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The Oval World ❮Read❯ ➱ The Oval World Author Tony Collins – Rugby has always been a sport with as much drama off the field as on it For every thrilling last minute Jonny Wilkinson drop goal to win the World Cup or Jonah Lomu rampage down the touchline for a tr Rugby has always been a sport with as much drama off the field as on it For every thrilling last minute Jonny Wilkinson drop goal to win the World Cup or Jonah Lomu rampage down the touchline for a try there has been a split a feud or a controversy The Oval World is the first full length history of rugby on a world scale The Oval Kindle - from its origins in the village based football games of medieval times to the globalized sport of the twenty first century now played over a hundred countries It tells the story of how a game played in an obscure English public school became the winter sport of the British Empire spreading to France Argentina Japan and the rest of the world and commanding a global television audience of over four billion for the last World Cup final It also explores how American football and other games such as Australian Canadian and Gaelic football emerged from their English cousinFeaturing the great moments in the game's history and its legendary names David Duckham Serge Blanco Billy Boston and David Campese alongside Rupert Brooke King George V Boris Karloff Charles de Gaulle and Nelson Mandela The Oval World investigates just what it is about rugby that enables it to thrive in countries with very different traditions and cultures This is the definitive world history of a truly global rugby.

  • Hardcover
  • 560 pages
  • The Oval World
  • Tony Collins
  • English
  • 10 August 2016
  • 9781408843703

