Yes! “I declare war on…..toby2max!” Long pause before you yelled out the name to heighten the anticipation. We used the exact same rules that toby2max describes, and we used the names of countries also. If you forgot who was what, you sometimes declared war on yourself! (I remember doing this!) 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.
Does anyone remember playing Spud or War (same game) with a spaldeen? You needed a group of kids, the larger the better. “It” bounced the ball on the street really hard so it would go high straight up in the air and called another player’s name at the same time, saying I declare war on ______ using either a kid’s name or a country name. Then that person had to catch it while everyone else scattered. As soon as he caught it he yelled out Spud and everyone froze. Then the catcher could take 3 steps (as big as he possibly could) and fired the ball at the nearest kid trying to hit him. The kid that was hit was then “it,” if missed the same player was it again. This was a coed game, and we played it for hours on end. The best place to play was in the courtyards between buildings, there were lots of alleys and corners to run through. I grew up in East Flatbush in the 60s & 70s–Bedford and Ave D. Went to Farragut Park for the sprinklers, Farragut Pool until they put Pathmark there, and Brighton Beach by subway and Riis Park by the Green Line bus! Any memories out there?
There is no social function in life that was more profound or important than hangin out on da stoop! My stoop on 113th St. in Richmond Hill Queens was the epicenter of the universe from the 60’s to the 80’s, it was a family tradition. My mom’s theroy was she always knew where we were. She was also the self appointed guardian and disciplinarian to every kid on the block. Also my grandmother kept them all fed! Now I live in Florida as does my entire family that moved from Queens. So now we teach our kids about hangin out. Only here we don’t have stoops, so we break out our beach chairs and hang out in the driveway. We call it “Trash Nite”, the Floridians in the neighbor still can’t figure us out, but there kids love learning to play kick the can, I Declare War,skelly, and much more. I’m proud to say at 45 I can still whip some butt in skelly!! I’m also teaching the unenlightened down here about stickball, fast pitch against the wall of coarse.
PS 66 in Richmond Hill Queens had everything from punchball, stickball, slapball (“Slap”). basketball, off the wall, asses up, ringelevio, coco-monster, chinese, handball, whiffleball, errors, 5 boxes, hit the penny, strikeouts, to softball. I even remember the “non athletic” kids playing checkers, chess, or cards off in some corner. Out in the street were skelly games, I Declare War, Tops, and kids doing unbelievable things with yo-yos. Soemtimes we would use nearby Forest park fo ringelevio…and of course one of the Queens meccas, Victory Field. What memories. This experience of playing led me to my wonderful profession – a Physical Educator.
PS186 in Brooklyn: Sponge Ball: Basically a pitcher and batter. Box painted on the wall represents strike zone. Baseball wiht no running, the father you hit the ball the bigger hit you got Other huge games Ace King queen wiffle ball triangle ringolevio off the wall i declare war In winter, skitchin as well as bombing passing cars withe ice balls from the corner …
Did anyone ever play “War”? Or “Steal the Old Man’s Bundle?” I had two brothers and sisters and we used to play “War” for hours. You dealt out all the cards and then each played a card. The higher card won and the winner took both cards. If the cards were equal, you had to say “I declare War”. Then each dealt out three cards face down and one card face up. Highest card wins all the cards. Object of the game is to get all the cards. – webdiva