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Friday, November 30, 2007

There are some bizarre playground games for two that involve pain. Well known ones such as Feet Stamping, Slapsies and Knuckles and lesser known such as Extreme Rock Paper Scissors. But, there is one that understandably and thankfully never played today: Slapheads.Slapheads is like the human equivalent of the summer fayre game of Hit the Rat ( a 'rat' is dropped through a drainpipe and the player

Badfight / Badmington Fighting

Friday, November 23, 2007

Recently Strange Games received an E-mail from Michael Semenenko, senior lecturer of faculty of sports St.Petersburg State University. In it he describes a most brilliant new combination game that he has created.Most strange games enthusiasts are aware of combining two games to make an unusual new one, Chess Boxing being the one that comes immediately to mind. But badmington fighting or Badfight

Drawing Room Baseball

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

An extremely silly indoor game but immense fun nonetheless, Drawing Room Baseball brings the great American sport into the living room provides hours of endless fun and broken ornaments.Best for small teams of three or four players (but I guess it depends on how big your house is), simply re-arrange some room furnishings to provide the bases. Then replace the baseball bat with a kitchen spatula (

Camel Jumping

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Usually on Strange Games the equipment needed to play the games is minimal and often for the some of the best games all you need to be able to do is pretend to be dead.For Camel Jumping you need...well, you need some camels. As this incredible footage from Yemen shows, to play, stand three camels side by side, take a good run up and then jump over them. Simple. Notice that the jumpers aren't

What Do You Want / More Spectacular Deaths

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The childhood pastime of Spectacular Deaths has all but died out these days (sorry) but its coverage on Strange Games no:139 prompted an e-mail from Molly McDoodle about a variation played in Scotland called What Do You Want?Players stand in front of a chanter who shouts out,"What do you want, what do you want, Gun, Arrow or Atom Bomb?" After which all players must act out their death as if they

Stange Games New: Finger Jousting Rules

Monday, October 29, 2007

The king of hand games Finger Jousting has been covered by Strange Games a few times before but it is only now, after 2 years solid work, that the full, unabridged rules for Finger Jousting tournaments have been finalised.Written by self styled Lord of the Joust Julian Gluck the rules run to 30 pages. The main structural change to competitive Finger Jousting is the move to 3 rounds of 2 minutes

Caterpillar Racing

Saturday, October 27, 2007

There has been a flurry of odd racing games on Strange Games recently (Spit Racing and Banana Racing being particular highlights) and Caterpillar Racing is yet another children's racing game about to be resurrected from the past.For as many players as want to play. From a standing start, lie face down flat on the ground as quickly as possible with your arms stretched above your head. Where your

High Heel Racing / Stiletto Running

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Recent posts about strange forms of racing prompted reader Boris Spedding to mention the sport of High Heel Racing.High Heel Racing, or Stiletto Running, is exactly as it says on the tin...running as fast as possible whilst wearing stiletto shoes. In the last two years the sport has taken off in Europe with large organised events taking place in Russia, Germany, Holland and Poland. The minimal

Tackling Childhood Obesity: Modern v Old Fashioned

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Modern:Childhood Obesity is literally a big problem but fortunately Kaiser Permanente have found a solution.... a video game! "Kaiser Permanente recently launched a video game that teaches kids to eat healthier foods, be more active and manage how much time they spend in front of the computer and television.Developed by the producer of the "SpongeBob SquarePants," "Monsters, Inc." and "Rugrats"

Association Bobbage (International King of Sports)

Monday, October 22, 2007

In the unlikely event that you switched on to Channel 5 (UK) at Sunday teatime in 2002 you would have been transfixed by a television programme called International King of Sports. This superb programme, (the Superstars for the 21st century) alongside the game Walking Trippy, is one of the main inspirations for this blog.International King of Sports contained the sorts of sports that you may have

Strange Racing: Banana Racing

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Another almost forgotten but brilliant childrens' racing game from Duncan Flann (Strange Games' Crewe Correspondent). Once played, never forgotten, Banana Racing is fun and physically demanding to play and hilarious to observe, especially if played by adults.Mr Flann writes:Banana Racing is simplicity itself. Slide one foot as far forward as you are able, as if slipping on a discarded banana skin

