Archive for the ‘gymnasium’ Category

Duck On A Rock

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Each player is provided with a stone, called a “duck,” about the size of a baseball. A large rock or post is chosen as the duck rock, and twenty-five feet from it a throwing line is drawn. On this duck rock one player places his duck and stands by it as guard. This guard is selected at the outset by all of the players throwing their ducks at the duck rock from the throwing line. The one whose duck falls nearest to the rock becomes the first guard. The other players stand behind the throwing line and take turns in throwing at the guard’s duck on the rock with their stones, trying to knock it from the rock. After each throw a player must recover his own duck and run back home beyond the throwing line. Should he be tagged by the guard while trying to do this, he must change places with the guard. The guard may tag him at any time when he is within the throwing line, unless he stands with his foot on his own duck where it first fell. He may stand in this way as long as necessary, awaiting an opportunity to run home; but the moment he lifts his duck from the ground, or takes his foot from it, he may be tagged by the guard. Having once lifted his duck to run home with it, a player may not again place it on the ground.

The guard may not tag any player unless his own duck be on the rock. Before he may chase the thrower, he must therefore pick up his own duck and replace it should it have been knocked off. This replacing gives the thrower an opportunity to recover his own duck and run home; but should the duck not have been displaced from the duck rock, the thrower may have to wait either at a safe distance or with his foot on his own duck if he can get to it, until some other thrower has displaced the duck on the rock, and so engaged the time and attention of the guard. Several players may thus be waiting at once to recover their ducks, some of them near the duck rock with a foot on their ducks, others at a distance. Any player tagged by the guard must change places with him, placing his own duck on the rock. The guard must quickly recover his duck and run for the throwing line after tagging a player, as he in turn may be tagged as soon as the new guard has placed his duck on the rock.

A stone that falls very near the duck rock without displacing the duck may also prove disastrous to the thrower. Should a stone fall within a hand span (stretching from finger tip to thumb) of the duck rock without knocking off the duck, the guard challenges the thrower by shouting “Span!” whereupon he proceeds to measure with his hand the distance between the duck rock and the stone. Should the distance be as he surmises, the thrower of the stone has to change places with him, put his own duck on the rock, and become the guard. This rule cultivates expert throwers.

When used in a gymnasium, this game may best be played with bean bags, in which case one bag may be balanced on top of an Indian club for the duck on the rock.

The modern Greeks play this game with a pile of stones instead of the one rock or stake with the duck on top. The entire pile is then knocked over, and the guard must rebuild the whole before he may tag the other players. These variations make the game possible under varied circumstances, as on a flat beach, or playground where no larger duck rock is available, and add considerably to the sport.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Cross Tag

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

One player is chosen to be It. He calls out the name of another player, to whom he at once gives chase. A third player at any point in the chase may run between the one who is It and the one whom he is chasing, whereupon this third player becomes the object of the chase instead of the second. At any time a fourth player may run between this player and the chaser, diverting the chase to himself, and so on indefinitely. In other words, whenever a player crosses between the one who is It and the one being chased, the latter is at once relieved of the chase and ceases to be a fugitive. Whenever the chaser tags a player, that player becomes It. Considerable sport may be added to the game by the free players trying to impede the chaser and so help the runner,–getting in the way of the former without crossing between the two, or any other hindering tactics.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Rooster Stride

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

This game is usually played with boys’ caps, but knotted handkerchiefs or balls of crumpled paper may be used. One player is the rooster; he is blindfolded and stands in a stride position with his feet wide apart sideways. The other players stand in turn at a point five to ten feet behind him, and throw their caps forward as far as possible between his legs. After the caps are all thrown, each player moves forward and stands beside his own cap. The rooster then crawls on all fours, still blindfolded, until he reaches a cap. The player whose cap is first touched at once becomes an object of chase by the other players, who are at liberty to “pommel” him when he is captured. He then becomes rooster for the next round of the game.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Club Snatch

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

This is one of the best competitive chasing games.

A goal is marked off across each end of the playground. Midway between the goals, an Indian club is placed; a handkerchief or other similar object may be used, placed on some support–on a stake driven into the ground, laid over a rock or stool, or hung on the end of a branch. A stone or dumb-bell laid on the ground may be substituted. In line with the club a starting base is marked on each goal line.

The players are divided into two equal parties, each having a captain. Each party takes its place in one of the goals. The object of the game is for one of the runners to snatch the club and return to his goal before a runner from the opposite goal tags him, both leaving their starting bases at the same time on a signal. The players on each team run in turn, the captains naming who shall run each time.

The captains toss for first choice of runners; the one who wins names his first runner, who steps to the running base, whereupon the competing captain names a runner to go out against him, trying to select one of equal or superior ability. Thereafter the captains take turns as to who shall first designate a runner.

