HELD annually in Jedburgh, the game of hand ball, known locally as Jethart Ba’, involves two battling teams, the Uppies and the Doonies, who try to get the ball and race it to their goal within the town.
Two handball games are played on the Thursday after Shrove Tuesday.
The tradition began when the first ever game was allegedly played with an Englishman’s head, the ribbons on the modern ball are thought to symbolise his hair.
The teams, the Uppies and Doonies are chosen by where they live, Uppies are those born to the South of the Market Cross, while Doonies are born to the North. Play is in the town centre starting in the Market Place with the boys or Callants game at 12 and the mens game following at 2; the Uppies goal is outside the Castle Jail and the Doonies goal is at the Pleasaunce, each a couple of hundred yards away from the start.
This year the Uppies beat the Doonies 8-6 in the Men’s Hand Ba’ game.