Gorodki / Russian Street Skittles

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Strange Games is extremely grateful to reader Larches Yeltsin for highlighting the brilliant street game of Gorodki.Gorodki (Russian for 'little towns') is a truly unique Russian street skittles game that has been played for centuries but only got a standardised set of rules in the 1920s.The target skittles are five cylindrical wooden blocks (about 6" in length) which are set up in a series of 15

Blindfold Water Pistol Fighting

Monday, October 15, 2007

My recent post on Street Wars reminded me of a blindfolded party game that is immense fun yet rarely played these days. Blindfold Water Pistol Fighting is a great game for 2 or even 3 players at a time. Simply place two loaded water pistols in the centre of the room and then stand two players at the side of the room, blindfold them and set them off. Their first task will be to find their weapon,

Hopping Bulldog

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hopping Bulldog is a great lost street game with similarities to Dance, Fight or Windmill and of course British Bulldog and is surely due a revival amongst street games enthusiasts.One player stands in the middle of the street, balanced on one leg with his arms crossed. All other players stand facing him on the kerb. The centre player now chooses one, and only one, to cross first. This player

World Conker Championships: Conker Facts & Terminology

Friday, October 12, 2007

With the 2007 World Conker Championships being held on the Green at Ashton, Northamptonshire on 14th October it seems appropriate that Strange Games makes a post. Everyone is familiar with the game itself so this post concentrates on some of the more unusual rules, terminology and facts that are associated with the king of seed sports.~Conkers is also known as ‘Cheggies’, ‘Hongkongs’, ‘Cobs’ and

Spit Racing / Spitfires ~a very strange racing game

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It is not our job at Strange Games to comment upon and judge games, rather we are a conduit for unusual activities. And if you are looking for an extremely unusual game that combines athleticism, stupidity with possible hygiene issues then you need look no further than Spit Racing. Suggested by reader Duncan Flann, who remembers playing it as a youth in the 1970s, Spit Racing (or Spitfires)

Street Wars~ the king of urban games

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

If you have ever held a water pistol and fantasised about being a Jackal-like assassin, slipping through crowds un-noticed before clinically dispatching your victim, then Street Wars is the game for you.Street Wars is the brand name for an urban hunting game that is staged in various large cities around the world at different times. The game is designed to last 3 weeks and is for 100-150 players.

Urban Pacman

Monday, October 8, 2007

Urban Pacman is another great recommendation for the bored city dweller from Strange Games reader Tommy Teal. Mr Teal writes: Many computer games are representations of the real world. NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications graduate program however decided to see what happens when you convert a computer world into a real life one and so Pac Manhattan was born.Utilising a six by four block of

Snowball Fighting / Yukigassen

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Unsurprisingly the simple pleasure of throwing a snowball at someone has been turned into a game with standardized rules and field definitions. Snowball Fighting, or Yukigassen as it is called, originated in Japan in 1988. Since then it has snowballed, so to speak, and has been taken up by the Nordic countries, especially Finland where an annual two day Yukigassen festival is held in

Tommy Teal's Human Curling

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Recent Strange Game no:158 Inuit Airplane Game prompted reader Tommy Teal to write:"A great extension to the Inuit Airplane Game would be for teams to play it on ice. The aim being to throw one player, in full airplane position, stomach-down onto the ice with enough speed so that they reach a target. Just like in real curling other team members could rush in front of the 'stone' frantically

Split the Kipper - strange games with knives #1

Monday, October 1, 2007

Split the Kipper, incredibly, was a popular game played by children in the 1970’s.All that is required to play is soft ground, stout shoes, a knife and large amounts of stupidity. That’s right, a game for children involving knives.Players stand facing each other a distance of 1 or 2 meters apart with their legs together. The leading player, the one with the knife, then aims and throws his weapon

Dwile Flonking / Dwyle Flunking

Monday, September 24, 2007

Resurrected in the late 1960’s Dwile Flonking (or Dwyle Flunking) is an outdoor pub game of dubious origin but startling originality. Centred around the villages of Bungay and Beccles in Suffolk this is a bizarre game made even more unusual by its incredible array of yokel terminology.The game requires two teams formed of twelve players each. One team forms a circle (called the Girter). A member

Inuit Airplane Game

Friday, September 21, 2007

The last post about Human Battering Ram brings to mind the traditional Inuit game of Airplanes.A game for teams of four that appears at first glance to be easy but requires phenomenal upper body strength. One member lies on the floor, feet together and arms outstretched - the 'airplane'. The other three team members now lift the 'airplane' up - one person holds the ankles with one each holding

