An effort is now being made to introduce the game of push ball at Harvard, and to form at least one regular team. The game was recently originated at the Newton Athletic Association, and at once became popular there. The idea at present is to form two teams, if possible, and play games with Newton and other athletic associations. The Boston Athletic Association will probably get up a team if the game is successful here, and it is also hoped that enough men will become interested to make the formation of class teams possible.
The ball used is a large leathern one, about six feet in diameter, and filled with air.
The game is played on a field 160 feet wide and 120 feet long, marked by five-yard lines like a football "gridiron." The ball is put in play at the centre, and the object is to push it as far as possible into the opponents territory. If the ball is pushed over the back line, a goal is scored and counts five. If this is not done, one point is scored for every five yards that has been gained. If the ball is exactly on the centre when time is called, there is no score.
The game consists of five one-minute "halves." It resembles football in many ways, but one important difference is that the ball is in play all through the half. There is no "down" and subsequent line-up of the teams.
There are eight men on a side,- a centre, two guards, two tackles, two forwards and a back, who is usually the captain, and who stands at some distance behind the others in order to see the whole field and give the signals for the team plays which are all important in this game.
The first practice will take place today at Soldiers Field and it is hoped to get under way and play an exhibition game next week.
Push ball can well be played between the halves of a football match while the players of that game are resting, although it is interesting enough when played without any connection with another sport. Thus far it has never failed to attract many spectators and players, and from the number of men who have signified their intention of playing, it can safely be said that the game will become popular here at Harvard.