It was during exam term at university that my flatmates and I found increasingly inventive ways to postpone revision, the highlight of which was without doubt the brand new sport of ‘Hall Rugby’. Though I cannot claim responsibility for its creation, I will attempt now to codify it for the benefit of the world. Low on effort and high on tense and fraught excitement, it’s the perfect way to throw off those exam blues.
YOU WILL NEED…
1 water bottle (empty)
Now, opinion is divided on the exact specifications required.
Cambridge rules allow for slight variation in the weight and shape of said
bottle, (the IHRA has made certain concessions to allow for limited student
budgets) but international rules specify a 500ml Evian bottle with half a
label. Should this not be available, conversion from a standard full-labeller is possible, though to avoid damage we reccomend taking your bottle to a licensed dealer. Women’s competitions normally use a Malvern Spring bottle, for obvious reasons, and juniors start with a ‘Fruit-Shoot’(blackcurrant).
Whilst there has been a movement of late to formalise the bins dimensions, a powerful conservative lobby has fought to maintain more traditional methods. As of the time of writing, it is still widely accepted that the correct size of bin should sit neatly over the head of the largest player, the rim being equidistant from neck to arm on both shoulders. Strictly speaking the bin need not be empty, though it is advised to perform a thorough inspection of the contents prior to kick-off to ensure that no unfortunate suprises await the unwary…
1 Hallway with table and dirty crockery from dinner
The table should be laid for 4 people, ideally with plates,
forks and left over curry, but these are merely for aesthetic purposes and
are normally only bothered with in major competition. The key point is to
have 4 glasses, one by each place. These act as natural obstacles that must
be avoided, and penalties apply for any breakages.
Turns are taken in strict rotation, starting with the player whose first
initial is closest to the beginning of the alphabet, and continuing thusly.
The bottle is balanced top downwards on the floor and contestants take
turns to ‘welly’ the bottle in the vague direction of the bin. Courses
obviously vary, (a feature that keeps so many players coming back for more)
but a normal length is 15 carpet tiles (or around 20 feet in the modern
parlance). The table is positioned such that it is directly between athlete
and target. Each player continues to take his turn until such time as he
succesfully lands within the bin, at which point he drops out. Eventually
only a single player is left, and he is then declared a ‘loser’.
Traditionally this point in proceedings is met with much merriment from
those who are not ‘losers’, and players signal their pleasure with pointing
of fingers. The ‘loser’ then does the washing up, if the course includes
dirty crockery. Otherwise he/she performs another pre-arranged forfeit.
A recent spate of much publicised accidents has brought to
public attention once again the danger of extreme sports, not least Hall
Rugby. It is important to remember that Hall Rugby is no more dangerous
than rock-climbing or parachuting, and with a modicum of care and due
attention the associated risks may be reduced still further. Eye protection
should be worn at all times, and for training pitches the glasses may be
wrapped in cling film. Most injuries occur to spectators who have wandered
unwittingly onto the course, so warning signs and fences should be errected
whenever possible. It is advised to yell incoherently before striking the
bottle, though fans of the sport who watched the recent world championships
will have seen a new innovation of using an air-raid siren to
signal the warning. This is still in the experimental stages, and is not
recommended for urban courses.