Also known as Viking Ball, this ancient game was once played by the Vikings of Iceland. Today no one knows the game’s exact rules, but it was believed to be similar to ice hockey: Players were divided into teams. A hard ball was hit by a stick. The players could also use their hands. Body contact was allowed in the fight for the ball where the strongest had the best chance to win. It was a spectator game, with tournaments drawing huge crowds from all over Iceland. Intimidation was a vital ingredient; several wars of words have been recorded in the old sagas. The game demanded so much time that it was played from morning to night. There was a captain on each team. There were penalties and a penalty box. It is conjectured by some that the playing field was usually a flat ice-covered surface. The Vikings may have used tar and sand under the soles of their boots for traction. In the traditional stories, usually all that’s mentioned is the fact that players had disputes, and frequently, that blood was spilled. If the ball was hit or thrown hard enough, it could knock a player off his feet. Today the sport is often re-enacted at medieval fairs and by Norse culture enthusiasts as well as a few universities with an intercollegiate knattleikr competition that began in 2007.