IN PICTURE – An introduction to choule, a traditional Norman sport, in Pont-Audemer

You probably know bowling, tug of war, bowling, maybe even library. These are all traditional Norman games. But do you know the choule? It is another traditional Norman sport which tends to be forgotten. A demonstration of this sport took place this Saturday, May 25 in Pont-Audemer (Eure) in the courtyard of the former Georges Sand school which now houses a music school. Five people took part in the game.

This sport was born in the Middle Ages. © Radio France
Adele Marchais

Here are the rules of the game: each player has a stick and the goal is to score the most points by putting the ball in the opponent’s goal.

“Chouler” means “to jostle” in Norman. It’s a very physical sport. © Radio France
Adele Marchais

The choule takes place in two games of 10 minutes each with a half-time to breathe between two. Previously, games could last several days.

Pascal Grange, choule player and coordinator of the Normandy Sports and Games Federation, in front of his team's goals.
Pascal Grange, choule player and coordinator of the Normandy Sports and Games Federation, in front of his team’s goals. © Radio France
Adele Marchais

Today, the choule is gradually returning to customs. This sport is practiced by several teams in Cherbourg, in Rouen, in the Vallée de la Risle, but also in the Paris region at Pacy-sur-Eure. Pascal Grange is the coordinator of the Normandy sports and games federation made up of a dozen associations. “There were damages and then bans which harmed the practice. The last testimonies we have date back to the Second World War for lacrosse fighting.he says.

A stone's throw from the choule game, François took out his accordion and played Norman tunes.
A stone’s throw from the choule game, François took out his accordion and played Norman tunes. © Radio France
Adele Marchais

This initiation is offered by the Normandy Sports and Games Federation during three days of activities around traditional Norman sports and games, from May 24 to 26. This Sunday is therefore the last day to see the exhibition on traditional Norman sports and games. It is open from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Théroulde gallery on Placette Saint-Ouen in Pont-Audemer.

A conference on traditional Norman games is being held this Sunday, May 26 at 11 a.m. Reservations are required.
A conference on traditional Norman games is being held this Sunday, May 26 at 11 a.m. Reservations are required. © Radio France
Adele Marchais
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