⇒ Skip this, take me to the discussion archive!
In 1999, we started Streetplay… and the discussion area quickly became its most popular feature. While we’re carrying on our tradition of discussion 21st-century style on our Facebook Streetplay Discussion Group, we really didn’t want to lose all the years of reader-submitted stories and questions when we closed the discussions on Streetplay.com. That’s why we’ve gathered together every non-spam message we could (our site was getting hacked left-and-right!), and gathered it all here in a new, WordPress-powered archive.
Nearly every message that was on our original discussion board can be found here. Each message is created as a blog post, and when possible, the original author is credited. Also, with the power of the WordPress platform, we’ve been able to group the messages by their original categories (see the menu system at the top of the page), and also add new tags to the nearly 4000 posts we’ve retrieved… take a look at the list of tags on the right-hand side, or just look for them at the bottom of any post. Of course, you can also search for any specific words you want using the search function at the top of any page.
To get you started, we’ve inserted the first bit of the message list below, beginning with the most recent. If any message strikes your fancy, try clicking its title, or use the categories and tags to dive deep into a topic you like.
Have fun with this! We hope you enjoy exploring this unearthed corner of Streetplay as much as we do!
Does anyone remember a game called Russia? We played it in Newark, N.J. in the 50s with a pink rubber ball.You went from onsie to tensie. I can’t remember the rules.
Well, I’m from Chicago and we played may of the games mentioned here. I want to actually write about these games in my Family Tree book so that my grandchildren would know how their grandmother played when she was young. I especially, like playing with the spauldeen and used it to play the Russian Ten, O’Leary, and Roly/Poly. Does anyone know the verses, order, and directions on how these games were played? I would love to know, since I’ve forgotten a lot! Thanks. thiele007 [at] hotmail [dot] com.
I’m Tony from Astoria Queens. We used to play with Spalding Balls and played stick Ball, Strike Box (AKA Alley ball), Stoop Ball, Box Ball, Handball, and all the others mentioned. One thing I haven’t heard about the spalding’s were the types or classes of each. I can remember there being four to choose from numbered 1-4. They went from #4 being softer (less air) to #1 being the hardest (most air). When you bounced the #1 you could hear the p’ing’ or ‘ting’ sound it made from it being so tight. In stickball, I could hit that ball for two blocks in the air and it would bounce for about five more blocks! Telling my kids this seems unbelievable to them; and if you really think about it, you start to second- quess yourself about being able to hit it that far–but you know you could. I think we (ALL) were the true superheroes of NYC and the Tri-State area. Never forget where you came from is my moto!!!
DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THE BALL GAME CALLED “I DECLARE WAR” WHERE A LARGE CIRCLE WAS DRAWN IN THE STREET WITH CHALK AND PORTIONED OFF LIKE A PIE FOR THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS EACH OF WHOM WOULD CHOSE A COUNTRY TO REPRESENT THEM AND WRITE THE NAME IN THIER COUNTRY IN THAT SECTION….THE BALL WAS BOUNCED AS HARD AS THE FIRST PLAYER COULD BOUNCE IT YELLING “I DECLARE WAR ON (WHATEVER) COUNTRY HE CHOSE” AND EVERYONE WOULD SCATTER. THE DECLARED COUNTRY PLAYER HAD TO RETRIEVE THE BALL AND YELL FREEZE (EVERYONE FROZE STILL). HE THEN TRIED TO HIT A FROZEN PLAYER WITH THE BALL…IF HE WAS SUCCESSFUL HE GOT TO CARVE OUT A PIECE OF THAT PLAYERS COUNTRY (USUALLY THE SIZE OF HIS FOOT SQUARED) AND WRITE HIS COUNTRY’S NAME IN IT…IF HE MISSED WITH HIS THROW THE PLAYER ATTACKED COULD CUT OUT A PIECE OF THAT PLAYERS COUNTRY AND CLAIM IT AS HIS….AND SO ON TILL THE WORLD WAS OCCUPIED BY THE BEST PLAYER (OR YOU MOTHER CALLED YOU HOME FOR SUPPER OR DARKNESS)…LET ME KNOW IF YOU REMEMBER THIS GAME. ANDREW BROOKLYN 1949 – 1962
anyone add punchball to the list? Played with a white pimple ball
Do kids still call a spaldeen, a spaldeen? Also, Manhunt isn’t mentioned. I heard about it being played in the 90s.
What some people call Box Ball, we on Cabrini Blvd. between 177th & 178th Streets in Washington Hights, NY we called SLUG. Slug was played on a street bldg. wall and the expansion joints on the street was the dividing line to the curb. Also, baseball was played in the Court Yards to the entrance of buildings (somewhat confining, but you played a good quick game.. …
I am a teacher of English from Poland (in Europe ) and I teach in a primary school. In a coursebook for 11-year-olds there is a short article about “Street Games” in the USA and one of them is skully! In Poland we have similar game where beer caps and chalk are used (I played it as a child). It is a kind of a simple race and you also try to finish the route (a long narrow chalk “road”) as first and eliminate your opponents. Anyway, I wanted to find out more about skully and noticed this site. It is fantastic! And I am going to wait until spring and then teach my pupils to play skully! I do hope they like it Thanks a lot! Dorota …
From Alfie:; does anyone remember “Johnny on the Pony”? ..A famous game we played in Williamsburg Brooklyn
We played a game where we chose up sides and then did a question/answer where we said back and forth as follows: “Bum, bum, here we come/where are you from/New York/what’s your trade/lemonade/then get to work and show your initials.” Then we proceeded to play the game. I remember the quote so well, but I do not remember how we played the game after the back and forth. Maybe someone out there can remember how the game was played after the quotes…Help me if you can..