I used to play Potsy in about the 3rd grade – a long time ago – on the playground. We would dig one hole in the center and 4 holes on the corners, probably 2 feet apart. I don’t remember the rules and would really like to know so I can teach my grandchildren. I was really good and used to win the boy’s marbles all the time! Thanks to anyone that can help me. Judy
In my area (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) we would find a bare patch of ground and dig a hole with the heel of our shoe. We’d stand back and take turns throwing marbles at the hole. After the initial salvo the closest to the hole got to shoot first. You wouldn’t pick the marble up but, instead, give it a push with your index finger. If you got the marble into the hole you got to shoot again. You shot until you missed then the next closest to the hole (from the initial throw) would take over. The person to sink the last marble would get all the marbles in the hole. There’s a basic flaw in this game, of course, in that if you trying a long shot and miss you’re leaving an easier shot for your opponent. This would lead to players intentionally missing or shooting the marble way off course. We must have made rules to counteract this but I don’t remember what they were. We called the white marbles with swirls of color “snot” marbles. We called the big marbles “doughboys.”
In the 1960:s we played another game with “marbles” on the schoolyards in Vanersborg Sweden. On guy sat on the ground and spread his leg out. He put 4 marbles to a “Pirre”,three in the bottom and one up on the others. Each player stand behind a line 6-10 feet away and shot tre marbles each or until someone hit the “Pirre” and brooke it. If someone hit he got the marbles but if no one hit the guy on the ground got all marbles between his leg. The very interesting is that this game was invented by soldiers in the dragoonregiment who had its trainingground i Vanersborg 1560-1927 around 1600 played with round bullets
I think marble play has lost it’s appeal with today’s kids. The question came up on how to “market” marbles today. I think putting them on a self with a price tag does nothing. Learn how to shoot them and how to play. Then show others and challenge them to a game. Kids will see this and will become interested. I think marbles should loose the stigma that it’s only a game for kids. I’m an adult and I still find them fun to play with. Like any sport, there’s definitely a challenge. Like any sport, know your equipment. The three main marble manufactures (I know of). Are Vacor, Jabo, and Marble King. Vacor’s are made in Mexico, while the other two are in the US. Vacor’s are generally sold under the name Mega Marbles. Marble King marbles are the ones used in the National Marble Championship (ie: the blue ones). Of the three, I personally like Jabos the best. If you’re a hobbie shop, do yourself justice and stock a small sample of all three. Every place I go only sells Vacors. Vacors look nice in the package, but side by side with Marble Kings or Jabos…let the customer decide 😉 Also, Jabos and Marble Kings use English measurements while Vacors use Metric sizes (ie: 3/4″ ~ 25mm). And for those that want only the best, you can still purchase real stone marbles. They’re much harder to find, but you can buy them. I got mine from http://landofmarbles.com under the stone shooter section. They’re very nice, however, if you really want a quality stone marble, you’ll have to do some web searching on ‘flint marbles’. To me, marbles is not some game fad from the past. It’s a rich game with lots of variation and history. The American style of marble play requires lots of backspin. It’s a skill that’ll challenge most any kid or adult. It’s a simple game, but lots of fun. It’s well worth the effort to learn.
D-Murray- here are a few more- “Knuckling down”- In marbles, it is getting ready to shoot, but in general terms, it means getting down to work or the task at hand. “Going for all the marbles”- used is almost every championship game as a metaphor for each team’s efforts to win. “Gettin down and dirty”- in marbles, it means kneeling down in the dirt to play seriors. In other terms, it means getting serious about what you are doing.