Kent Pub Game: Bat and Trap
There are many traditional pub games but the one most famous in East Kent and almost nowhere else, is, Bat and Trap.
Unfortunately none of the pubs actually in Sandwich have this game today but plenty do in the nearby villages.
Bat & Trap is an extremely ancient game possibly originating in the 12th century. It is said that the forerunner of Bat & Trap, was first played in the 1300's in a monastry in Canterbury. In later centuries, it grew to be one of the favourite games of the agricultual workers of the area and is probably the ancestor of Cricket.
Equipment and how the game is played (briefly):
- Bat - shaped a bit like table tennis bat, only much sturdier and heavier.
- Ball - Traditionally a wooden ball the size of a tennis ball, but very often these days it's played with a cricket ball.
- Trap - See above diagram - the trap is basically, a 5.25 x 5.25 inch hollow wooden box with a hinged flap at one end and a bit in the middle on a pivot. The ball is placed at one end of the pivot. The batsman/woman, hits the pivot (or striker) and the ball flies up into the air, they then have to try and hit the ball to the other end of the Pitch.
- Pitch - Usually about 21 yards long by 13.5 feet wide. The batsman/woman stands at on end of the pitch and hits the ball to the other end. The Bowlers stand at the other end of the pitch and grab the ball throwing it back at the hinged target on the trap. If the target falls down the batsperson is out. If a bowler catches the ball the batsperson is out, they are also out if the ball doesn't reach the other end of the pitch or they miss the ball completely.