On Saturday 4 February, the school will gather to watch XVs - the biggest game of the Winchester College Football season - which sees Commoners and OTH battle to lift the 'Pearl Pot' trophy.
Winchester Football is called “Our Game” by the pupils as it very much belongs to them. They are the guardians of the rules and conventions which develop from one generation to the next. As one of the captains remarks in the film below, it is an inclusive game and that is one of its key strengths. For many of the pupils playing, it is the most significant sporting occasion they will have taken part in, and one of the most important moments of their Winchester lives.
It is also a test of character: the equipment gets in the way; some penalties are seen by the referees and some are not; and the conditions have a definite bearing on proceedings. It teaches them that sometimes in life, you just have to get on with things! Generally, the side that wants to win the most, will.
A “hot” is the Winchester name for a scrum and these occur each time there is a penalty or when the ball is kicked out. You will hear the crowd shouting “red hot” or “brown hot” to urge their respective side on. Players have the option to have a “hot on ropes,” which re-starts the game in the space between the netting and the rope. The netting is called the “canvas” but the pitch is also called “the canvas" and the boys training for XVs are called a “canvas”...
The object of the game is to get the ball over the line (called “worms”) at the end of the pitch: it can be carried over, as in rugby (rarely); pushed over in the hot; or most frequently, kicked over. If it goes over cleanly, it is a goal and scores three points. If it touches a player or the equipment, it goes for a “behind” which scores one point, but the attacking team get a chance to convert to score an additional two points.
The teams are competing for the “Pearl Pot”, a trophy which was given by the pupils, organised by Helen Summerfield, in memory of my wife Pearl, who died in 2019. Obviously, that gesture means the world to me. Winning means the world to them. The Commoners and OTH have each lifted the trophy twice so there is all to play for.
22nd January 2021
Despite a challenging 2020, progress on Winchester College's new state-of-the-art Sports Centre continues, as the school and local community look ahead to the opening in 2022.
14th March 2023
Professor Brian Cox delivered the annual Duncan Louis Stewart lecture in March 2023 focusing on cosmology and developments in the study of black holes.
7th March 2023
In an evening that saw speeches on Kandinsky, Hockney and Euclid, a winner was crowned in this year's Kenneth Clark Prize Final, with guest adjudication from Dr. John Goodall of Country Life.
7th March 2023
Following a College best performance in the 2022 paper, pupils taking part in this year's exam reach new heights.
6th March 2023
For the Spring Concert, the Chamber Orchestra performed a Beethoven piano concerto, whilst Glee Club chose Schubert's Mass No 3.
28th February 2023
A team of Sixth Form pupils has been selected as Earth Prize Finalists in the 2023 global competition.