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Ba', Ba', Black Eyes

The first game of Ba' was played with a severed head.
Ba'
The 2001 New Year's Day game was won by the Uppies.
Ba'

You can kick, punch, head-butt, break down doors and even run through houses. Welcome to the ancient game of Ba' - the roughest and toughest game on earth.

Where? When? Who?
Ba' is played in the town of Kirkwall which is on one of the Orkney Islands in Scotland. The two teams are the Uppies (who live on the north side of the town) and the Doonies (who live on the south side.) The game is played twice a year - on Christmas Day and New Year's Day starting at 1 PM.

The Rules
Basically there are no rules, except one. The Doonies have to dunk the ba' (a three pound leather ball) into the water of Kirkwall's harbor to win, while the Uppies have to touch the ba' to a wall at the south end of the town. It's kinda like a big game of rugby played on the town's streets. Anything goes: you can kick people, smash out windows or climb over roof tops. Each team can have as many players as they want, usually about 300. There are no referees, no penalties and the game can go on for hours and hours. The usual injuries include concussions, crushed ribs and broken legs. This ain't no sport for pansies.

How It Started
It's kinda unclear how this wild game of mob-ball started. One story says that about a thousand years ago two groups of vikings on the island kicked around the cut-off head of a hated enemy. They had so much fun kicking around the guy's noggin that they made it a tradition. Back then they used the head of an unlucky prisoner, but now they just use a leather ball.

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    What do You Think About the Game of Ba'?

    • No ref, no rules...sounds like fun.
    • A stupid game that's way too dangerous.

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    Kirsteeeeen
    Do you have an old tire you could start off practicing with? It helps you align your hands. I find it kind of hard to explain, but there are lots of great resources out there online if you search for them. :) To do a cartwheel stand in a lunge with your favourite leg (by that I don't mean you look at it and say "that's a nice leg" but that you favor that leg when doing things, you feel comfortable with it going first), knees bent slightly, and your arms straight up by your ears. Make sure your elbows are locked. You don't want to drop. Assuming you start with your right, reach forward with your right arm while kicking your left leg up at the same time. Your left hand should follow very quickly and as it touches the ground your right leg should also be off of the ground. You should pass through the handstand briefly and your left leg should reach the ground first with your right following it and you will finish in a lunge just as you started. Hand, hand, foot, foot. 1,2,3,4. There's a rhythm to it. Keep practicing and try to perfect not kicking around as you go.
    reply about 17 hours
    awesomechix12
    Well I'm in 6th grade this year and next year in seventh grade I'm going to try out for cheerleading... The problem is I cant do a cartwheel or any of that! So I have to cram all of this stuff into just one year, all help is appreciated.
    reply 1 day
    MissAttitude_14
    Seattle Seahawks
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    u_nique116
    The broncos and the giants you just got to love the manning brothers. 
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