Kirkwall Ba Game 2009 (54 pics)
I just quote the Wikipedia article:
The Kirkwall Ba Game is one of the main annual events held in the town of Kirkwall, in Orkney, Scotland.
It is one of a number of Ba Games played in the streets of towns around Scotland; these are examples of traditional football games which are still played in towns in the United Kingdom and worldwide.
The two sides are the Uppies and the Doonies, or more correctly, "Up-the-Gates" and "Doon-the-Gates" from Norn gata (path or road), although it is also common in Scots.
Originally the side any individual played on was decided by whether he (or she) was born up or doon the gate but a hospital built in the 1950s made family tradition determinant.
For ferryloupers (incomers) and people from the isles or rural areas their side is determined by the route taken on their first arrival in Kirkwall, by family influence, or by the side their friends play on.
Recent housing developments favour the Uppie side to the point the Doonies are outnumbered almost 2-1 in modern games, and have only won a single game from 1998 to 2007.
The Men's Ba is thrown up at 13:00 at the Market Cross on the Kirk Green opposite the Cathedral, usually by an older Ba stalwart, but occasionally by some public figure, with up to 200 players eagerly awaiting the chime of the bells.
The Ba disappears into the scrum, which may spend some considerable time on Broad Street. Much exciting surging and turning play often occurs on this wider part of the street, which can frequently determine the final outcome.
You can read more here.
And now let's see the pictures.