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The Collegers (L) and the Oppidans prepare for the Eton Wall Game at Eton college in Eton November 21, 2009. The game is played on a narrow strip 110 metres long up against a wall. The idea is to move the ball along the wall with your feet and score a goal at the far end. Goals are very rare, the last one scored was a hundred years ago in 1909. REUTERS/ Eddie Keogh
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The Collegers (R) prepare for the Eton Wall Game as the Oppidans arrive by jumping over the wall at Eton college in Eton November 21, 2009.  REUTERS/ Eddie Keogh
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The Collegers challenge the Oppidans during the Eton Wall Game at Eton college in Eton November 21, 2009. REUTERS/ Eddie Keogh

The Eton wall game originated at Eton College. It has similarities to both the modern sports of rugby union and football.

It is played on a strip of ground 5 metres wide and 110 metres long next to a slightly curved brick wall (which was erected in 1717).

The most important match is the annualSt. Andrew's Day game which is played between a team of Collegers (scholarship holders) and a team of Oppidans (the rest of the students, who comprise most of the student body). Although College has only 70 pupils (the traditional number of King's Scholars in College as laid down by King Henry VI) to pick its team from, compared to the 1250 or so Oppidans, College has one great advantage: the strip lies on 'College Field', a football field next to the Slough-to-Eton Road to which access is controlled by the incumbent Keeper of College Wall.

On the traditional St. Andrew's Day match, the Oppidans climb over the wall, after throwing their caps over in defiance of the Scholars. However, in practice, it is usual for them to allow the Oppidans to use it when they wish.

Reprinted from Wikipedia