THE official rules of Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide 2014 have been announced and are as follows:
• No play in the churchyard, cemetery, memorial gardens or other places of worship.
• No play in new St Oswald’s hospital.
• No conveying of the ball by any vehicle.
• No building sites to be entered.
• No hiding the ball out of play.
• Respect people’s property.
• No dummy balls.
Players, supporters, spectators and public-safety measures are:
• Abide by the advice of police and marshals.
• Park vehicles safely and away from regular areas of play.
• Parents with children to be responsible for their safety-especially those with pushchairs.
• Players must ‘back off’ when the ‘hug’collapses. This is most important and avoids ‘crush-type’ injuries.
Finally when a score is achieved the ball is returned to The Green Man Hotel and handed to the Royal Shrovetide Committee who will ratify the score.
When this is done the committee will ’Hail the Scorer’ and the ball will be awarded.
The committee’s secretary, Mick Betteridge said: “Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football Committee are looking forward to what they hope will be a successful and enjoyable two days on the 4th and 5th of March.
“The last few years have witnessed good support for shrovetide marshals. They help the police, players and the supporters to enjoy the ‘old game’.
“It is the wish of the committee that everyone will listen to, and abide by, their advice.
“Without the marshals the games could not take place. It is in everyone’s best interest to wholeheartedly support them.”
Shrovetide 2014 takes place on Tuesday, March 4 and Wednesday, March 5 and thousands are expected to descend on the town, including players, followers and visitors.
This year volunteer marshals are due to make their biggest ever effort to co-ordinate the huge influx of people and meetings have been taking place over the last 12 months to ensure they are well prepared.