Pete,Sunnyside,Queens 1951-58 Two people stood on the edge of a sidewalk box facing each other,each having one box in front of them.On the line between the two boxes a “GOOD HUMOR,Popcicle” stick was placed at right angle to and on the line between the two boxes.The mission was to hit the stick and move it towards and at long last over the line at the edge of your opponent’s box.I don’t recall any points just win or lose. I came to this site via N.Y.TIMES story looking for CHINESE HANDBALL. I see ACE-KING-QUEEN which was the positions of the boxes but did not find anything. Any help anyone???
I’m 25 years old from Washington Heights. But, while my friends and I were growing up we played Chinese handball (we have actually passed it down to the younger kids that are currently growing up). We had various forms of the game where the “Ace” could decide what the rules of the game were going to be. Usually when the best players were around we played “killer serve” (where you could serve as you pleased as long as you didn’t pass the first block of cement and the last block of cement), with stealing (you couldn’t step into another player’s box) and hitting the ball three times (if you wanted to).
Mick & Pez, You guys have done a service for mankind (at least for Brooklynkind) with this website. I left Brooklyn (Bath Beach/Bensonhurst) almost 55 years ago and I still remember the joys of stickball, punchball, handball, Chinese handball, boxball, Chinese boxball, skully, land, ring-a-levio, three feet off to Germany, odds & evens, knucks, etc. I tried to pass some of these on to my son, but things are just not the same in the suburbs of Cleveland.
When I was in Jr. High School, I was a very manipulative kid. I always got the kids to follow what I wanted to do, but they ultimately came to despise me. I was really good at boxball (Chinese Handball), but one time I finally lost. We were doing booties up – the kids lined up with glee in the eyes and I realized how much they hated me. It was an epiphany. I realized I must be doing something wrong and I changed.
Re: “King” (Lee Quinn). In Astoria, Queens in the early ’60’s, we played a game much like King called ‘Chinese Handball.” Many variations. One was as you described (if I’m understanding you correctly) where you could only shoot into a neighboring box (i.e., the Queen could shoot into the King or Jack box…the Jack into the Queen or 10 box] and the player who missed would go to the end with all other moving up. Another variation allowed anyone to shoot for the King (and replace him if you got him out). Sometimes we didn’t even keep score…just looked to be King for the longest amount of time (impressionistically speaking)….A shot that bounced low on the wall and then rolled was called a “killer.” You could hit a higher percentage of killers by slicing the ball…but carrying the ball was not allowed……
Chinese Handball. We played against the wall of Pete`s Candy Store in Rosedale, Queens. During the late 50`s through the 1960`s Pete`s Candy Store was our handball court of choice. Of course we played Aces,or “A-s“ up … 🙂 … and we usually used a (spelled as it is pronounced) Spaldeene. The spaldeen really did hurt, sometimes leaving a welt. Yeah, some of the guys really threw hard, but fortunately their was only one loser in a group of up to 12 or more of us. Unfortunately, all the guys got to throw at the losers butt. 😉 If you were one of the, probably over 30 to forty players their at the time, I would sure like to see you here. My nick name at the time was, Rosie, Bloom, or worse. ;-a
“By Bruce Deitchman on Wednesday, May 26, 1999 – 12:05 am: Please allow me to share my views on the subject. IMHO, Spaldeens (as they are pronounced) are the proper tool for games such as stickball, however I have found Pennsy Pinkies more appropriate for Chinese handball and boxball.“ I gotta agree with everything the guy above me here says. Additionally, the Spaldeens were great for the game of Steem. Where a few guys choosed up sides and ya pitched the ball to the batter as if it were a hardball. A box for the strike zone was drawn on a wall with chalk behind the batter, and the pitcher paced off (I forget how many) several yards to the chalk drawn pitchers mound. Regular balls and strikes added an more action. Ground rules varied depending on how many players were in the game. This was one of my favorites when I was a young teenager. We usually played in the school yard courtyard. Spaldeens were the ball of choice because of their liveliness bouncing back to the pitcher when the batter missed your pitch. 🙂
You’d always want to win Chinese Handball, because if you lost Booty’s Up Chinese handball was very skillful, unlike regular handball you really had to cut the ball, like table tennis. I had a friend named Maxine in East New York, she could make that ball die. She beat all the guys in regular handball and Chinese handball. She was murder on us. I’m going to call her up and tell her about today.