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Keppjat is a popular sport in the Kingdom of the Carmine Sea. It has also spread to An Nádur and possibly other regions.[1]

HistoryEdit

The game first rose to prominence in the later years of the fifth century, as the nobles of the kingdom began to take notice of it. It is not clear where it started, as by the time games started to be recorded it was widely played in Jarrland, Vennland, Tempestia and parts of Farridon and Tuhiland. As it gained in popularity it attracted the attention of gamblers, and large amounts of money began to be wagered on matches.

In early years of the game the ball was rolled towards the batsman, but in the 520s recent years a bowler called Edwyr Estevyn introduced a technique of bouncing the ball to introduce more variation and deceive the batsman, and this quickly caught on.[2] Following these developments players began to use straight bats rather than the traditional crooked sticks to fend the ball off.

A demonstration match was played at Alyba in 527 to celebrate the conclusion of the Melytis-Alyba Ship Design Race, between Lord Tarry's XI and Lord Menwyr's XI.[3] Lord Menwy'rs team won the match, though Lord Tarry, who captained his team personally, top scored in the match with contributions of 20 and 74 not out.

In 541, in a match between Lord Menwyr's XI and the Earl of Arristham's XI, Ulf Tempy came to the wicket for Arristham with a bat two feet wide. Although bats had changed shape almost universally there were no regulations to govern the dimensions of the bat, and with the assistance of his ludicrous instrument he was easily able to see off the Menwyr bowlers. Outraged at the apparently brazen cheating, Lord Menwyr took it upon himself to organise a body to codify the laws of the game. In 543 the Menwyr Keppjat Club was founded for this purpose.[4]

RulesEdit

The game is played in an open space of any size, although fairly large ones are preferred for obvious reasons. In the middle of the playing area is a cut grass pitch 22 yards long with a set of stumps - three upright poles with two smaller joining "bails" balanced on top - at each end.

One team bats while the other team fields. A batsman stands at each end of the pitch and guards a set of stumps until he is out. A member of the fielding team bowls a ball towards the batsman trying to hit the stumps. The batsman must defend his stumps with his bat. If the batsman's stumps are hit, he is out. If he hits the ball in the air and it is caught, he is out. He scores points ("runs") by running from one end of the pitch to the other, but if the fielding team collect the ball and throw down the stumps before he makes his ground, he is out.

Usually a bowler bowls a set sequence of balls (called an "over") from one end of the pitch and then another bowler bowls an over from the other. The number of balls per over and whether the bowlers change ends can vary from match to match depending on what is agreed before play. Most overs have 4-8 deliveries, with 6 being the standard.

When a team can no longer field two batsmen they are "all out" and the innings is over. The teams then switch places, with the fielding team going in to bat. At the end of the match whoever has scored more runs has won.

The usual form of the game has eleven players per team and each team bats twice over the course of 2-3 days. There are a number of variants, though, with various levels of handicap (e.g. one team being allowed more than eleven players, or a smaller than usual set of stumps), and a popular form is a sort of "1v1" with only one player on each side able to bowl or score runs, and the fielders being "neutral" and remaining in place whoever's turn it is to bat. Some other forms have the match ending after a set number of overs even if some batsmen are still not out.

A good batsman is expected to score at least 20 runs per dismissal on average, but not all players in a team are specialist batsmen. A score of more than 100 runs (a "century") is considered a major achievement. Getting out for 0 (a "duck") is common, even for good batsmen.[5]

Famous Keppjat CharactersEdit

  • Edwyr Estevyn, played 520 - 536. A great bowler, invented the art of bouncing the ball
  • Ulf Tempy, notorious for the "monster bat" incident
  • Prince Alfdynn, reportedly a keen batsman and part-time bowler
  • Lord Osred Menwyr, played 501 - 522, later a major sponsor of the game and founder of the Menwyr Keppjat Club

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19170572&postcount=9
  2. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19175285&postcount=12
  3. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19175285&postcount=12
  4. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19329876&postcount=1274
  5. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19175285&postcount=12

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