Friday, May 02, 2008

Skeet Thrower Draft: Playground Games

It's the return of original Friday content. I've been pretty busy lazy the last few weeks and haven't gotten a post written. Anyway, about 3 weeks ago we finished up a draft and I finally had a chance to write it up.

Topic: Playground Games. Really, it's anything you played at recess or PE while in elementary or middle school.

Order: 1) Laura, 2) Adam, 3) Ross, 4) MM, 5) Wheezy

3 rounds, snaking order. Go.

First Round

1. Laura: SWINGS

MM: PLEASE GIVE A 1-2 SENTENCE DESCRIPTION IF POSSIBLE...WHY ARE WE YELLING?

Laura: I DON'T KNOW!
Swings are classic. And can be enjoyed at all ages (yeah, I've been on a swing in college). You can normal swing. You can swing in a superman pose. You can have someone turn you around and around and around until the chain is all twisted and then let go. You can swing as high as possible and then compete to jump the farthest. Swings are way more versatile than they receive credit for. Despite some other people's opinions, swings are not a peripheral! Swings are a staple of the playground that will be around forever.

Adam: I do the majority of my swinging at Kansas City area Comfort Inns, generally at the quarterly conference. I didn't know people swung at playgrounds, I'll have to look into that.

2. Adam: CRAPS
Looks like I need to have a big draft. My first round selection for best playground game / recess activity is CRAPS, or "shooting dice" as you might have called it. What a rush it always was betting my lunch ticket and praying that I'd be able to eat hot lunch for the rest of that week.

3. Ross: BOOMERANG
The coolest thing we ever did at recess was play with a BOOMERANG! That was the hot item at 4th grade recess. That is, until Ryan Hellander sliced his face open and the powers that be decided it probably wasn't a good idea to have 40 kids chasing around a flying weapon. ...I probably should have saved that one for a later round. Not likely to be stolen I imagine.

MM: I was not gonna steal Boomerang, but only because the word Boomerand reminds me of the first time I ever saw a cougar attack. (that's probably NSFW)

Draft Note: This has nothing to do with the playground, but this ridiculous video comes up on YouTube when you search Boomerang:


4. MM: 4-Square
Honestly, there was nothing better than four square - there was action, shady alliances between the top people and your friends, moves that were borderline cheating, the ability to tag someone with a playground ball, and, as a bonus, just about everyone could get involved.

Draft Note: This over-the-top video is not how I played it, but makes me want to play 4-square even more.



5. Wheezy:Tether Ball
One of the main reasons for this pick is because it was one of the few "sports" I could actually play with any chance of actually winning when I was in elementary school, but also because even if you weren't playing - the people who were looked so ridiculous that you could always enjoy the spectacle.

Second Round

6. Wheezy: Tire Swing
On my elementary school playground there was one of those wooden multi-use play areas with a cargo net you climbed to get to the monkey bars to get to the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom style rope bridge to get to the twisty slide etc, and on one corner was a tire swing that, when pushed hard enough would get you pinballing back and forth on the support beam structure surrounding it. Plus it spun like crazy, so it was kind of a combined merry go round / swing twofer.

Draft Note: This should remind you of what it looks like to play tetherball.


7. MM: Dodgeball
What's better than winging a playground ball at some of your friends, or, even better, someone that pissed you off. Plus, dodgeball is the ultimate survival of the fittest game. If you're slow or fat or suck at life, you're gonna be out really early. Bonus: I could go play dodgeball right now and have an awesome time.

8. Ross: Kickball
You get to peg people with that red ball, just like in dodgeball, but you also get the satisfaction of booting the ball and hearing that twang. You know what I'm talking about. Kickball is a great playground game, much better than baseball as it required only the ball and moved along much faster, since you never need to pitch 12 times for a single at bat.

MM: I did love that twaaaanggg sound.

Laura: Oh yeah, this game was way high on my draftboard. That twang is particularly satisfying when every one moves into the infield just because you're a girl and then the ball goes over their heads

Draft Note: Here's an awesome kickball league I want to join


9. Adam: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
This was always a favorite of mine as everyone else always seemed to want to be Rafael because he was red, or Donatello for reasons I still don't understand. This opened up Michaelangelo for me which was perfect because despite his bullshit ninchucks, he was the most awesome. A true story is that in 2nd grade my teacher had an intervention with my parents because I was too obsessed with Turtles. Well, Ms. Latka, you know when we're discussing Michaelangelo the artist you're pretty much just asking for some Turtles quotes and references, and maybe you just weren't into them enough. Turtles - the game for kids who love Pizza, debate favorite colors and weapons, and are constantly facing sabotage threats from the Foot Clan.

