ball alley

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ball alley (plural ball alleys)

  1. (Ireland) A place for playing handball, ranging in structure from a patch of hard flat ground beside a gable to an indoor four-walled court similar to a squash court
    • 1855, Anthony Marmion, The ancient and modern history of the maritime ports of Ireland, p.300 (London: J.H. Banks):
      A portion of it was still further desecrated ; up to a very recent period being used as a racket-court, or ball-alley
    • 2011, Keith Duggan House of Pain: Through the Rooms of Mayo Football p.58 [[[Special:BookSources/1780574061|→ISBN]]]:
      Perhaps the single most poignant image in the book is of the handball champion Mickey Walsh, described by Healy as 'our last hero' tossing a ball to himself in the dilapidated ball alley.
    • 2013, November 6, Siobhan Lincoln, Ardmore Memory and Story - The Village "Roads And Houses" p.2 (Waterford Museum):
      The school was partly in front of them and on fine evenings, the gable end was used as a ball alley and it was quite a gathering place for young people.
    • 2015, Paul Rouse Sport and Ireland: A History p.60 - [[[Special:BookSources/0198745907|→ISBN]]]
      In Kilkenny City, there was also a tennis court in existence by 1798. This court later became known as a racket court and then a ball alley.
  2. (US, obsolete) A bowling alley
    • 1828, Charter of the village of Albion, New York; quoted in Tanner v Trustees of Albion 5 Hill 121 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1843)
      It shall not be lawful for any person or persons to keep or maintain in the said village, any ball-alley, or apparatus, alley, machine, building or enclosure, constructed or used for the purpose of playing thereon or therewith at the game called or known by the name of nine-pins or ten-pins, for gain, hire, reward or emolument of any kind or in any manner whatsoever;
    • 1849, Hiram R. Hawkins, quoted in Hershel Parker, Herman Melville: A Biography; Volume 1 : 1819-1851, p.250 (JHU Press, 2005) [[[Special:BookSources/0801881854|→ISBN]]]:
      [I] knew [Herman Melville] when he was setting up pins in a ball alley.