Game type: 'French Cricket', 'Hand Tennis' (ball games)
Alternative types: team games, bat and ball games, play with props/equipment

Handwritten descriptions of the ball games 'French Cricket' and 'Hand Tennis' composed by Carolyn Eyles, a 12 year old student at Erskineville Public School, for Dr Dorothy Howard in October 1954. Eyles describes 'French Cricket' as a team game suitable for boys and girls, which requires a tennis ball and bat. She explains that the batsman must prevent the ball from touching their legs, whilst trying to hit it as far away as possible. Eyles notes that the batsman is only allowed to move their upper body when batting. She writes that the bowler's objective is to hit the batsman on the legs below the knee. Eyles provides two handdrawn, annotated diagrams illustrating the game's layout. Eyles also describes 'Hand Tennis', a game similar to tennis, noting that it can be played with two or four players. Although not stated in her description, it is presumed that 'Hand Tennis' utilises the players' hands in place of tennis rackets. Eyles provides a handdrawn, annotated diagram explaining the various directions in which ball may be hit.

One of a collection of letters describing a children's game written to children's Folklorist Dorothy Howard between 1954 and 1955. Dr Howard came to Australia in 1954-55 as an American Fulbright scholar to study Australian children's folklore. She travelled across Australia for 10 months collecting children's playground rhymes, games, play artefacts, etc. This letter, together with the other original fieldwork collected by Dr Howard during this period, is preserved in the Dorothy Howard Collection manuscript files, part of the Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC), Archive Series 3. The ACFC is an extensive collection documenting children's folklore and related research.

Physical Description

Handwritten game descriptions in blue ink on lined paper. Comprises three pages featuring hand drawn, annotated diagrams, one of which is illustrated in coloured pencils. Text written on one side only.

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