Elizabethan Games, Pastimes and Sports
It is hard to think that an Elizabethan could ever get bored. When the weather was good Elizabethans could play bowls, tennis, football or practice archery and fencing. When the Weather kept them inside they played dice, cards, or board games. If they wanted to watch a sport they could go see bear baiting or cockfighting. There were so many games, activities and sports to play in the 16th century (Young).
In the 16th century people took part in many various activities (Young). Some outdoor sports were played just for fun, other games practiced skills of war (Elizabethan England).
Elizabethan bowls is like present bowling. A marker called a jack was placed at the end of a field. A player would roll the bowl (the ball) to the jack. The ball was misshaped so it would be hard to get it close to the Jack.
The contestant who got the bowl closest to the jack won (Elizabethan Times).
Tennis was played frequently though it was quite different from modern tennis. The ball was made of leather, stuffed with hair. The ball could hardly bounce. The player had to have great strength, therefore woman did not play tennis. Tennis was played in an enclosed court with high walls. One version of tennis was played with racquets; the other was played using a special glove (Langley). Tennis was especially fashionable with royalty but courts were made open to the public (Andrews).
Football, now called soccer, was also played in Shakespearean times. The ball was made of pigs' skin or leather. The goals were sometimes spread miles apart. Football was generally played by the upper class. Elizabethans did not play on open fields, there was usually rivers and trees in the way. There were...