9 thoughts on “The Oval World

  1. FootballFan1894 FootballFan1894 says:

    In 2006 'The Ball Is Round A Global History of Football' by David Goldblatt was published Nine years later 'The Oval World' is published as rugby's responseTo mark the publication of the paperback edition the author did a talk and a series of blogs to promote the book In the second blog ‘The Oval World Anglo Saxon Rugby and Global Soccer’ at least one aspect of the blog is incorrect Tony states that ‘This trend can be seen by looking at the dates when the governing bodies for the football codes were formed Outside of the British Isles only Denmark and the Netherlands had governing bodies for soccer before 1890 In the same period governing bodies for rugby had been established in the British ‘Home’ nations Australia Canada New Zealand and South Africa as well as for the rugby derived codes in Australia and the United States And unlike soccer international rugby matches were also being played across the hemispheres’So according to Tony only two countries Denmark and the Netherlands outside of the British Isles had Association Football governing bodies before 1890 While for rugby there were four countries Australia Canada New Zealand and South AfricaUnfortunately Tony didn’t mention if he meant national governing bodies only or any governing bodies including regional but as he had included New Zealand on the rugby list and their national governing body was not formed until 1892 I take it he meant any governing body That being the case then New Zealand should also be included on the football list The Auckland Football Association was formed in 1887 also the Otago Football Association was formed in 1889 The Wellington Football Association just missing out on his cut off date being formed in 1890While on the subject of New Zealand when it comes to national governing bodies and competitions in New Zealand Association Football has usually led the way with rugby union following The New Zealand Football Association being formed in 1891 the New Zealand Rugby Football Union in 1892 The Association Football Challenge Trophy Brown Shield first played for in 1891 rugby’s Ranfurly Shield in 1902 National Soccer League commenced in 1970 rugby’s National Provincial Championship in 1976Getting back to governing bodies formed before 1890 in Australia which at the time was actually six separate colonies the English Football Association was formed in 1882 as the governing body for New South Wales Changing it’s name to the South British Football Association in 1884 Then to the British Football Association before becoming the New South Wales Football Association in 1898The English FA organised the first intercolonial match between New South Wales and Victoria in 1883 Not uite an international but as good as allowing for their status at the time In 1884 the Anglo Australian Football Association was formed as the governing body for Victoria The Anglo ueensland Football Association was formed in 1884 as the governing body for ueensland The ueensland British Football Association was formed in 1889 as the new governing bodyIn the separate Australian colonies there were also many regional Football Associations formed before 1890After the Commonwealth of Australia was formed by the six colonies in 1901 the Commonwealth Football Association was formed as the national governing body in 1911 Rugby had to wait until 1945 for the Australian Rugby Football Union to be formed and then they didn’t take over control until 1949In regards to South Africa which at the time was four separate colonies the Natal Football Association was formed in 1882 while the Griualand West Football Association which by now Griualand West was part of the Cape Colony formed in 1890 just missed out on the cut off date The South African Football Association was formed in 1892In Canada the Dominion Football Association was formed in 1877 but had folded after just three years The Western Football Association was formed in Ontario in 1880 The Dominion of Canada Football Association was formed in 1912Over to the oval game the Football Association of Canada was formed in 1873 but folded in 1878 The Canadian Rugby Football Union was formed in 1880 but folded soon afterwards A new Canadian Rugby Football Union was formed in 1882 but folded the next year In 1884 a third Canadian Rugby Football Union was formed and lasted until the end of 1887 The Canada Rugby Union was formed in 1891The Ontario Rugby Football Union was formed in 1883 The uebec Rugby Football Union was also formed in 1883 But the CRFU the ORFU and the RFU etc was not exactly playing rugby as known in Britain rather a forerunner to what became known as Canadian Football In the United States the American Football Association was formed in 1884 A breakaway American Amateur Football Association was formed in 1890 In 1913 they were superseded by the United States Football AssociationIn 1885 the American FA and the Western FA organised the first international match between United States and Canada the first international outside of BritainSo along with Denmark Dansk Boldspil Union formed in 1889 and the Netherlands Nederlandschen Voetbal en Athletischen Bond formed in 1889 name changed to Nederlandse Voetbal Bond in 1895 and Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbal Bond in 1929 you can add Australia Canada New Zealand South Africa and the United States to the list of countries outside of the British Isles who had Football governing bodies before 1890In all these countries just added Association Football is the most played code todayNow getting back to the book on page 467 of the book he wrote “Millions of immigrants had moved to Australia since the end of the Second World War and for many of them the road to integration led through sports with large working class constituencies such as rugby league Australian Rules football and to a lesser extent soccer”To a lesser extent soccer? This brought a smile to my face In Australia Association Football is known as the ‘foreign game’ or the ‘immigrant game’ or many less polite names as it is played by a large number of working class migrants The post war period saw a boom in Association Football with the large number of migrants coming into the game In Victoria there was even an annual ‘World Cup’ played by teams made up of different nationalities of immigrants and eventually played by teams representing 18 different nations The winners of the cup were 1950 Yugoslavia 1951 Scotland 1952 Scotland 1953 Poland 1954 Czechoslovakia 1955 Italy 1956 Holland 1957 England 1958 Malta 1959 Scotland 1960 Italy 1961 PolandThe post war period also saw the formation of lots of new Association Football clubs representing specific national groups Migrant camps were said to be excellent recruiting grounds for the new clubs Melbourne Juventus had to turn away many Italian immigrants who wanted to play for the club due to the high number they already had The new clubs played an important role where the immigrants could speak in the native tongueAustralian Rules fearing the ‘menace of soccer’ led to particular schools in the Rules states to ban Association Football in the 1950s The VFL Australian Rules had a new stadium Waverley Park built in the 1960s which according to VFL secretary Eric McCutcheon was ‘to meet the challenge of soccer to Australian football’ when he announced the plans All this doesn’t sound like immigrants were any less likely to play Association Football than rugby league or Australian RulesUnder the heading ‘Football’ rugby and soccer in the book Tony wrote “The first recorded description in Britain of a game called football by William Fitz Stephen in 1174 chronicles its popularity in London‘After dinner all the young men of the city go out into the fields to play at the well known game of football The scholars belonging to the several schools have each their own ball; and the city tradesmen according to their perspective crafts have theirs’uoted in John Stow Survey of London 1598 London Everyman edition 1970 p507The description by William FitzStephen first appeared in his ‘Descriptio Nobilissimae Civitatis Londoniae’ describing a Shrove Tuesday game of ball The reference appears in the section on Cockfighting and ball games The original text was in Latin and translated in 1598by John Stow in ‘A Survey of London’ 'after dinner the youths from every school and workers in various trades of the town play their own games of Ball while the older men fathers and rich men from the city on horseback watch the sport of young men and take pleasure in beholding their agility'Note that there is no mention of the word ‘Football’ in this translation As I have never seen the original text and I am unable to read Latin I can not be sure which translation is correct However the inclusion of the word ‘Football’ puts the one used in Tony's book in doubt as it is unlikely such a term existed back thenThe first known use of the word ‘Football’ in England is said to be in 1314 this is when the Lord Mayor of London on behalf of Edward II issued a writ to prohibit football in England However as the ruling classes used French as their language the de cree was written in French and not English Although other translations do not mention footballThe oldest known use of the word ‘Football’ in English was in 1409 when Henry IV issued a proclamation forbidding the leving of money for ‘Foteball’Also under the heading ‘Football’ rugby and soccer in the book Tony wrote “Soccer’s omnipresence in today’s world can lead us to assume that football means a sport that is played exclusively with the feet This was never the case”And “In fact soccer’s insistence that only the feet can be used by outfield players makes it the exception to the rule”Is this so? Believed to be written sometime between 1481 1500 in a collection of posthumous miracles attributed to Henry VI there was one relating to William Bartram of Caunton near Newark Nottinghamshire which included a description of football “ called by some the foot ball game in which young men in country sport propel a huge ball not by throwing it into the air but by striking and rolling it along the ground and that not with their hands but with their feet”Then we come to a book written circa 1660 by Francis Willughby called 'Book of Plaies' which describes 'Football' as a kicking game He clearly states that players had to kick not carry or throw the ball to their opponent’s goalIn 1780 'A General Dictionary of the English Language' by Thomas Sheridan defines 'Football' as a ball driven by the footI sent three emails to the author pointing out the incorrect information the first one over a month ago but so far I have had no response

