Stoopball

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Game Stoopball
Game Family Fungo Fungo
Regions US
Eras Derivative, Post-1900, Contemporary
Invented No
Description

"Stoopball originated in dense urban areas like New York, where children
often lacked the space to play baseball. Rules varied based on the
neighborhood, block, or building, but the idea was always the same: A
“batter” would fire a ball (in New York, the kids used pink balls they
called “Spaldeens”) against the steps of an apartment building, with the
number of bases contingent on distance the ricochet traveled."

The game is called "largely extinct" since World War II.

But Louie Lazar continues to say that there is a stoopball league in Wisconsin nowadays. 

 Gregory Christiano recalls playing Stoopball in The Bronx in the 1950s:

'Played against the steps on a stoop. The sidewalk and street is the field. Providing there was no parked car obstructing play, the game could be played. Throw the ball (spaldeen) against the steps. Agree on amount of points. If the ball bounces back the player catches it on the fly, it's worth a certain amount of points. There is a chalk line the player cannot cross. it is called the "short line." If the ball bounces more than once, you're out. All players get to finish a turn. The term "last licks", comes into play here a lot ... it is the final attempt to get a better score

There were only a couple of exposed stoops on our block, so this game of stoopball wasn't played that often.'

 

Sources

 

Louie Lazar, "If You Build A Stoop, They will Come: Wisconsin's Stoopball League of America," at Grantland.com., accessed July 23, 2013.  Try a search fo <Wisconsin's stoopball league>.

This article features an account of a league operating in 2013, and the 29th World Championship played on a dedicated field and drawing hundred to be part of the festivities.

The league's webpage is http://stoopball.ning.com/.

Gregory Christiano's account is at  http://www.myrecollection.com/christianog/games.html

 

 

Comment

Recollections and stories of bygone stoolball are welcome.



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