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 !
Hello to ALL- God This is a great website! I can remember playing Skelly in my great childhood days in the Bayview Projects in Brooklyn. Rainbow Clay from StarValue, pennies in the middle of Sunnydale milk caps, “kicksies” and those cheap little Ballantine Ale caps with the wax melted in. These are all fond memories of a game I will teach my kids to play, as well as other greats like Ring-a-Leevio, Building Tag, Poison Ball and Off the Wall…
In Suburban St. Louis town of Webster Groves in the 80’s we played a version of “Off the Wall” called BIP.. Using either a pink ball or tennis ball.I found 1 referance to in in a Yahoo Search.It was a basic off the wall type game where a ball,or multiple balls,were thrown against a wall.Any thrown ball must hit the wall before hitting the ground,a person or object in the field of play and the ball can only be fielded with one hand,no 2 handed catches or pickups.These were the basic rules.If a ball was caught in flight the intial thrower also to run and touch the wall.The inital thrower as a consequence could have the ball(s) thrown directly at them,but this violates the off the wall rule,so in turn the person who directly hit the inital thrower would have to touch up to the wall, thus becoming a target.Any person that caught a ball 2 handed must DROP the ball and run and touch up.Any ball fielded uncleanly (dropped or uncleanly 1 handed pickup off the ground) or hit by the ball in flight, must DROP the ball,if held, and touch up.If it was a multi-ball game, you could only handle 1 ball at a time.There were variations of the touch up rules. for instance a ball that was tossed away or kicked instead of dropped would be assesd a 10 touch where the person had to run up and stand at the wall and touch up (slap the wall alternating right and left hand) 10 times. Thanks.. Z P.S. If you remember this game or lived in Webster Groves in the 80s, drop me a line!
As a former brooklynite I remember many days playing skelly in the Marlboro housing projects in Gravesend. It’s kinda sad that kids today don’t play the games we used to play and and I’m 30 years old . I mean games like tag , off the wall, stoop ball, asses up, manhunt etc. They mostly are locked in front of the TV . I would like to know the size of the skelly board. I can’t remember and besides every building had a skelly board spray painted nearby , thanks to the ” big kids “. I don’t recall ” out of town “in skelly. What is it ?
Slight local variation on “Suicide” in my area (Malden, MA, near Boston, at Forestdale Elementary): No one was ever out of the game for good–it went on until recess was over or everyone was bored. People just sort of came and went. You throw the ball against the wall. If someone catches the fly that person becomes the thrower. Otherwise you keep throwing. If someone touches it on the fly without catching it, (s)he runs for the wall while whoever happens to pick up the ball tries to peg him/her before (s)he reaches it. If the runner gets pegged, (s)he has to sit out until someone else gets pegged. This was not too long ago (1994, 1995). I just saw it as a more complex Off the Wall (also a great game).
Didn’t see anyone here from my Brooklyn… I think that is cause most of the people are still there saying, “Yeah I live in Brooklyn, so F***ing What???” Since I was born (Brighton Beach 1968) till I left (Williamsburg 1999) I lived in Brooklyn all my life. Most of my childhood I lived in the Sheepshead Bay area, From Kings Highway to Graves End to the Bay. Man, it was hard, fun, wild, sad and wonderful. So much to say about it, for the things everyone remembers Wed. fireworks (think it was wed. or maybe Thurs.) at Coney, to the things people would like to forget, like seeing a black guy get his ass kicked, just because he was black or for that matter, me getting my ass kicked cause my friend had a big mouth. Learned a lot growing up there about people and life. I can’t see myself having grown up anywhere else. Miss being young there, skelly and Peas and butter, asses up, off the wall, Also, off the wall in mellet park, kick the can, ringaleavio, War, red rover, all the different tag games, the local drug store that sold the best eggcreams, Wonderful Mr. Iseman (hope I’m spelling it right) who used to run a few movies theaters in Brooklyn like the Kingsway and fortway, who used to let me in for nothing cause my brothers used to work there, to getting my first job that Joe’s Pizza on ave. U (that was a good slice), BLOCK PARTIES!!! Remember those?????? Wow… man… Halloween in Bklyn was always a blast, there was the house on AVE X and 15th or something and they alwasy put on a show, then you have 4th of July, where some blocks you couldn’t even get through because if the big fire in the middle of the street with the mats and block busters going off (got a few wax loads in my gut, from time to time). Anyone remember Sheepshead Bay Roller disco? How about Romeo and Juliet’s Disco? All the bars in Bay Ridge? Calm houses at the Bay? Spumoni Gardens? Man, I can go on and on. I’ll tell you, from 1974 when I was only 6 to about 1988 when I was 18, was some of the best times and the worst I have ever had and I miss it all.
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.
Re: Chinese Handball Might as well share with all. It’s been over 35 years since I played chinese handball in Queens, but here goes: Unlike handball, where you have to hit the wall on a fly, in chinese handball you have to hit the wall on a bounce. If you hit it on a fly you’re out. If you hit it on 2 bounces you’re out. If the ball bounces twice before you hit it, you’re out. You can hit it off the wall on a fly, but again you have to bounce it once before it hits the wall. You would decide how large the court was. If you hit it out of bounds you’re out too. Like handball, you could only score a point on your serve. It the ball hit off a crack and went at an odd angle, it was a “hindoo” and you played the point over. Hope this helps.