  2. Niekoniecznie Papierowe Niekoniecznie Papierowe says:

    I really enjoyed reading this book A lot of information not only on history of rugby but also on the social and political context But don't worry it wasn't only about facts Collins tells a lot of interesting stories about union and league and how they have been changing And it doesn't focus only on the big rugby nations I even found few passages on the beginnings of rugby in Poland The Oval World turned out also to be a great inspiration for further reading I need to check what is inside Tom Brown's SchooldaysI am not sure if this book could be enjoyed by someone who does not know anything about rugby I think you should know at least what a scrum or a tackle are to appreciate its value I also would like to read a little about the political interdependencies in the 70s and 80s but I guess that is my own personal preference All in all this book is excellent

  3. Victoria Victoria says:

    As ever Collins writes with clarity intelligence and with the superb insight you'd expect from the world's leading sports historian

  4. Rudi Opperman Rudi Opperman says:

    A fascinating insight into the origin of rugby in the 1800’s and the growth of the game around the world

  5. Felipe Felipe says:

    Great book easy reading and not a standard History Book A must read

  6. Paul Grealish Paul Grealish says:

    'The Oval World' is a rich and readable history of all forms of rugby suitable for everyone from the recent convert to the fanatical 'club crest tattoo wearing' devoteeThe story unfolds methodically from the earliest days at the Rugby School to the present day mostly in the form of anecdotes about famous players and matches Importantly the book details less explored topics like the history of black South Africans in rugby and the evolution of early forms of rugby into the games of American and Canadian football Collins also examines the blight of racism and classism in the game throughout its history This is a holistic warts and all history that examines rugby league sevens and everything good and bad about the oval ball gamesThe only criticism I would level is that personally I would have liked both and less detail at times I was hoping for a detailed examination of the early Laws of the Game; what rugby really looked like in the 19th century but details are scarce I accept this may be due to a lack of real evidenceBy the same token a little less detail at certain points might have improved some chapters Collins presents a number of 'play by play' breakdowns of key historical games which while often interesting don't always feel essentialThese though are very mild criticisms of what is a magisterial work Collins is not afraid to paint rugby's history as it really is; brutal beautiful inspiring depressing and shocking all at the same time If you're a fan of the rugby football or you know someone who is you can't go far wrong with this book

  7. Harry Harry says:

    For rugby fans only League and Union and those with a passing interest of the development of Australian Rules American and Gaelic Football Given the scope of the book it is a relatively superficial skip through 150 years or so of a constantly developing sport but it's still a great overview of the two codes and leads to further reading around the subject Recommended for fans of rugby all around the world as it covers the development of the game globally

  8. Malcolm Malcolm says:

    review to follow

  9. Leslie Crang Leslie Crang says:

    ExcellentA go to book on the political and social history of union and league Top read Totally recommend this book

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