Grew up in West New York, NJ in the late ’60’s. The spaldeen games we played included : boxball, slapball, “fly’s up” (which is referred to here as stoopball), stickball, and my personal favorite “Fireball (which seems related to what others here have called “War”). In Fireball, the game was usually played everyman for himself. (i.e., no teams). Typically 4-8 participants. The game started with someone throwing the ball straight up high into the air. Everyone had the option of catching it. Whoever caught it was free to throw the ball usually as hard as possible at any of the other players, with one exception. If any player touched the player in possession of the ball, then that player could not be a target. The player with the ball was not allowed to move. All other players were free to run away. Once the ball was released, it either hit another player or it missed. In either case, the ball was free for anyone else to pick up and play resumed. A maximum number of times hit was established at the start of the game. Usually, this number was three. So, if a player was hit three times with the ball, he was eliminated. Eventually, all but one player would be eliminated in this way and the remaining player was declared the winner. If a player violated one of the few rules, he was then put in front of the “Firing Squad” (this is referred to in Streetplay as “asses up”). A typical violation would be throwing and hitting someone who had just managed to touch the playe with the ball. In the Firing Squad, the violater faced a wall with hands and legs stretched out, similar to the way a criminal would spread on a vehicle when asked to “spread ’em” by a cop. Each player, standing about 30 feet back from the violator, would get one chance to throw the ball at the violator. It was during games of fireball that I would witness the advanced trait of sympathy. Some players would throw the ball lightly at the violator during the Firing Squad phase. This is how we learned things in West New York.
Do you ever remember playing a game called stoop-ball? 10-20? Stepball? Off the Step? Off the Step.com is a site that uses the basis for most of those games and puts them into a fun and challenging game! Visit www.offthestep.com to check out the ruels and join the message board! We do know that the site is under developed but it’s a work in progress. We hope to have big updates in December. Buy Off the Step products at www.cafepress.com/offthestep! Cheers!
Hey everyone, I grew up around 165th and Gerard. School at PS 114. Then we moved to Jersey. Eventually I came back, to Knox Pl, just off Mosholu Pkwy. But left again.LOL. I remember playing stickball, curb ball and stoop ball all over the neighborhood. Some friends were Mike Gearty, Joe Marsicano.
Any self respecting kid that grew up in the 50-60s in St.Albans, Queens and went to PS 118 knows that Pensie-Pinkies rule. Its called pensie-pinkie because it had a keystone stamped on the pink ball. The state symbol for Pensylvania is the keystone. The nick name for Pensylvania is the “Keystone state”-hence Pensie short for Pensylvania. I found this site looking for Skelly/Scully rules. Great site. I played all the usual street games including stoop ball, chinese handball, stickball etc. A kid couldn’t live without a Pensie. ANYONE HEAR OF RUNNING BASES??? Two “basemen” on either side of the street and a bunch of kids in the middle. The object was to tag the kids out as they ran back and forth between the two bases. It was like a run down in baseball. One of the few co-ed games at the time. Girls were so icky back then. This site brought back many wonderful memories.
the spaldeen was the “original” for us ’50’s kids. no one mentioned salugi [taking someone else’s ball and throwing it around for awhile before giving it back often ending up in a fight]. we invented a rainy day,indoor game called “off the wall, in the hall ball”. basically stoop ball that hit a wall in back of the fielder where every bounce was an additionally base. one bounce a single, 2 a double, etc. failure to hit the back wall or catching it on a fly was an out. anyone out there remember this from B’klyn?
Of course the spaldeen (especially the much-beloved #4, although #2 was also good) was always better than the pinky, although that pinky could really fly when hit with a bat! Most of you can probably relate, but I wish I could explain to my friends here in the Midwest what it was like growing up on E. 15th St. near Kings Highway in the ’70s. Our street was full of kids and we played all the time: johnny on the pony, stoopball, stickball, hockey on roller skates, scully, red rover, i declare war (losers always “went under the moon”), wiffle ball, ringaleavio. And the games in the schoolyards, like handball, off the wall, paddleball. There’s got to be a million spaldeens on the roof at PS 199 where I went and all the other schools, too. It was like a soap opera, too.
Just stopped by , enjoy the site ! My question to anyone out there is Where did stoopball originate and when ? If anyone can answer this It would be appreciated. I remember playing stoopball, curve ball or off the wall when I was a kid, living on 21st in Manhattan. If anyone can direct me to the history of the game , it be great ! I heard so many different stories, one never know what the truth. My name is Joe V. and I can be contacted at: jlv301 [at] frontiernet [dot] net Hey tournament stoopball !
I played Johhny on the Pony during the early 80’s in Greenpoint/Williamsgurg Brooklyn. Also played Chinesse handball, Boxball, Stoopball, etc; but those are other great stories. Most memorible JOP story is when we actually convinced the girls that hung out with us in a schoolyard over on Havermyer st. to play JOP with us guys!!! Well needless to say, those of you who’ve played the game know the position you take being on the pony. That was the first time I put my arms around Lisa Ninziata’s waist. Wow, I was in heaven… pure bliss… until I turned my head toward the other team, just in time to catch a glimse of her then boyfriend Bobby’s sneaker as it slammed me on the side of the head, almost ripping my ear off. Well, this being perfectly leagal in JOP; I had to wait till my teams turn for retaliation. Later I would throw mu body, with full force at Bobby with elbows leading the way. And, in the end we would laugh ourselves to tears as Anthony’s radio played “The Piano Man”. What days those were… my best memories.
*****************Frankie and the Fence *****One Sunday afternoon in the spring of 1961, my friend Frankie and I were on our way to the corner schoolyard to play some stoopball. As usual, on weekends, the schoolyard