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
Yes! “I declare war on…..(country)!” Long pause before you yelled out the name to heighten the anticipation. We used the exact same rules as Mike. If you forgot who was what country, you sometimes declared war on yourself! (I remember doing this) After everyone froze, the person who caught the ball was allowed three steps towards anyone he chose to target, then threw the ball at him. If hit, the target was “it” and declared war for the next round. For the three steps, we were allowed to place the ball on the ground where we caught it, then back up and take a running jump for our three steps. I grew up playing this in Laurelton, Queens in the late 50’s and 60’s.
I grew up in Richmond Hill NY, playing skelly every day, come summer time in Smokey Park in the early 70’s. I remember using crayons and the rim of the glass beer bottle to make a skelly cap, but there was one more way of doing it that was my favorite. We’d take a twist off beer cap, find a plastic soda cap, and some small pieces of glass for weight. I’d dig the plastic insert piece out of the soda cap. The glass went inside the beer bottle cap and the plastic piece was fitted in side the beer bottle cap, over the glass upside down, to hold the glass in place.I remember always giving the new cap a real good rubbing on the ground to roughen it up. I was a good shooter and didnt want it flying anywhere I didnt want it to. I have taught my kids how to play all the street games I can still remember. Their favorites are: I Declare War, Box Ball, Chinese Hand Ball and Stoop ball and Red Rover.
I also remember this one! Usually the tactic was to duck behind the parked car… and you’d not say the kid’s name until you were about to slam the ball into the ground. of course, you’d not bounce it straight up; you’d put English on it to spin it elsewhere.
We played this, too, in Brooklyn in the 1970’s. The way we played it (little cretins that we were), once everyone “froze”, the guy with the ball had to nail someone with it, then the “nailee” was “it”! Gina
This is a game we also played in The Netherlands. Its called “Hold It! ball”. The kid that was declared war on as you put it, then tried to throw the ball against the feet of one of the other players.
Does anyone remember WAR! aka “I Decalre War On…” ? One kid with a ball was it, and he declared war on one of the other kids, each of whom represented a country. The kids stood in a circle surrounding the kid who was it. He would yell “I declare war on___”, bounce the ball as high as he could, and all the kids would run as fast, and as far away from the kid who was it, as they could. The one kid who’s country was declared war upon had to run back, catch the ball, and I think yell “freeze” That’s about all I remember. Can anyone fill in the blanks? Thanks
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.
does anyone remember a game w/spaldeen called war? i lived in bay ridge thru 1951…was 13 when i moved. we would use a manhole cover w/chaulk and box off names of countries. with the ball laid in the hole of the manhole..someone was “it” and would say, ” i declare war on ” and would say the name of one of the countries..meantime we would all run…except the one who was the country called…they would say “freeze” and through the ball at someone …don’t remember the rest…but no one i know can remember this game…i lived in bay ridge at the time on 49th. st betw. 5 and 6 th.aves….near the 5th. ave. side was a candy store owned by mrs. mazzoola…and an empty lot across the street…anyone out there familiar with this? i’d like to hear from someone…jeanne
Does anyone remember playing Giant Steps? And I had great fun playing punchball, red light green light, red rover, potsy, stoop ball, I declare war on …., hit the penny, hot potato and other city kid games. We really used our imaginations, got lots of exercise, and learned how to get along with others and organize ourselves. I feel sorry for the kids today. They are so programmed by adults. …