The return of Fives at Strathallan
March 13 2019
Fives is a game played in a stone court consisting of 3 or 4 walls with a small leather ball and a gloved hand. The game, in the European context, is centuries old but it is best known for the two conventions which are called Eton and Rugby Fives, named after the public schools where they were first played in Britain.
In the 1920s, Eton Fives courts were built at Strathallan where the Sports Hall now stands and in 1934, Rugby Fives courts were built on what is now the IT block. For a while, both types of game were played, which is a great rarity, but the Eton courts were demolished and Rugby Fives continued to be played, we think, into the 1970s. The rise in the popularity of squash gradually lead to its sad downfall at Strathallan.
Since September 2018, however, a group of Fourth Form boys have been meeting every Friday afternoon to play a version of the game called squash court Fives, using a special leather ball in what is a bigger court. We use the Rugby Fives laws as the squash court game approximates this convention. Singles or doubles can be played; the winner is the first person or pair to reach 15 points, winning points as receiver only. The boys have enjoyed their introduction to the game which helps to improve hand/eye co-ordination, physical condition, decision making, sportsmanship and is always accompanied by a great deal of noise and laughter!
On Tuesday, March 12 the boys travelled to Fettes College to play a training match on the stone courts. This was the first time a Strathallan Fives team played a competitive match since the 1960s. A Fives team consists of six players, and the six to play against Fettes College were Kai H, Callum T, Robert B-S Alphonso RZ, Kwasi B-B and Jay P.