Draft Note: I'm not sure how this slid through without so much as a comment. I loved playing TMNT on the playground. That said, I'm pretty sure we looked like a mix of these next 2 videos:





10. Laura: Capture the Flag
My entire school used to play this (or kickball) at recess. (Note: My entire school was 17 people, including the teacher that played with us.) One of the criterion for all my picks is that it can be played by all ages and in different circumstances. We played on a semi-open field with a few hills and trees. You could also play a game across an entire campus, or at camp we played in the forest. You can specialize too and it doesn't always require the most coordination (speed is helpful unless you're super sneaky).

Third Round

11. Laura: Tag
Tag can be played at all ages with varying levels of difficulty and any size group. There's normal tag, which I believe was designed solely to use up kids' excess energy since the game never really ends.There's freeze tag, which can actually allow someone to "win" the game by freezing everyone, but it still can go for a long time and you can work together. There's blob tag where people get linked together. Depending on space constraints tag can also turn into a type of hide-and-seek around the playground equipment. Tag is the simplest of games, but with a little bit of creativity it can be changed and elaborated in so many ways.

12. Adam: Tornado Slide
This was the biggest, twist on the way down slide on most school playgrounds. What's true is that I was so deathly afraid of heights through about 3rd grade that I didn't even make it down until 4th grade, and by then everyone was either playing football or climbing UP the slide anyways. Still, I remember the rush of not dying my first time climbing up those stairs and getting all of my undergarments bunched up in the static cling shock of the trip down. Of course, by the time I had enough balls to actually climb up to that slide - there were bad kids hanging out in the top, scratching curse words into the metal, and they never appreciated having to go down just so I could conquer my fears.

13. Ross: The Floor Is Lava
Maybe you called it something slightly different, but I'm willing to bet you had some sort of game where you couldn't touch the ground. This game is a classic, and every playground has it's own quirks and tricks to get from one side to the other without being engulfed in flames.

14. MM: Red Rover
I would like to meet the person that came up with Red Rover. I have a feeling it went like this: A teacher was pissed at his class for being douche bags, so when recess rolls around, he's like, "Hey. I have a game we're going to play today." Then he splits them into two teams and stand in a straight line. Then one-by-one, he has the class run full-steam from their team right into the other team. Furthermore, here's a checklist I used for good games: 1) Is there a chance for injury? Yes. 2) Is there a chance that you'll pick on a girl or a weak kid? Yes. Is there a chance that you could end up on the ground with 2 girls? Yes. Is there a chance that you'll be mad at someone after the game? Yes. Four yeses - how can you not love this game?

15. Wheezy: Butts Up
Get your heads out of the gutter man, this is an elementary school game!

Basically, if I remember correctly. The ball is thrown against a large wall, usually the side of the building, then as it returns the kids try to catch it. If you successfully catch it without dropping the ball, you get then throw it against the wall again. If you touch it WITHOUT catching it, (like drop it, get grazed by it, etc) - you must run to the wall and touch the wall before anybody can get the ball to the wall again.

If you don't make it to the wall first, then you get one "out", and must stand against the wall, facing towards it. The kid who gave you that out then tries to peg you as hard as he can with the ball (usually a tennis or racquetball). If you accumulate 3 outs, then you're done playing.

I really don't know why this game was all that appealing - I guess because of the painful nature of losing (see Bloody Knuckles and the quarter game where you try to keep it spinning for other examples of the pain based phenomenon).


So that's the draft. I'll declare the winner next Friday, so vote until then. Here's the poll.






Have a great weekend.

9 comments:

Adam said...

BLOG IS BACK!

Double M said...

!Fo Sheezy!

Johnny said...

I did love me some 'the ground is lava'. Pray to God you don't touch that ground.

B Vasquez said...

I loved 4 Square and the Ground is Lava a lot, but ultimately Wall Ball won out for me (though Butts Up makes the game sound stupid IMO). This one game kept me going even through Junior High when waiting for my Mom to pick me up. And by then muscles had actually formed on most kids and shit fucking hurt.

We used a racquetball in our own game and I never actually knew that the ball was called that due to my lack of ever playing racquetball, so I called it a "wallball" until I was probably 18 or so.

D Wheezy said...

Mueller's winning? Rigged I say. Rigged.

Double M said...

4-square, bitches!

Ross said...

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET OFF THE SAND IT IS BURNING YOUR FEET!

Double M said...

Put it out! Put it out! Oh God! It Burns!

D Wheezy said...

I died because I couldn't keep my balance on that stupid wooden beam that surrounded the sandy area.