Human Battering Ram

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Yesterday's post on Piggy Back Fighting led to a missive from Resh Dorka (Strange Games' expert on playground stupidity) detailing a pleasingly violent variation he played as a child.Human Battering Ram is best played with a large number of players. Everyone gets into groups of three people and then every group bar one forms a Piggy Back Horse as detailed in the previous post (two players form

More Piggy Back Fighting

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The last post on Kibasen prompted the following mail from Herbert Rowsell (Strange Games Expert on Playground Games):"Monty, I remember a piggy back game very similar to Kibasen being played on the school playing fields. It was a more complicated version of piggy back fighting in the sense that it was really horse back fighting. A couple of boys would form a horse by one bending down behind the

Kibasen / Cavalry Battle

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The traditional schoolyard game of piggyback fighting, with its associated back, arm and head injuries, is probably near the top of the league of banned games in Britain's schools (just behind British Bulldog and Red Rover) The Japanese version Kibasen (Cavalry Battle) however is so popular in Japan that it even forms part of school sports day.Kibasen is for teams of four players. Three people

Strange Games for the Bedbound: A Toy Lift

Monday, September 17, 2007

Strange Games receives many e-mails like the following: "Montegue, my child has (fill in contagious disease of your choice) and has to remain resting in bed for two weeks. Are there any unusual activities that will entertain him during this time? regards, Roland Puleston Jones."Obviously you want to avoid new-fangled entertainments such as television, portable games machines and MP3 players (in

Strange Swing Ball Variations

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My last post about Office Face Ball, a game that uses the string and ball part of a swingball, has led to Strange Games being deluged by an e-mail (thank you Maurice Tweddle) regarding other odd variations on Swingball.Blind Swing Ball: Like all blindfolded versions of normal sports and games (blindfold driving, blindfolded football) blindfolded swingball is inspired, stupid and often painful.

Office Face Ball #2

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Randy Linebacker (Strange Games American Correspondent) writes:Your recent post on the brilliant office game of Face Ball (strange game no 147) reminded me of a game I've played myself in offices when the boredom becomes too much. We used to call it Face Ball but really it is more of a cross between Face Ball and Wallhookey/Ring the Bull (strange game no:107).Simply get a tennis ball and attach

Sitting Ducks

Friday, September 14, 2007

There is nothing like the expectation of pain to make a game more interesting. Sitting Ducks is the playground equivalent of the fairground game where you must shoot moving ducks to win a prize.The ‘ducks’ are created by players finding a narrow playground wall and walking back and forth along it. The shooter stands 15 meters or so away from the wall with his supply of footballs. He has a limited

Are You There Moriarty?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Strange Games is extremely grateful to Sky Croeser for highlighting this superb activity.Are You There Moriarty? a game involving the magic ingredients of blindfolds, violence and chance is like a supine version of the game Big Brother (strange games no:96). For two players, each is blindfolded and lies on the ground, flat on their backs but with their heads facing each other. Each wields a

Face Ball and Ball Ball

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Every so often the human brain surpasses itself with its ingenuity and invents a game so sublime that Olympic status can surely only be seconds away. Face Ball is one such game.Created by the febrile minds of the staff at Flikr.com the game Face Ball is like a stationary version of dodgeball.For two players, each sits on an office chair ten feet from his opponent. Players then take it in turns to

High Jimmy Knacker

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A playground game of uncertain origin but it was played in playgrounds in the 1960s and 70’s and goes under a variety of names but it is maybe best known as High Jimmy Knacker.Two teams of players are selected, sizes of 5 to 10 work well. One team is selected to be the ‘horse’. To do this the first player stands upright with his back to a tree. The second team member faces him then bends so that

Strange Jumping: Tiliraginik Qiriqtagtut and Underpants Jumping

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Inuit culture has produced many fantastic games (see Seal Racing and Elbow Racing ) but with Tiliraginik Qiriqtagtut, or the slightly easier to say 'Jump Through Stick', they have created one of the great strange games that requires athleticism, jumping ability and the ownership of a good stick.To play simply get a solid stick (a broom handle works well) and hold it in both hands in front of your

