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Most of the games in this section are for two sides or teams. Where ages and physical development are too wide apart the quickest and easiest method is to line up the Troop, tallest on the right and shortest on the left; number-odd numbers form one side and evens the other. Sometimes the marrying of two Patrols achieves the best result.

Some of the major field games should be considered, for example, Basket Ball, Football, both Association and Rugger, Hockey and Cricket, etc. But it is not necessary for these to be described here.

Most team games require two particular conditions for their success, the one a fair, firm and intelligent referee or umpire, the other a clearly defined playing area. Those idealists who proclaim that because "A Scout's honour is to be trusted" referees and all such are redundant are begging the question. Most players of organised games are good sports and not without personal honour, yet it is fair to claim that without referees and umpires none of us would ever have been "offside," still less "L.B.W." The plain fact is that a sound referee adds greatly to the enjoyment of the game from the players' point of view, and not least of a Scouter's duties is to know absolutely the rules of each and every game his Scouts are likely to play.

As to "marking out the ground," sufficient to say that it should be done clearly and beyond dispute, that it should be adapted to the number of players taking part and, indeed, to their age. Such matters, too, as fixing time limits before the game begins are important. Limits which once fixed should be as inexorable as to make those Laws of Medes and Persians seem like shilly-shallying.

These things do matter, for without order in our games there is no pleasure, purpose or profit.


1. Hurley Burley

Ground, with goal at each end, is divided into two equal parts. Players form two teams, even numbers. Object of game is to get ball through opponents' goal. Players may kick and handle the ball, but must pass if touched when holding the ball.


2. Nuts and Raisins

Two teams; one team tries to pass a football about among its own members, the others trying to intercept. A point is scored for five clear undropped consecutive passes; no tackling, only interception is allowed. The first player to touch a dropped ball may pick it up unmolested. Team with most points in (say) eight minutes, wins.

This is a very skilful and exciting game.

3. Pitchball

Rope or mark off a pitch about 12 to 15 yards square. Teams of eight, each fielding in turn. Fielding side stand two to each side of the square, armed with a tennis ball. Batting side enters square one by one, armed with a cricket stump or mallet handle, or other suitably sized stick. Fielders have to throw the tennis ball at the batsman, and go on throwing it until they hit him. Every time they miss him, i.e. the ball enters the square without hitting him, he gets one point; if he hits it with his bat, he gets two; if he knocks it back out of the square the way it came, he gets three, and a really lusty swipe gets four. Batsman (but not side) is out if" caught," as in cricket. Fielders must not enter square; if they do, the batsman scores one point. He cannot be out to a throw from a "trespassing" fielder. If the ball goes "dead" inside the square, any fielder may recover it, but he must return outside before throwing. Two, three or four innings each, and the side which scores the most points wins.

Variation. Use two balls.


4. Ring the Peg

Old horseshoes provide a good outdoor game. Favourite relaxation with cowboys on round-ups. A tent peg is placed in the ground about 20 feet away. Each player with three shoes tries to "ring" the peg. Single points are scored by the shoes which are nearest to the peg when the throws are measured at the end of the round. When a shoe lands against the peg but doesn't encircle it, the throw scores three, while a clear "ring" counts five. First player scoring one hundred points wins the game, which can also be played with teams, two opposing players throwing alternately with three shoes each, same shoes then being used by the next two opposing players.


5. Deck Tennis

Played over a net about 5 feet high by throwing a rope ring from side to side. One team each side of net; any player dropping the ring falls out. Team lasting longest wins. Thrower of a shot falling outside a marked base-line falls out.


6. Rounders

Two teams; one batting, others fielding. Batters queue up behind home base. Four other bases are arranged at corners of hexagon with sides up to 30 yards according to space and numbers. Bowler stands 15 feet from batter. Ball served must be pitched between knee and shoulder of batter. Three are allowed, but batter must run for any he hits. If he can run round all four bases without being hit he scores a rounder; but if he is hit between bases he is out. He can be brought back by any rounder scored by his team. Only one batter can be at a base at one time. If any more, all but last arrival are out. Ball is dead as soon as in bowler's hands, and no batter can then move from a base until next batter starts running from home base. A full catch puts all batters out. As rules vary considerably they should be agreed beforehand. (This is essential in any team game.)


