Hopping combat style party game



Today I have decided to make an entry in the ‘games for boys’ section.  The idea of splitting games by gender is really for ‘suggestions’ rather than strict rules. That said most girls ‘seem’ to prefer Princess and dress up type of games whilst boys typically prefer more robust active games. But I don’t want to get into the nature versus nurture debate, so please take my own categorization as a suggestions of games that might be preferred by boys or girls but do not exclude either from participating in or enjoying them.

One game I played (in late elementary school, at age around 9 in the UK) was a game organized at school for our Boy’s PE, Physical Education, class. This is a game that I have not been able to find on the Internet but our teacher explained the rules to us and we all enjoyed playing this physical game regularly.

The idea is for two boys (or girls) to ‘fight’ each other by having their hands clasped behind their backs and hopping on one leg. The contact is made by ‘shoulder charges’ and no other contact is allowed (e.g. no head butting, biting etc.).  The game ends when one player touches the ground with his\her other foot or falls over.

This game favors nimble individuals over brute force as the players hop around trying to avoid the others ‘charges’ and counter when they see their opponent ‘off guard’. Also if you can keep your opponent ‘active’ the strongest ‘hopper’ will win out and this is not necessarily the biggest kid.

Our PE teacher used to have two lines of boys facing each other (about 30 feet apart), we would all be given a number and the teacher would call out two numbers (one from each line) where upon those boys would stand up and do battle. I vividly remember my own strategy was to ‘fake’ an full out shoulder charge then to move out the way just before the point of impact and try to ‘nudge’ the other charging player as he past me. Anyway, after a while everyone knows about these and other tactics so the game progresses much more like a game of ‘chess’ with fake or real charges and elusive moves and counter charges.

Also, as I recall, no one was ever injured playing this ‘contact’ game, well maybe the ‘pride’ of some of the ‘alpha males’ was bruised when they were knocked over by the crafty ‘wimpy’ kids.

If anyone else out there played this or a similar game (I am going back 50 years and in the UK, to remember this game myself), please let me know.

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