Nipsy is a golf-like game played in the North of England, particularly in the Barnsley area. It was most popular from about 1900 through the 1940s, but is still played by a small group of aficionados.

The goal of nipsy is simple: you take a rod (the 'stick') not unlike a short, straightened golf club, and use it to strike a ball (the 'nipsy') sitting on a block (the 'brick'), causing it to bounce straight up in the air. You then quickly use this same club as a bat to hit the ball as hard as possible -- a good player may get over 200 yards (180 m). The player who gets the best cumulative distance over seven attempts wins.

Nipsy is traditionally a working-mans' game, and the ball, slightly smaller than a golf ball, is traditionally made of lignum vitae or Permali -- materials that could be acquired by railway and mill workers. Ivory gave more distance, and there are tales of billiard balls being purloined to carve into nipsys, but ivory and hard rubber nipsys are officially not allowed, as they give an unfair advantage over those who could not afford such materials. The clubs are likewise traditionally repurposed road pick shafts and railway brake sticks, with heads pressed in a vise to flatten them. Modern sticks are more likely to be made from hickory.

A full set of the current rules of nipsy can be found on-line here.


Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.