7. Squaw

Two teams of any size, played on a small football ground. Each player has a short stick. A goal is scored by throwing or carrying the "squaw" (two small balls of tightly rolled leather joined by about 5 inches of cord) with the stick through the goal. No rules but a very sensible referee who is sole judge of fair play. The "squaw" may not be touched with the hand.

This is a fast and exciting game.


8. Stool-ball

Equipment can be improvised. Two wickets are made by fixing board about 1 foot square on a post between 4 and 5 feet high. Bat is like a ping-pong bat, about 8 inches across. Wickets are 16 yards apart; bowling crease 10 yards in front of each. Batters send in two batsmen. Bowling is by one bowler standing at crease in front of batsmen; ten balls to an over. Batsmen is out if ball hits board (the post and back do not count), or if caught or run out. No stumping. To be run out, ball must hit wicket, or if a fielder with ball in hand touches wicket before batsman.


9. Hit the Board

Two sides equal numbers. One in and one fielding. The side in, stand by board about 2 feet square and one at a time, as in rounders, hit the ball as far as they can with hand. If caught by fielders, striker is out. If fielded after touching ground, fielder stands still and has a free throw at board which, if hit, gets striker out. Fielding side score two. If he misses, other side score one. If ball goes over boundary, fielder throws from where it passed the line. Boundary line according to skill of players and size of ground available. Innings go on until all side is out. Board can be fixed on pole, or laid flat on ground.


10. Change Hockey

A football and four stumps (or improvised substitute) are all the equipment required. Teams line up on either side of the pitch with the ball and stumps at the centre. On the word "Go" the first two of each team run forward, pick up a stump each and try to knock the ball across the opponents' line-or into a goal if desired-to score a goal. At the command "change" by the umpire, those playing drop their stumps and the next pair from each team take their place.


11. Wheelbarrow Ground Ball

A football and stumps to make a goal are required. The teams, in pairs, make up wheelbarrows. These wheelbarrows form up in the usual way for football and the game proceeds. Only the barrow man may hit the ball-with one of his hands-and by passing, etc., the teams attempt to score goals. The ball must be kept on the ground. Don't play this for too long and change barrow and wheeler frequently.


12. Trap Ball

Two teams; one fielding, one batting. A flat stone is required for a base, a tennis ball, and a stick of handy size which can be wielded with one hand. The batters in turn bounce the ball on the stone and try to hit it with the stick. If the ball is hit it is fielded by one of the other side, and batter places his stick on the stone and gives a number to the holder of the ball, who stays in the place where he fielded it. For example, if the batter gives "Two," the fielder throws the ball, trying to place it within two "stick" lengths from the base. If he does so, then the batter is out; if not, then the batter scores two and continues to bat until out. The batter may also be out by failing to hit the ball twice in succession. A catch puts out the whole team. Batters may say any number they wish up to six or even "hit the base," no score being counted for this. The team scoring the most points wins.


13. Two-ball Football

A rag form of football played on an ordinary ground but with two balls. The off-side rule is entirely ignored, both balls are kept in play, and a referee is appointed to follow the play of each ball. If both balls go through the same goal at the same time, two goals are scored.


14. Over the Net

A ground about the size of a tennis-court is required, with a net or rope stretched across the middle, 6 or 7 feet from the ground. Teams of six play with a football. The object of the game is to hit the ball over the net so that the opposing side cannot prevent it from falling on the ground. The ball may be held, but not carried; it may not be thrown, but be held in one hand and hit with the other. Players between the net and the ball may hit it on towards or over the net, but may not hold the ball. No one may touch the net. To start the ball into play, the server hits off from the corner. All fouls, ball on ground, and "outs" give the opposing side service; no scoring is possible except by those serving. This is an excellent game for after tea-time in camp.


15. "A Horse, a Horse"

Form two teams, each with an equal number of pairs of "horse and rider." Remaining Scouts on each side are unhorsed riders. Riders armed with short sticks.

The "ball" is a short heavy club or billet of wood. "Goals" are scored by striking (not throwing) it against a suitable tree or post at the opposite end of the pitch. No boundaries are necessary, but a halfway line for the "kick-off."

Any fair tackle is allowed, of ball, rider or horse, but only mounted riders may tackle.

Unhorsed riders follow the ball and try to grab any horse who is momentarily riderless.

Horses must go where their riders wish, regardless of which side they started on. There is no limit to the number of times a rider may remount.

A rider must dismount to pick up ball off ground, and must remount before proceeding. Horses may not touch the ball.

