Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Fives, a game carried on by one player or several players arranged in sides. It consists in striking a ball with the open hand against a wall, either on its first return from the wall after it has been struck by an opponent, or before a second rebound from the floor of the court. The ball must not touch the wall below a certain height, or rebound more than a certain distance, the regulations in this respect differing with local usage. The game takes its name from the five fingers of the hand: it was common in France and England in the 14th and 15th centuries, under the title of "palm-play" ovjeu depaume (now used of tennis), and is forbidden in a statute of Edward III., as interfering with due exercise in archery. It now survives only in the public schools and universities.