Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Is anything in this article factually incorrect? Please submit a comment.

Printer-friendly page


by Jim L. Sumner, 2006McConnell, J. (1864). The American Boy’s Book of Sports and Games: A Repository of In-and-out-door Amusements for Boys and Youth, p. 104. New York: Dick & Fitzgerald.

Bandy was a popular sport on North Carolina's college and school campuses prior to the Civil War. The sport, which closely resembled modern field hockey, featured two teams of varying numbers using a curved stick to knock a ball into a goal. The likelihood of a player having his shins hit with the stick led to an alternate name for the sport: "shinny." It was unorganized, without the printed rules, designated teams, or other features of modern sports that developed after the end of the war in such campus sports as baseball and football. The popularity of the latter sports resulted in the decline of bandy.

One particularly good description of an antebellum bandy contest came from J. R. Cole, a student at Trinity College (later Duke University). Describing games involving as many as 40 students, Cole wrote: "as the big hard ball is thrown up or down, see them rush up to it with uplifted clubs, and strike right and left crying 'shin on your side' and see them jump into the air to avoid a savage blow, and the ball is knocked whirlin, and all rush for it, and sticks fly, and hands are hurt, and limbs are bruised, and heads are struck." Not surprisingly, bandy did not meet with much favor with school officials across the state. Occasional attempts were made to ban the activity.

Additional Resources:

Rules of Shinny in the American Boys Book of Sports and Games (1864) [p. 104-105]:

North Carolina University Magazine article

Image Credit:

McConnell, J. (1864). The American Boy’s Book of Sports and Games: A Repository of In-and-out-door Amusements for Boys and Youth, p. 104. New York: Dick & Fitzgerald. Available from (accessed July 6, 2012).




yay emerald

Add a comment

PLEASE NOTE: NCpedia provides the comments feature as a way for viewers to engage with the resources. Comments are not published until reviewed by NCpedia editors at the State Library of NC, and the editors reserve the right to not publish any comment submitted that is considered inappropriate for this resource. NCpedia will not publish personal contact information in comments, questions, or responses. If you would like a reply by email, note that some email servers, such as public school accounts, are blocked from accepting messages from outside email servers or domains. If you prefer not to leave an email address, check back at your NCpedia comment for a reply. Please allow one business day for replies from NCpedia. Complete guidelines are available at