Onion Eating

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Competitive eating is not really an area that Strange Games covers but we make an exception for Onion Eating, especially when it takes place at the annual Newant Onion Fayre.The Onion Fayre at Newant, Gloucestershire is a modern revival of an event that has been staged possibly since the 13th century and is a joy for agitated Allium addicts the nation over. In fact, so onion obsessed are the

Human Slug Racing

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Recent news reports about the record numbers of slugs in the country caused by the wet summer (BBC News report on slugs) reminded me of a brilliant game I saw being played at a camp site last year: Human Slug Racing.Each competitor needs to bring their sleeping bag. They get into the bag, face down and with their arms down by their side. The race organiser now secures the bag tightly around their

Human Boules

Friday, August 17, 2007

My recent posts on ideal, but strange, beach games led to an e-mail from Sky Croeser - the co-creator of Human Boules. Similar in form to Human Croquet this is the perfect game to play on the beach, especially if you want to attract startled looks from other beach dwellers.Split everyone bar one player into two teams. Each team is formed of one 'thrower' with the rest forming the boules - these

Strange Games for Firemen - Fastest Up the Ladder

Thursday, August 16, 2007

When you think about what sort of games firemen get up to in their spare time then the strangest you probably get is shooting pool or a quickest slide down the pole competition. In Hungary they stage a fantastic speed ladder climbing event. As the video clearly shows these are the firemen you want to come when you are stuck on the top floor of some burning flats. Setting off running carrying a

Report on the First Welsh Open Stone Skimming Championships

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Founder of the Welsh Open Stone Skimming Championships, Mark Davies, writes this report on the inaugural event.We had a fabulous day at the Wales Open Stone Skimming Championships. We had 193 entries and the event raised over £500 – the majority of which will go to the St. John’s ambulance. It seemed like everyone enjoyed a quirky and different kind of day.The winner, Mike Camplin, threw a

Spectacular Deaths

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My recent post about strange games to play in the sand dunes led to friend and correspondent Maurice Tweddle to write in and remind me of a game that we used to play together as callow youths: Spectacular Deaths. Although it can be played anywhere with soft ground the perfect environment is the sand dune.The premise of the game is simple, one must die in response to the other player's imaginary

Strange Games on the Beach

Friday, August 10, 2007

At this time of the year Strange Games receives many e-mails like the following: "Montegue, my family are all ready for a beach holiday, we have got wind-shields so that we don't have to gaze upon our beach neighbours, sunscreen in case the sun comes out and garishly coloured Crocs for everyone's feet...but what strange beach games can we play?"The answer I give is that if you want to avoid the

Link to Strange Games

If you want to link to Strange Games with the button below then simply copy the html code in the window to where you want the button to be on your site: or for a tiny button like this:

German Splash Diving/ Bombing/ Arschbombe

Monday, August 6, 2007

My previous post advocating Belly Button Battles as a game suitable for all portly, paunchy, porcine people prompted Heinrich Guntergarten (Strange Games' German Correspondent) to recommend another game: German Splash Diving. At the end of July the second World Splash Diving World Cup was held in Hamburg ('fat city'). This involves competitors jumping into a swimming pool from heights of 10

Belly Button Bounce-off/ Stomach Jousting

Sunday, August 5, 2007

As the majority of the nation becomes ever more obese and the powers that be cajole them into exercise there is an increasing demand for suitable games for fat people. Belly Button Bounce-off, as witnessed at The Small Festival, could just be the solution. Two players stand facing each other, as close as possible, feet together and stomachs touching. On an agreed signal both players start to push

Chant Intro for Rock Paper Scissors

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Grace Jefford, Strange Games' Brighton Correspondent, has described this brilliant chanted intro to Rock Paper Scissors that is currently sweeping the country. Opponents face each other, hands together and fingertips touching. Both chant,"Tic-Tac-Toe" and on each beat brush the backs of their hands together. Then they chant, "Give me high" - clap their right hands up high, "Give me low" - clap

Welsh Stone Skimming

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Stone Skimming/Skipping has been covered before on Strange Games but Welsh correspondent Mark Davies (or Davies the Stone as he is known locally) has brought to my attention the inaugural Welsh Stone Skimming Championships. These will be held on 12th August in Castle Pond, Pembroke. Welsh Stone Skimming (carega yn crychneidio?) follows closely the rules of the World Championships that are held in

