The New International Encyclopædia/Knurr and Spell
KNURR (nūr) AND SPELL (knur, nur, ODutch knorre, Dutch knor, MHG. knorre, Ger. Knorren, knob, and spell, from Dutch spil, spindle). A game which originated in the moors of Yorkshire, in England, but has since spread throughout the north of England and many new localities. It is practically a development of the familiar trap, bat, and ball, and is played with a pommel or club, and a knurr or ball, which is mechanically released from the spell or trap by a spring, somewhat after the manner of the shooter's clay pigeon. Each player plays his own game, without interference, and any number can enter a competition. The knurr is a boxwood or porcelain ball, one and one-half inches in diameter. It is placed on the spell or trap by the player, who, by means of a thumb-screw, adjusts the spring of the trap according to the velocity he wants the ball released at. He then releases it and hits the ball on the rise with his pommel, a stick or stout cane varying from four to five feet in length. It has a flat, hardwood, oblong-square end. The upper end of the pommel, which the player grasps with both hands, is bound with waxed thread, like the handle of a cricket-bat, and the blow is made by striking the ball with all possible force. A successful hit will drive the ball about 200 yards; and the longest hit, or series of hits, wins. On a large moor, and where the game is general, the ground is marked out with wooden pins driven in every 20 yards. In matches each player takes his own knurrs and pommels and has five rises of the ball to a game. The ‘stroke’ is made by a full ‘swing’ round the head, not unlike the ‘drive’ at golf.