The game involves two teams, one from the “town” and one from “country”, who play with a silver-coated ball about the size of a cricket ball. The aim of the game is reach the parish boundary: when this happens, the game is at an end. The game begins when the ball is “called up” by the previous year’s winner and thrown into the crowd. The ball is then passed around between the players until one of their number makes a dash for the parish boundary and victory. Once the goal has been scored, the winners return to the town and “call up” the ball again. Afterwards, they are rewarded with a jug of cocoa or beer, which the silver ball is dunked in. Because of this, the drink is called “silver beer”.
St Columb Major
On Shrove Tuesday and the Saturday after, the town of St Columb Major hold one of the three remaining hurling games in Cornwall. Hurling is a sport similar to mob football games across Europe, and was once one of the most popular pastimes in Cornwall, with games played in nearly every community.