In 1862 the Blackheath Football Club published a set of rules on how the game should be played. These were based on the Rugby Football Rules as played at Rugby School.


1. That the ball be started from the centre of the ground by a place-kick.

2. A fair catch is a catch direct from the foot, or a knock-on from the hand of one of the opposite side; when the catcher may either run with the ball or make his mark by inserting his heel in the ground on the spot where he catches it; in which case he is entitled to a free kick.

3. It is not lawful to take the ball off the ground, except in touch, for any purpose whatever.

4. A ball in touch is dead, and the first player who touches it down must kick it out straight from the place where it entered touch.

5. A catch out of touch is not a fair catch; but may be run off.

6. Running is allowed to any player on his side if the ball be caught or taken off the first bound.

7. Any player holding the ball unless he has made his mark after a fair catch may be hacked; and running is not allowed after the mark is made.

8. No player may be hacked and held at the same time; and hacking above or on the knee or from behind is unfair.

9. No player can be held or hacked unless he has the ball in his hands.

10. Though it is lawful to hold a player in a scrummage, this does not include attempts to throttle or strangle, which are totally opposed to the principles of the game.

11. A player whilst running or being held may hand the ball to one of his own side, who may continue to run with it; but after the ball is grounded it must be hacked through, not thrown or lifted.


12. If the ball goes behind the goal it must be kicked out by the party to whom the goal belongs from in a line with the goals; but a catch off a kick from behind goal is not a fair catch, but may be run off.

13. No player is to get before the ball on the side furthest from his own goal; but if he does he must not touch the ball as it passes him until touched by one of the opposite side, he being off-side.

14. A goal must be a kick through or over and between the poles, and if touched by the hands of one of the opposite side before or whilst going through is no goal.

15. No one wearing projecting nails, iron plates, or gutta-percha on the soles or heels of his boots be allowed to play.

Uniform . Dark blue serge trousers, black and scarlet striped jerseys and socks.

61-ASHA-1958-100a-000-tt.jpg (99793 bytes) 63-ASHA-1958-100-011.jpg (142739 bytes) 62-ASHA-1958-100-012.jpg (400101 bytes)

Blackheath Football Club Rules as they appear in A C Shanahan - 100 Years, Blackheath Football Club (ASHA-1958-100)




Wikisource show an additional rule   -  https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Rules_of_Blackheath_Football_Club_(1862)   

****12. When a player running with the ball grounds it, it cannot be touched by anyone until he lifts his hand from it.****

This rule does not appear in later Blackheath Football Club publications such as Blackheath Rugby Football Club Records 1875-1898 (published circa 1908) and 100 years - Blackheath Football Club 1858-1958 A C Shanahan so for the moment we have left it out of the above set of rules. The Wikisource source (see screenshot below) for this information is Rev F. Marshall 1892, The Rugby Game, chapter XVII (17) Metropolitan Football, by a Londoner.

Wikisource screenshot


RULE 12 - It is not of paramount importance but it would be nice to know which are the correct set of rules from 1862. If you are able to help by sourcing an original copy of these rules please............. 

MATCH REPORTS - It would be nice to get as many match reports from contemporary publications as possible involving Blackheath, particularly if there is information relating to the rules, for example if an argument had broken out between the teams over the rules. 



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