Seal Racing #2

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

After my previous post on Seal Racing I received an e-mail from Sonia Gund, a Strange Games reader who also does research into Inuit culture, and she kindly pointed out that Seal Racing as she has seen it played on Baffin Island is slightly different. In fact it's a much harder game. She also generously provided a photograph she has taken.Sonia Gund: The form of seal racing I've seen on Baffin

Seal Racing

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The greatest childhood chants and games are often based upon real life events and environments. Ring-a-Ring-a-Roses' genesis in the years of the European Plague is well known; less known about is the English chair shortage of 1673 that gave us Musical Chairs.But, one of the the best strange games inspired by it's environment is the Inuit game of Seal Racing. All players lie stomach down on the

Ikusimmiaq - Elbow Racing

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Recent posts on Strange Games about Victorian Street Games (especially Crocodile's Food) have reminded me of an Inuit children's game that would fit perfectly in either those past times or even better as a more interesting alternative to Bear Racing at school sports day.To play Ikusimmiaq, or Elbow Racing, simply crouch down on your knees, place both elbows on the ground and both hands over your

Swimming in Bluewater

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Another of Mr Jolley's highly unusual Victorian Street games is one called Swimming in Bluewater. I have just finished giving it a trial play with Mrs Blister and some members of her Womens' Institute group and confidently predict it will soon be clutched to the hearts of strange games enthusiasts everywhere.Get all players into teams of two. One member of each pair bends down, holding their

Frogs & Crocodile's Food

Sunday, July 8, 2007

My recent posts about medieval games encouraged Mr Jolley (Strange Games' South of England Correspondent) to send me some descriptions of, what can only be described as, some extremely bizarre Victorian street games. Frogs & Crocodile's Food is one such game. A race game for teams of two players. One player bends over, holding his knees, forming a traditional 'frog', his team mate now leapfrogs

Crazy Stair Climbing

Friday, July 6, 2007

Back to games from more modern times and the childish stupidity (but fun) that is Crazy Stair Climbing. Crazy Stair Climbing is the perfect name for what appears to be a more mobile branch of the well documented and inspired sport of House Gymnastics. All that is required is a narrow stairwell with metal banister rails on each side and some imagination. A variety of methods can be used to

Strange Games with Fire #3:Balance, Burn & Splash

Monday, July 2, 2007

My previous post has led to a number of readers asking for more games to play at what seem to be increasingly popular children's medieval-themed parties. Extensive research has unearthed a gem of a game I will call Balance, Burn and Splash. It is hardly an overstatement to say that this game is due a revival as it probably hasn't been played in the last 200 years. To play simply place a narrow

Baste the Bear

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Many Strange Games' readers write to me and say, "Montegue, this year my son wants a medieval themed birthday party. Have you any suggestions for games to play?" To which I usually reply, "Baste the Bear".Also known as Bear Keeper, Baste the Bear reached its peak of popularity in medieval times and is even featured in Brueghel's painting 'Children's Games'. One player is the bear and is tied at

Medieval and Modern Egg Throwing

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Possibly the most ancient use of an egg for fun is Medieval Egg Throwing. Played in churches of the time, at Easter, the priest would throw a hard boiled egg to a choirboy who would then proceed to throw it to another and so on. A kind of medieval version of Hot Potato. Whoever had the egg in their hands when the church bell rang the hour was the victor and for his prize got to keep the egg.Over

Shin Kicking at the Cotswold Olimpicks

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Japanese have Judo. The Chinese have Kung Fu. In Gloustershire they kick shins. The British Shin Kicking Championships take place in Chipping Campden annually in June as part of the Cotswold Olimpick Games. Dress rules are very simple and elegant: competitors wear long trousers with straw padding attached to their shins underneath (otherwise it would be plain crazy). White shepherds' smocks

Greased Watermelon Polo

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The humble watermelon seems to be quite prominent in the world of strange games; if you are not chopping one in half, strapping the halves to your feet and skiing (watermelon skiing) then you could always headbut them in half (watermelon headbutting) or spit the seeds (watermelon seed spitting). In Greased Water Melon Polo, however, all you have to do is smear one totally and liberally in

Willaston World Worm Charming Championships

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

They may be able to charm snakes to come out of a basket in India but can they charm 511 out in half an hour. And can they do this under the watchful eyes of Fred the Weatherman. I doubt it. The International World Worm Charming Championship takes place this year on June 30th in the playing fields of Willaston County Primary School – watched by a large crowd of people and thousands of fascinated

