Drop The Handkerchief 2

March 21st, 2011

All of the players but one stand in a circle. The odd player runs around on the outside of the circle, carrying a handkerchief, which he drops behind one of the circle players. The main idea of the game is to take the circle players unaware with this. Those who form the ring must look toward the center, and are not allowed to turn their heads as the runner passes them. The one who runs around with the handkerchief will resort to various devices for misleading the others as to where he drops it. For instance, he may sometimes quicken his pace suddenly after dropping the handkerchief, or at other times maintain a steady pace which gives no clew.

As soon as a player in the circle discovers that the handkerchief has been dropped behind him, he must pick it up and as rapidly as possible chase the one who dropped it, who may run around the outside of the circle or at any point through or across the circle, his object being to reach the vacant place left by the one who is chasing him. The circle players should lift their hands to allow both runners to pass freely through the circle. Whichever player reaches the vacant place first stands there, the one left out taking the handkerchief for the next game.

This is one of the oldest known games and is found throughout the world. The writer has heard it described by Cossacks, Japanese, Italians, and people of many other nationalities.

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

Do This, Do That

March 20th, 2011

All the players stand facing one of their number who is the leader. The one who is leader assumes any gymnastic position or imitates any action, at the same time saying “Do this!” and the others immediately imitate. Should the leader at any time say “Do that!” instead of “Do this!” any player who imitates the action performed must be seated, or pay a forfeit, whichever form of penalty has been decided on at the beginning of the game. Three mistakes of this kind put a player out of the game, even when forfeits are the penalty.

The leader may choose any gymnastic positions that are familiar, such as chargings, head bendings, trunk bendings, arm movements, knee bendings, hopping, jumping, dancing steps, etc.; or imitate familiar actions such as hammering, sawing, washing, ironing, sewing, stone cutting, shoveling, riding horseback, etc.

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

Cross Tag

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

Crossing The Brook

March 18th, 2011

This game is a great favorite with little children. A place representing a brook is marked off by two lines on the ground. For little children in the first year of school (about six years old) this may start with a width of two feet. The players ran in groups and try to jump across the brook. Those who succeed turn around and jump back with a standing jump instead of a running jump. On either of these jumps the player who does not cross the line representing the bank gets into the water and must run home for dry stockings, being thereafter out of the game. The successful jumpers are led to wider and wider places in the brook to jump (a new line being drawn to increase the distance), until the widest point is reached at which any player can jump successfully. This player is considered the winner.

This game is printed by kind permission of the Alumni Association of the Boston Normal School of Gymnastics, from the book “One Hundred and Fifty Gymnastic Games”.

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

Rooster Stride

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

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

Clam Shell Combat

March 15th, 2011

Each of the players is provided with an equal number of clam shells; the players then pair off in twos for the combat. Which of the two shall have the first play is decided by the players each dropping a clam shell from a height of three feet. The one whose shell falls with the hollow or concave side down has the first play. Should it be a tie, the trials are repeated until one player is chosen in this way. The play then opens with the unsuccessful player putting a clam shell on the ground, when the opponent throws another shell at it, trying to break it. If he succeeds, the opponent must put down another shell. This is kept up indefinitely, until a player’s shells have all been won by the opposing thrower, or until the thrower fails to hit a shell, or his own breaks in doing so. Whenever one of these things occurs, he loses his turn, and must put down a shell for the opponent to throw at. The player wins who retains an unbroken shell the longest.

Where there is a considerable number of players, they may be divided into opposing parties, the players stepping forward in turn at the call of their respective captains.

This is a Korean game, reported by Mr. Culin.

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

Circle Seat Relay

March 14th, 2011

This game starts with the players all seated, and with an even number in each row. At a signal, the last player in each row runs forward on the right-hand side of his seat, runs around the front desk, and returns on the left-hand side of his own row. As soon as he is seated, he touches the player next in front on the shoulder, which is a signal for this one to start. He runs in the same way. This is continued until the last player, which in this case is the one sitting in the front seat, has circled his desk and seated himself with hand upraised. The line wins whose front player first does this.

This is one of the best running games for the schoolroom. As in all such games, seated pupils should strictly observe the rule of keeping their feet out of the aisles and under the desks.

Players must observe strictly the rule of running forward on the right-hand side and backward in the next aisle, else there will be collisions.

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

Circle Relay

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

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