Can be played either in or outdoors according to circumstances.


16. American Cricket

Rules as for ordinary cricket with these exceptions:

(1) The wickets need not be full 22 yards apart.

(2) Bowling must be with tennis ball, under-arm, FULL PITCH. Anything that bounces between the wickets is a no-ball. This means that game can be played on any open ground, without prepared surface.

(3) There is one bowler at each end of pitch and the ball is bowled from whichever end the ball happens to be, i.e. there are no set overs.

You can play the game with any numbers and with any old piece of wood for a bat.


17. Bucket Cricket

No. 1 of batting team takes his place on an upturned bucket in centre of circle (18 feet radius), with a bat 18 inches long. Other teams by throwing under-arm from outside circle try to hit bucket with ball. Teams bat in turn. If batter hits ball-two runs; if ball is not hit but misses bucket-one run. If ball hits bucket, is caught full pitch, or batter falls off bucket, he is out. Team with most runs wins.


18. Balloon and Ball Football

Each team lines up on its own goal line, a balloon or football bladder is put in the centre. Each team tries, by throwing tennis balls, to drive the balloon over the other goal-line. The balloon may only be propelled by a thrown ball, not a ball held in the hand, and never by any part of the person. Each time the balloon goes over the line a goal is scored.

Variation. Players may stretch out or leave their places to obtain tennis balls but may only throw when kneeling on both knees behind their own goal-line.


19. Attack and Defence

A ground about 60 yards long with a half-way line. One team at each end guarding a number of objects (one for each member of the team). Each team tries to capture its opponents' treasure and defend its own. A player can only be caught when out of his own half and not when he is returning with a capture. Prisoners are put behind their captors' base and must be released before any more objects can be taken. Only one prisoner or object can be released or taken at a time. Team with most objects and fewest men prisoners wins.


20. Aunt Sally

Two skittles or clubs are stood up one at each end of a line about 40 feet long. Troop divided into two teams, A and B. One Scout from A guards that team's skittle, and one from B the other. Scouts are paired off, one A with one B, and take up any convenient position in room or field. The object is to knock over the other team's skittle with a ball. Scouter starts game by bouncing ball in middle. Scout getting ball tries to pass it to another Scout in his team in a more favourable position. Ball must be thrown, not hit, except by guard who can hit the ball away, but not kick it. No pairs should be within 5 or 6 feet of skittle. If numbers allow, two balls and two guards add to the fun.


21. Ankle Football

Rules are the same as in ordinary Association football except that players must keep hold of their ankles with their hands. Try playing it with a balloon on a windy day! Goals should be close together.


22. Handball

Rather like football-played, as its name implies, with the hands. Goals about 8 feet wide. Sides to suit occasion, but six-goalie, two backs, and three forwards-has been found most successful. No corners or off-side. Ball may only be played with one hand at a time, except by goalie, who can stop or fist out with two, but must not hold. Any other means of propelling or stopping the ball, e.g. feet, forbidden. No obstructing opponents, or holding the ball in any way. Instead of the usual" kick-off" the ball is placed in the centre, and the teams line up on own goal-lines and see who can get there first when the whistle blows. This is a very strenuous game and five minutes each way will generally be found quite long enough.


23. End Ball

Half of each team stand at each end of the ground (18 yards by 26 yards); they are the "catchers." The other halves stand in half of the ground remote from their own catchers. The object of these is to throw a football a fair catch to their own catchers without it being touched by the other throwers. Catchers may not move out of a space 1 yard by the width of the ground. No thrower may move with the ball; he may throw it to another of his own throwers if in a bad position. Team making most catches wins.


24. Four-Goal Football

Four goals arranged at points of cross, two or more footballs. One scorer at each goal. Four teams - object, playing normal soccer rules (except for offside), to score as many goals as possible in any goal except your own. Winners are team with fewest goals against.


25. Non-Stop Cricket

Two concentric circles-one 20 feet diameter, one 10 feet diameter. Log in centre as wicket. Baseball bat or cricket stump as bat; tennis ball. Fielding side all outside larger circle-all are bowlers from circle perimeter. Ball must pitch inside inner circle. As soon as a player is out (caught or bowled) next man in, and if he is bowled out before he's in, he's out ! Runs scored from log to edge of circle and back. Any number on each side. A good, firm, unexcitable umpire is essential.

See Also:

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.