News from the world of Finger Jousting

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Strange Games doesn't usually have news items but when the fledgling hand sport of Finger Jousting holds its inaugural tournament then it's an event that needs celebrating as well as bringing to the attention of strange games fans everywhere. In Finger Jousting two players stand facing each other and clasp their right hands together as if about to arm wrestle. Then on a given command each player


Monday, May 28, 2007

My previous post reminds me of a game once common in the nation's playgrounds: Dodgems. It could best be described as competitive pogo-dancing although I remember playing before the subtle art of pogo dancing was invented. Dodgems is a stupid game that deserves a comeback.For two players or preferably more. Everyone folds their arms and stands with their feet together. Then, simply, everyone

Dance, Fight or Windmill

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dance, Fight or Windmill is a bizarre children's challenge game which is childish, stupid, pointlessly violent and obviously great fun for children and adults alike.For two players. One challenges the other to 'Dance?', 'Fight?' or 'Windmill?' Player two ponders his three choices then declares his favourite. If 'Dance' is chosen then both players must stand on one leg, then remaining like this

Main Gasing - Malaysian Top Spinning

Monday, May 21, 2007

My previous post regarding the amazing distances and number of times that experts can skim stones prompted an e-mail from Johnny Ong in Kuala Lumpa. He highlighted the Malaysian game of Gasing - an incredibly skilled throwing game that makes skimming a stone a distance of 63m seem almost trivial. Kids have played with spinning tops for hundreds of years - they are probably the oldest recorded toy

Stone Skipping/ Stone Skimming

Monday, May 14, 2007

This elegant game played at least once by anybody who has been on a pebbly beach is known by many names. To the British it is "Skimming", to Americans "Skipping" whereas the Irish prefer "Skiffing" and the Danish "Smutting". The French, as stylish and contrary as ever, know it as "Ricochet".Confusingly there are two World Championships.The World Stone Skimming Championships take place in

Indoor Bull Fighting / Bull Tig

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Bull Tig is an old variation of the normal playground tig but one that is rarely seen played today. In it the chaser becomes a bull by simply bending a little at the waist, making his index fingers into horns and placing his hands on the top of his head. As the bull he can now chase the other players, trying to jab them with one of his horns and hence give that person the chance at being the bull

The Top 5 Things To Do With Rhubarb

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

This post is part of ProBloggers Top5 Group writing ProjectThe Top 5 Things To Do With Rhubarb:5. Rhubarb Crumble4. Rhubarb Fool3. Rhubarb Cobbler2. Rhubarb Wine1. Rhubarb ThrashingA pub game languishing in mystery and obscurity for too long. To play Rhubarb Thrashing requires only some dustbins, blindfolds and a generous selection of freshly picked rhubarb sticks.For 2 players. Two empty

The 8 Rules of Pooh Sticks

The Classic Kids Games Blog is having a 'How To Play...' writing competition...here is the entry from Strange Games1st Rule: You do not talk about Pooh Sticks2nd Rule: You DO NOT talk about Pooh Sticks3rd Rule: When someone says, "Drop" you must release your stick4th Rule: Drop; you can NEVER throw your stick5th Rule: Only one game of Pooh Sticks at a time6th Rule: Sticks must be of organic

Human Space Invaders

Saturday, May 5, 2007

A Playground game from 1980’s Britain, Human Space Invaders is that rare thing - a successful computer into real-life game conversion. Line up a group of boys against a wall, three or four rows deep. These players must shuffle from side to side (hopefully en masse) progressing forward one step only when they have shuffled a required sideways distance. The game player stands facing them from a

Extreme Rock Paper Scissors

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Definition: An extreme sport (also called action sport, adventure sport, and adventurous sport) is any sport featuring speed, height, danger, a high level of physical exertion, highly specialized gear, or spectacular stunts.Extreme Rock Paper Scissors however is just a violent variation on the standard game, an excuse for a physical attack on your opponent.As in the normal version each player

Strange Games Diary - May / June 2007

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Some forthcoming strange events that deserve your support:- Tetbury Woolsack Races-28th May.Tetbury is the place to be if you want to maintain the 300 year old tradition of racing up a 1 in 4 incline with a 60lb sack of wool on your back. Races are over a distance of 240 yards or until your knees give out. Ladies only have to carry 35lb!Tetbury Woolsack race - official siteGloucester Cheese

