Sport Without Rules: Hunting, Shooting and Fishing in Edwardian Britain.
European Studies in Sports History, 2
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The Edwardian field sports of hunting, shooting and fishing did not require formal, written rules because either they were not competitive (in the sense of having acknowledged winners and losers) or they were not associated with gambling. Instead field sports adherents adopted other conventions designed to ensure good sport in a safe environment, exhibit humanity to their prey, and operate as a mechanism of social differentiation. However, this operated within an overarching set of regulations imposed nation-wide by statute law. Indeed the very existence of much hunting, shooting and fishing was based on what the law did or did not allow. During the Edwardian period tensions arose within and between field sports because many of the newcomers to the sports were ignorant of the traditional etiquette and ritual.