Bat and Ball
This is the relevant reference from the Books where Bat and Ball is mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
Perhaps the most serious incident of the contests had occurred in one of the games of bat and ball; in this contest there are two men on each side, and the object is to keep the ball out of the hands of the other team; no one man may hold the ball for more than the referee's count of twenty; he may, however, throw it into the air, provided it is thrown over his head, and catch it again himself; the ball may be thrown to a partner, or struck to him with the bat; the bat, of course, drives the ball with incredible force; the bats are of heavy wood, rather broad, and the ball, about two inches in diameter, is also of wood, and extremely hard; this is something like a game of "keep away" with two men in the middle. I was pleased that I was not involved in the play. Shortly after the first "knock off", in which the ball is served to the enemy, Gorm, who was Ivar's partner, was struck cold with the ball, it driven from the opponent's bat; this, I gathered, is a common trick; it is very difficult to intercept or protect oneself from a ball struck at one with great speed from a short distance; it looked quite bad for Ivar at this point, until one of his opponents, fortunately, broke his leg, it coming into violent contact with Ivar's bat. This contest was called a draw. Ivar then asked me to be his partner. I declined. "It is all right," said Ivar, "even the bravest of men may decline a contest of bat-and-ball." I acceded to his judgment. There are various forms of ball game enjoyed by the men of Torvaldsland; some use bats, or paddles; in the winter, one such game, quite popular, is played, men running and slipping about, on ice; whether there is any remote connection between this game and ice hockey, I do not know; it is, however, ancient in Torvaldsland; Torvald himself, in the sagas, is said to have been skilled at it. Ivar Forkbeard, or Thorgeir of Ax Glacier, as we might call him, had won, all told, counting the swimming talmit, six talmits.