The return to school has been an exciting moment for many Eton pupils, as it has encompassed not just reunions with friends, teachers and the experience of live learning, but also the long-awaited return to the sports pitch.

The age-old Eton sport of Field Game is traditionally played by pupils in the Lent Half. This year it has been modified to ensure COVID-19 protocols, and to welcome a new generation of Year 9 pupils to the game. The major reform of the game has seen the removal of the ‘bully’, a scrum-like meeting which only succeeds if the players keep moving forward with the ball at their feet.

Field Game is a unique part of the Eton experience, with many Old Etonians returning to the school to play against current pupils in weekend matches.

Beaks and senior pupils alike have offered their expertise with the new rules of Field Game, offering two sessions a week in these final three weeks of the Lent Half.

Mr Pierce, Head of Field Game, is thrilled with the progress that the young and old pupils alike have made on the pitch, and is grateful for the enthusiasm those involved have shown. ‘I think our attempt to teach the game to these year groups was done for the right reasons, and it looks like it will hopefully give these pupils a better chance when they come to play the game properly (with the bully) in Lent 2022.’

Learning the new Field Game rules wouldn’t have been possible without some top notch House Master input, plus some keen colleagues who agreed to help, the Keeper of the Field and a number of energised Year 13 pupils too.