MAUL/ STICK GAMES
PHYSICAL CONDITION IMPROVEMENT
How is it played? (Rules)
A circle with a diameter of 4 to 5 meters is created, dug or drawn, according to the number of players, namely the greater the number of players the larger the circle. You dig a hole or ditch in the middle of the circle in which you place a tin-can which represents the Gourouna (pig). Additionally, more holes/ditches are dug around the circle’s perimeter (or drawn with a chalk if digging a hole is not possible), according to the number of players. For example, if there are 10 players then 10 holes/ditches are dug or drawn around the circle. Each player holds a long stick which is called the “matsouka” or the “tzoumaka” (length 0,80-1m with a wide ending at the bottom of the stick) To begin the game a children’s rhyme like “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” is used to select the player who will be the Guard in the middle of the circle. This person will stand in the centre of the circle next to the ditch/hole in which a tin can (or nowadays a plastic bottle) has been placed. This tin can represents the Gourouna which means pig in Greek. The player in the middle who is guarding the Gourouna/pig (tin can or a plastic bottle) has to symbolically take his Gourouna (pig) out to graze, for its feeding. So he hits/removes the tin can (Gourouna/pig) with his stick (matsouka or tzoumaka) and tries to place it into another player’s hole/ditch, thus forcing him to become the new guard. In other words, while he is trying to put the Gourouna in another player’s hole, all the other players intervene or move in, hitting the tin can with their sticks. If the guard succeeds in placing the Gourouna (tin can) in another player’ ditch/hole, then the latter has to become the new guard. The new guard is the person who could not protect his ditch/hole, in other words, he is the player in whose hole or ditch the tin can/gourouna was placed. There is no time limit for this game.
Sport or Game History and origins:
The players use curved sticks to try to draw the ball towards them (see ancient relief of the sixth century BC in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens). The Gourouna game was often played during the postwar period in western Macedonia (one of the thirteen regions of Greece- Florina, Grevena, Kastoria, and Kozani). The game is also known as Bitska and Gialaka in Thessaly (Aeolia in antiquity) and Skrofa in Epirus. It was very popular in Asia Minor (today Turkey where the game is known as Domouz), specifically in Nikomedeia. Boys usually played this game outdoors in open spaces and school yards, as well as male adolescents and adults during their break from work.
Geo-Location: Epirus, Macedonia, Thessaly or Thessalia
NATIONAL AND KAPODISTRIAN UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS
The objective of the game is for the player (who is the guard) to removes the Gourouna (tin can) from the hole/ditch with his matsouka, which resembles a hockey stick, and place it into another player’s hole/ditch, thus forcing him to become the new guard. In other words, while the player who is the guard is trying to put the Gourouna in another player’s hole, all the other players intervene or move in, hitting the tin can with their sticks. If the guard succeeds in placing the Gourouna (tin can) in another player’ ditch/hole, then the latter has to become the new guard.
Physical: Motor skills improvement (coordination, balance, agility, etc.)
Physical: Physical condition improvement (strength, speed, endurance, etc).
Chalk (to draw the circle); wooden sticks, one for each player; a tin can or any other available materials such as a plastic bottle to represent the Gourouna.
Is it related to an specific event or festivity ( festivals, religious or pagan celebrations)?
No, it is not.