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Lapta (game): Wikis

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Lapta (Russian: лапта́) is a Russian ball game, similar to Brännboll, Rounders, baseball, and pesäpallo. It has been played in Russia since the 14th century [1].

Rules

Lapta is an old Russian folk game with a ball and a bat. Mentions of lapta have been found in old manuscripts, and balls and bats were found in the 14th-century layers during excavations in Novgorod.

The game was played outside on a field the size of 20 x 25 sazhens (about 140 x 175 feet). The edges of the field were marked with parallel lines, called salo. The goal of the game is to hit the ball, served by a player of the opposite team, with the bat and send the ball as far as possible, then run across the field to the kon line, and if possible to run back to the gorod line.

The running player should try to avoid being hit with the ball, which is thrown by the opposing team members. For successful runs, the team earns points. A team wins by either getting more points during the scheduled time or by having all its players complete runs.

A vivid descriptions of lapta is given by Aleksandr Kuprin:

This folk game is one of the most interesting and useful games. Lapta requires resourcefulness, deep breathing, faithfulness to your group, attention, dexterity, fast running, good aiming and marksmanship, strong striking hands, and firm eternal confidence that you cannot be defeated. The lazy and cowardly have no place in this game.

References

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