Stoolball Ditchling Club

Dating back to the 15th century and having originated in Sussex, the sport of stoolball is one that may bring back nostalgic memories to readers.


The exciting team sport, similar to Twenty20 cricket sees two teams competing to score the most runs using willow, round face bats with two wickets standing at shoulder height. The ball is small and hard and can only be bowled underarm towards the wicket.


CommunityAd had the pleasure of speaking with the Chairman of Stoolball Ditchling Club, Mr Michael Stratford to find out more about this wonderful sport…


What are your earliest memories of taking up stoolball and when did the village make the decision to form the club?

My earliest memory of stoolball was as a five-year-old at Hove Park when my mother played for Hove. I started playing in the 1960s and played league stoolball for Lewes in the 1970s. Stoolball Ditchling was formed in 2021 after the demise of the original Ditchling club who had amalgamated with Clayton due to the shortage of players.


As Chairman of Ditchling Stoolball Club, what would you say have been the club’s most memorable moments?

The most memorable moment is now, bringing together thirty ladies of various ages and abilities who all are both enthusiastic and dedicated.


Despite the sport dating back to the 15th century, why is stoolball not as popular as cricket, football, rugby etc?

In my opinion stoolball is as popular as many other sports, unfortunately it is NOT taught at most schools and NOT featured on TV, unlike the other sports.


To readers who may be interested in joining, what would you say is the most enjoyable part of being involved with Stoolball Ditchling Club?

Any sport is about being an individual in a team environment and the wonderful camaraderie and friendships that it creates.


Where would you like the sport of stoolball and Stoolball Ditchling Club to be in the next 5-10 years?

Still in existence with the introduction of a junior section and possibly a mixed team.


Keep your eyes peeled for future mentions of Stoolball Ditchling Club in your Ditchling CommunityAd magazine.

by Matthew Hemmings

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