
Click here for information about pitches.
Click here for a downloadable copy of the Laws.