Chole or Jeu de Crosse

The French word for colf is crosse and already appears in the book Merlin by Robert de Boron. The Dutch translation of this book is Merlijn by Jacob van Maerlant and he uses the word colven (played as a coluen by some historians). In spelling, the u and the v were alternated in the same word. The French word souler is derived from the word choula which means ball. Souler means playing ball or playing with a ball, usually a rough football form.

Compare the Dutch word sollen. A Dutch edict from Brussels says “tsollen mitten colve”, a translation of “souler a la crosse”.

Jeu de crosse/crossage
Crosse à brochon, ca 1900
Choulettes (ellipsoid balls) from left to right:
– Boxwood, original
– Celluloid, ca 1930
– Nylon, ca 1950
– Pressed wood, ca 1980
– Hornbeam, present
Original carrying case for choulettes
Donated by Geert & Sara Nijs 2017