Finger Jousting / Finger Fencing

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

After my last post on Rock Paper Scissors I received a missive from one Julian Gluck (aka. The Lord of the Joust) drawing my attention to this fantastic game. Finger Jousting (or Finger Fencing) is a possibly ancient game combining jousting and sword fighting yet requiring neither horse nor blade.In its simplest form two players stand facing each other and clasp their right hands together as if

Rock Paper Scissors 101

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The well-known game of Rock Paper Scissors is not really strange - although it does have a fantastic World Championship. However, if you consider yourself above it then you need to learn to play Rock Paper Scissors 101...the degree level version.The game is played exactly like the game you know except there are 101 possible hand positions. These range from Alien to UFO, Medusa to Satan. The hand

Lionhunt / Wildebeest

Friday, April 13, 2007

If you want a blindfolded game for your party and find Blindman's Buff too obvious then the variant Lionhunt is a perfect recommendation. I am indebted to Sheetswa Shawasha(Strange Games' South African Correspondent) for his description of this marvellous game.Decide on the number of 'Lions' that will work best for the size of room you are playing in. Blindfold this player/players. All other

Sheep Tackling

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Any game that involves children, animals being dressed up and wrestling and incurs the wrath of animal rights groups has surely got to be worth playing. Sheep tackling is one such game. Simply get five sheep and dress them up in rugby shirts. Then get the players (in this case 500 children) to chase the sheep around a rugby pitch trying to wrestle them to the ground. The first group of players to

April Fools' Games #3 - Ancient Order of Jackdaws

Friday, March 30, 2007

Its your April Fool's day party and you want to celebrate with a game that combines the risible antics of a Masonic meeting with the good old-fashioned brutality of a bloodied nose...the Ancient order of Jackdaws is the game for you.You will need to place a rug on a slippery floor. The Grand Master of the Jackdaws sits on a chair in front of the rug, other members sit around the rug cross legged.

April Fools' Games #2 - Aeroplanes

Monday, March 26, 2007

A re-post of Strange Games no:33 one of the all time great trick games.Aeroplanes is a trick party game that can probably only be played once (unless one keeps participants out of the room until it is their turn)Two strong men are required to hold a plank of wood a few inches above the floor. The partygoer /'pilot' / 'victim' is then blindfolded and helped onto the plank. He stands on it and

April Fools' Games #1 - I See a Ghost

Sunday, March 25, 2007

As April Fools' Day rapidly approaches I have received a missive from Sheetswa Shawasha(Strange Games South African Correspondent). In it he details a game he used to play in the 1950's which makes a perfect party game for April Fools..."I See a Ghost." The leader lines up everyone to one side of himself, standing closely shoulder-to-shoulder. He looks ahead and proclaims in his best John Gielgud

Body Surfing & Crap Surfing

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Ask one of today's teenagers if they have ever body surfed and no doubt they will regale you with a tale of being held aloft in front of the stage at a Maniac Sumo gig. In my day the body surfing game was more genteel though no less fun.Line up all but one of the party goers then get them to lie down on the floor on their backs. Make sure they are lined up but have about a body's width between

Fruit & Vegetable Croquet

Friday, March 16, 2007

It's not often that you find a game that is so awe-inspiringly brilliant that it makes you wonder why you ever played anything else. Fruit and Vegetable Croquet is one such game - and I found it listed and described in Deep Fun an excellent and informative website from master funsmith Bernie DeKoven Each player obtains an old pair of ladies tights and places a heavy-ish vegetable or fruit down

Ringing the Bull / Wallhooky

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Simple to set up and play, but quite addictive - Ringing the Bull (or Wallhookey as it is sometimes known) is an ancient pub game reputedly brought back to the England by the Crusaders. It retains its popularity in the North of England and the Caribbean. Attach a bull's nose ring to a string from the ceiling and then attach a hook to the wall in such a position that the bull's ring will hook on

Strange Games Diary - March / April

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Forthcoming and current events in the world of strange games and sports that are worth a visit.March / April 2007The traditional game of Easter Egg Rolling occurs in many parts of the world but the best is in Preston, Lancashire on Easter Monday.Preston Easter Egg RollingBritish Marbles championship, Tinsley Green, Sussex, Good Friday - this event has been staged at the Greyhound Pub since at

