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The information on this website has been posted in response to numerous requests for information about

Dwyle Flonking.
 
It gives the full rules of the game (to enable anyone to form their own team) and includes the story of the
Waveney Valley Dwyle Flonking Association who was responsible for popularizing the game.



DWYLE FLONKING: A brief summary of the game
 
Dwyle Flonking is normally played by two teams dressed as country "yokels". One team joins hands to form a ring which circles round, leaping into the air as they do so (this is called Girting). A member of the other team goes into the middle of the circle and puts a beer-soaked dishcloth (the Dwyle) on the end of a stick (the Driveller). He spins round and has to project (Flonk) the dwyle off the driveller with the object of hitting one of the players circling round him. He scores points for his team according to which part of the body he hits.
 
If he misses he has to drink beer from a chamber pot before a dwyle is passed hand-to-hand along a line formed by the players who were girting. If he fails to do so his team loses a point.
 
When all the players in one team have flonked, they then form a circle and girt, while the other team takes turns to flonk. The team with the most points at the end of the game being the winners.
 
Equipment Required
 
Dwyle: a dish cloth (at least 3 required)
 
Driveller: a stick used to project the dwile, about 1.5” diameter, 23" long (inclusive of a handle, which may be fashioned on one end if desired).
 
Chamber Pot: to contain the beer necessary for 'Taking the Pot' 
 
Barrel: containing Olde English Ale (or any preferred beer) from which the pot is filled
 
Bucket or bath: to contain the beer in which to soak the dwyles (it is best to have several dwyles soaking, to save time waiting for the dwyle to be returned after it has been flonked). 
 
The referee required a whistle, coin, notebook, and pencil. He should appoint a responsible person to keep score (possibly using a large scoreboard) or he may make note of the score in his notebook.
 
Duration of the Game

There should be the same number of players in each team. One team girst while the members of the other team take turns to flonk; when they have all had their turn the referee blows his whistle for half-time. After a short break the teams change places. This is the procedure for a normal game.
 
For special purposes, in order to shorten the time taken for the game, one of the following methods may be adopted: 
 
(a) a predetermined time-limit per team may be used (e.g. 15 minutes per team, for a game lasting just over half-an-hour), in which case even if all the players in one team have flonked they carry on for a second turn until time runs out. 
(b) Only a predetermined number of players in each team may flonk (e.g. ten players in team, all ten girt but only six flonk).
 
Number of Players

The game may be played by two teams of eight or more players (suitably attired as country yokels), however the recommended number is ten; this gives the best size of girting circle. If only eight are in the circle, the flonker in the middle must be careful not to hit anyone with the driveller.
 
A captain should be appointed for each team, to be responsible for his teams good conduct and sportsmanship.
 
The game may be played by just one team for their enjoyment if desired. One flonker being in the middle while the others girt; after he has had his turn at flunking, he joins the girting circle and a player from the circle goes into the centre to have his turn, and so on.
 
Setting Up
 
Immediately prior to the start of the game the container with the beer, the pot, the driveller, the dwyles, the bucket of beer for soaking the dwyles, and the scoreboard (if any), should be positioned where the game is to take place.
 
THE ACTUAL GAME



 
The referee calls the two captains together and tosses a coin into the air for one of the Captains (usually the visiting one) to call heads or tails. If he wins the toss he may choose either to flonk or girt first. If he loses the toss then the other team's Captain has the choice.
 
The team that is to flonk first sits near the beer to wait for their individual turn to flonk. One member of the team should soak the dwyles in the bucket of beer and throw them to the person who is about to flonk as needed. Another member of the team should be appointed to pour the beer into the pot.
 
The team which is to girt first takes up their positions.
Girting
 
When the .circle is in position a flonker from the other team picks up the driveller and goes into the centre of the circle; the referee calls for a dwyle to be thrown to that flonker, and then shouts “here y'go t'gether” and blows his whistle. This is the cue for the circle to start girting and for the flonker to spin round and with a shout of “Dwyles Away” to flonk his dwyle.
 
The team girting will have joined hands to form a circle and commenced turning in a clockwise direction, the players moving rapidly round, jumping and skipping up and down in order to dodge the dwyle, and keeping their arms outstretched to form as large a circle as possible. They must not release their hands until after the dwile has been flonked.
 
If the circle is broken deliberately the referee may award a penalty flonk; for this the flonker has an additional flonk during which the players in the circle keep their hands joined, but must stand still and not girt.


Flonking
 
The person flonking must keep to the centre of the girting circle.
 
He must hold the driveller at one end and drape the dwyle on the other. The dwyle must not be completely wound round the driveller, but hung from it.
 
He spins round (leaping into the air at the same time if he likes) in the opposite direction to the circle (i.e. anti-clockwise). He must spin completely round at least once before flonking the dwyle and he must keep spinning round while he actually flonks the dwyle.
The driveller must be swung so as to project the dwyle off it more in a horizontal plane than vertically (i.e. the dwyle must not be thrown directly downwards onto a person).
 
Infringing these rules may mean that the referee will call a foul flonk - scoring no points but counting as one of his two flonks.
 
He normally has two flonks - if he scores with one and misses with the other, then that concludes his turn. But if he scores with both, he gains a bonus flonk (one additional flonk). If, however, he misses with both his flonks he has to pay a forfeit in the sense of “Taking the Pot”.
Taking the Pot
 
The players who were girting release their hands and form a straight-line, arms length apart.
 
The pot is filled with beer (between half to one pint) and handed to the flonker ready to drink.
The referee takes a dwyle and gives it to the player at one end the line; when he blows his whistle the players in the line pass the dwyle hand-to-hand to reach the other end - but before it gets there, the flonker must drink the beer in the pot. If he fails to do so he loses one point for his team.
 
If the team passing the dwyle throws it past some of their team, referee may penalize them one point, or make them start again (if a flonker hasn't drunk all the beer!)
 
As the dwyle is being passed along the line, and in fact, as soon as the teams realize a flonker has to take the pot, they clap their hands and chant “Pot, Pot, Pot …”
Scoring
 
  • A hit on the head is termed a Wonton and scores 3 points.
  • A hit above the waist (including the arms) scores a Morther (2 points).
  • A hit below the waist and on the legs and feet scores a Ripper (1 point).
  • A miss is termed a Swadger and of course scores no points.
 
If a person is appointed to keep score, the following system of indication from the referee as to how many points have been scored may be adopted
 
Wonton:        the referee pats the top of his head-with both hands. 
Morther:        he holds two hands in the air
Ripper:        he holds one hand in the air
Swadger;        he waves his hands from side to side.
 
If the flonker drinks the contents of the pot in time, he gives the thumbs-up sign; if not, he gives the thumbs-down sign and the scorer adds one point to the other team's score.
 
As in other sports, the referee's decision is final. He reserves the right to send a player off the field for misconduct or serious infringement of the rules.


Scoring Points


Winning

The team with the most points wins the game (an extra point may be deducted from a team's score for every man who is sober at the end of the game!)





FLONKER'S SONG

As the teams, enter the playing area, and after the game, they may feel like singing the flonking song “Here we'em be t'gether”

The first verse plus the chorus is normally sung at the start of the game, the full song may be song at the end (if they have enough breath left).

 
Here we'em be together
 
Now here we'em be boys, now here we'em be,
With our Dwyles and our Drivellers, Dwyle Flonkers are we.
Now you know how to play boys, so hear what I say, 
Grab a hold of that Driveller and shout “Dwyles Away”
 
        Chorus:        0 Drivel-i, drivel-i, drivel-i-aye 
 
Now down we all go to the old village green, 
The flonking match there is for all to be seen
Old Tom scores a Ripper and the crowd they do shout, 
And then they start hurlin' them dishcloths about
 
        Chorus:        0 Drivel-i, drivel-i, drivel-i-aye 
 
Now the game it do end and down go the sun, 
And one team ha' lorst and the other ha' won.
But nobody knows of the score on the board, 
Cos they're flat on their backs and as drunk as a Lord!
 
        Chorus:        0 Drivel-i, drivel-i, drivel-i-aye 
 
Now you've seen how the game go and yer know how to play, 
So join in the chorus and shout “Dwyles Away”!
So cheerio now to the old village green, 
And we'll come back next year wi'a far better team!
 
        Chorus:        0 Drivel-i, drivel-i, drivel-i-aye 





Picture courtesy of The Lewis Arms

My thanks to Alan Playford for providing the information herein







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