When there is a large number of players, or very limited time, a different method may be used for selecting the runners. All of the players should then line up according to size, and number consecutively by couples. That is, the first couple would be number one, the second, number two, the third, number three, etc. The couples then divide, one file going to one team and the other to the opposite team. The players run thereafter according to number, the numbers one competing, and so on. Each player may run but once until all on the team have run, when each may be called a second time, etc. To avoid confusion, the players who have run should stand on one side of the starting base, say the right, and those who have not run, to the left.

The first runners, having been called by their respective captains to the starting bases, run on a signal; the players may reach the club together and go through many false moves and dodges before one snatches the club and turns back to his goal. Should he succeed in reaching the goal before the other player can tag him, his team scores one point. Should he be tagged before he can return with his trophy, the opponent scores one point. The club is replaced after each run. In either case both players return to their original teams.

When each runner has run once, the teams exchange goals and run a second time. The team wins which has the highest score at the end of the second round.

For large numbers of players there may be several clubs, each having corresponding starting bases on the goals, so that several pairs of runners may compete at once. One club for twenty players, ten on each side, is a good proportion. For young players the club may be placed nearer one goal than the other at first, as shown in the diagram.

This is a capital game as here developed with the feature of scoring, and may be made very popular.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Circle Relay

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

The players stand in three or more divisions in single file, facing to a common center. In this formation they radiate like the spokes of a wheel. On a signal from a leader, the outer player of each file faces to the right. On a second signal, these outer players all run in a circle in the direction in which they are facing. The object of the game is to see which runner will first get back to his place. The one winning scores one point for his line. Immediately upon the announcement of the score, these runners all step to the inner end of their respective files, facing to the center, the files moving backward to make room for them. The signals are repeated, and those who are now at the outer end of each file face and then run, as did their predecessors. The line scoring the highest when all have run wins the game.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Circle Race

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

The players stand in a circle a considerable distance apart and face around in single file in the same direction. At a signal all start to run, following the general outline of the circle, but each trying to pass on the outside the runner next in front of him, tagging as he passes. Any player passed in this way drops out of the race. The last player wins. At a signal from a leader or teacher, the circle faces about and runs in the opposite direction. As this reverses the relative position of runners who are gaining or losing ground, it is a feature that may be used by a judicious leader to add much merriment and zest to the game.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Chickidy Hand

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

One player is chosen to be It, and stands near a post with the fingers of his hands interlocked. The other players, each clasping his own hands in the same way, crowd around the post and touch it with the clasped hands. The one who is It counts ten, whereupon the players all run, the one who is It trying to tag any of them. None of the players may unclasp their hands until they are tagged, whereupon they are prisoners and clasp hands with It, forming a line which thereafter is the tagging line, though only the original It may tag the other players. The game is a contest between the tagging line, which tries to recruit and retain its numbers, and the free players, who try (1) to avoid being captured for the tagging line, and (2) to reduce the tagging line by breaking through it; but the players in the line must resist this. Each time that the line is broken, the one of the two players (whose hands were parted) who stands toward the head of the line is dropped out of the game. A free player may not be tagged after he has thrown himself upon (touched) a pair of hands that he is trying to part. The last player caught by the tagging line is the winner and becomes It for the next game.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Charley Over The Water

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

One player is chosen to be Charley, and if there be more than twenty players there should be two or more Charlies, to make the action more rapid. Charley stands in the center; the other players join hands in a circle around him and dance around, repeating the rhyme:–

“Charley over the water,
Charley over the sea.
Charley catch a blackbird,
Can’t catch me!”

As the last word is said, the players stoop, and Charley tries to tag them before they can get into that position. Should he succeed, the player tagged changes places with him.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft


Friday, March 4th, 2011

The players sit in a circle on the floor, with their feet stretched out and mingled in a promiscuous pile. One player, who is leader, and stands outside the circle, touches one of the feet (he may mark it slightly with a piece of chalk if desired), and calling on some player by name, commands him to tell to whom the foot belongs. When this player has named some one, the leader commands the owner of the foot to stand up. If the guess be wrong, the leader chases the mistaken player and whips him with a knotted handkerchief. If the guess be right, the guesser is released from the game, sits down at one side, and chooses the next one to be It, while the one who was It takes a place in the circle.

This game lends itself especially to the gymnasium or seashore, where the dressing of the feet is inclined to be uniform.

The game is played by the modern Greeks.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Cavalry Drill

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

This is a game of leapfrog.

I. Two players make a back. They stand with backs to the jumpers and place their inside hands on each other’s shoulders with arms extended at full length to leave a space between. The jumper places a hand on each of the inside shoulders. The push will be away from the center and the backs will need to brace themselves for this.

II. A back is made by two or more players standing close together with sides toward the jumpers, thus making a back several widths deep to jump over.

For whichever form of back is used, any player failing to clear the back without touching it is out of the game, the first two failing becoming backs for the next round when all have jumped. For large numbers of players this may be played as a competition between different groups.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft