Slice of Life (mine) DONE!

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126th Slice

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One of my contacts on flickr posted a hopscotch photo today, but the
board they child was hopping on did not look like the one from my
childhood. It only had 7 boxes. I made a comment about it being
different and she asked what mine had looked like. At first I was
going to describe it, but then I thought I would draw it and take a
photo in response. That should be faster.

Except, as I started to draw it, I found my mind wandering as I tried
to grab all the memories of exactly how we had played the game,
what set of rules we followed.

I moved a lot as a child. Some people moved more, but I moved quite a
bit. 18 schools attended during K-12 time, plus getting homeschooled
for a short stretch. That is a lot of playgrounds and a lot of
playground games. The rules usually varied from place to place, and
nothing made a new kid more of a freak than not knowing the clearly
established rules that EVERYONE knew. Of course, in return, I thought
they were all stupid for not realizing that people were not exactly
the same everywhere - people pronounced things differently, they
referred to things differently, they sang differing lyrics to
childhood songs and boy did they have different rules. One thing that
never changed, in any playground in the world. I didn't fit in.

So really, my memories of the hopscotch rules are no doubt something
of an amalgamation, but the boards everywhere I went looked the same.
Nine boxes and a circle at the top.

The rules as I remember them:

Each hopper chose a marker, anything was fair game, but I preferred
flat rocks (like those that work best for skipping on a pond).

When it was your turn, you would throw your marker aiming first for
box 1. If the marker didn't land in the correct box, your turn ended.
If it did, you began to jump. You could hop one legged on whichever
foot you wanted, but you couldn't switch once you started. One foot
per box, and on the side by side (4&5 and 7&8) boxes both feet were
touching at once, in adjacent boxes. Your foot had to be completely
within the box, not on the line. You had to skip over any boxes that
had markers in them (this could be ridiculously difficult if there
were too many markers spread over the board). In the circle you would
turn around to make your trip back. On the space prior to your
marker, you would balance and bend over to retrieve your marker. Once
you completed the course, you would aim the marker at box 2, and so
on. If at any point you messed up your turn was over (but your marker
stayed on the board if it had landed in the right box to start with.

The goal was to eventually get your marker in the top circle and
complete the trip up and back. The winner was the one who did it
first. Of course this was easiest if you managed to make a complete
run of it on the very first turn so there were no other markers on the
board.

Some places I lived did not require you to skip other markers, but
ended your turn if your hopping caused another's marker to move. Some
places you called out the numbers as you landed on them (and you had
to skip the numbers that you skipped).

So there is my hop down memory lane for the day.

November 5th, 2007, in my time zone.

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Dhamaka says:

you know I never played hopscotch as a child... I remember watching others play it and being happy just watching though

6th Nov 2007, 06:53

nige says:

i don't remember the circle at the top. in the UK i think it was all boxes.

you moved around *alot* when you were younger. i can't even imagine how difficult that must have been for a child.

10th Nov 2007, 09:01

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