Students Playing Cage Ball
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This photograph shows Springfield College students playing cage ball, an annual game played on a football field that involves two teams of twenty-five players pushing a gigantic ball across their opponent’s goal. A team receives one point if the ball crosses the end line, two points if the ball is pushed entirely under the goal post, and three points if the ball is pushed entirely over the goal post. The game consists of two twenty-minute halves and one ten-minute break. The game is traditionally played between classes (e.g. freshmen vs. sophomores). Cage balls usually have a diameter of 48” or 60”. Although called cage ball at Springfield College, the game is similar to pushball, which was supposedly invented by M. G. Crane of Newton, Massachusetts, in 1891, and was played at Harvard University the following year. Emory University students played pushball from 1923 to 1955, and students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute played the game from 1914 to 1929. Contemporary cage balls have an internal rubber bladder to contain the air. The outside is sometimes vinyl, though for many years the covering was only made of canvas. Although spherical, the cage ball shares the American football's laces, which holds in the bladder.
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Springfield College--Athletic Fields
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