Tuna Tossing - another strange thing to throw

Saturday, March 10, 2007

My last post concerning the great Australian sport of Water Melon Skiing prompted an e-mail from Wayne Skipadoo (Strange Games Antipodean correspondent). In it he detailed the exciting sport of Tuna Tossing.The Tuna Tossing World Championship occurs annually at the Tunarama Festival in Port Lincoln, Australia. A rope loop is attached to the head of a 10kg frozen tuna then contestants simply grab

Water Melon Skiing

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Watermelon is thought to have originated in the Kalahari Desert of Africa. The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt and is depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics on walls of their ancient buildings. Watermelons were often placed in the burial tombs of kings to nourish them in the afterlife. It took the Australians to strap them to their feet and make a

A triptych of strange 3 legged games

Sunday, March 4, 2007

There are few feelings in party gaming better than that heady, slightly sick, feeling one gets when tied to a partner you then have to rush around completing some crazy task or other. Below are three of the best three legged games ever. 3 Legged Frisbee GolfAlthough frisbee golf is considered a serious sport in some parts of the world 3 Legged Frisbee Golf is superior in almost every way. For

Welsh Bunny Hopping

Saturday, March 3, 2007

As Easter approaches, every Strange Gamer finds themselves itching to buy masses of cotton wool and double-sided sticky tape, dress themselves up as a rabbit and hop down their local high street. For the past three years the Welsh town of Llangollen has hosted the Easter Bunny Hop. Competitors of all ages and sizes don their rabbit costumes and hop madly through the centre of the town.

Strange Games with Bubblewrap #2 - Grasshopper

Thursday, March 1, 2007

As an addition to Strange Games with Bubblewrap #1 my good friend Maurice Tweddle tells me of a game he still plays based on the 1970's TV show Kung Fu. Simply get a long roll of bubble wrap and lay a path out on top of a solid floor. Players take it in turns to walk barefooted along the length of bubblewrap - just like Kwai Chang Caine did on rice paper in Kung Fu. Any player who is heard to pop

Strange Games with Fire #2: Knee Balance Burn

Monday, February 19, 2007

You can't beat a party game with a lit candle for the wonderful feeling that you may be sued at any moment by a litigious parent. And all because little Tommy suffered minor burns. Strange Games with fire number 1: Snapdragons reminds me of the wonderfully strange game: Knee Balance Burn.For two players at a time. Each faces the other, then both players go into a single knee balance. (Balancing

The Clapping Game

Friday, February 9, 2007

If you want to play a game that needs a combination of balance, timing and power and one that corresponds to Newton's third law then the Clapping Game is the one for you. For two players. Stand facing each other as close as possible, toes touching, so you are almost but not quite falling backwards. Then on a count of three each player raises both hands and tries to push his opponent backwards by

Brat Sack

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

There are many Victorian parlour games based around guessing the identity of a hidden person. Various means from examining ankles to listening to them impersonate animals are used, however Brat Sack brings a more dynamic edge to these games. Players are paired up. One set leave the room whilst the remaining players are given a large hessian sack to climb into, the top of which can be loosely tied

Human Fly

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

In January it was reported that there is a trend towards increasingly lavish children's parties - we are talking stretch limos, hiring of pop musical beat combos, nintendo DSs in the party bags and more, all to make it an unforgettable experience. The sad fact is that all you need to spend is a few pounds on some rolls of gaffer/masking tape - then you can play Human Fly.Split the players into

Get Away!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

My previous post on Big Brother reminds me of a game from my youth that we called Get Away!... a game that contains an almost perfect balance of tension, exercise and violenceAll players stand in a large circle, facing inwards, with hands held behind backs and eyes tightly closed. A game organiser walks around the outside of this circle holding a rolled up newspaper - or some other suitable

Big Brother #2

Monday, January 29, 2007

There is only one Pass the Parcel, one Musical Chairs and one Walking Trippy...but there are two strange games called Big Brother! Both are marvellously violent games. I am indebted to Pat More (Turkish Strange Game Correspondent) for the following description.Two people are blindfolded, furnished with rolled up newspapers (lengthwise), spun around 4- 5 times and then placed in the middle of the


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Another bizarre party game from Randy Linebacker (North American Strange Gamer). Sniper seems like a bizarre marriage of apple bobbing and hula hoop dancing. An apple is tied to a length of string (2 or 3 feet works well) and this is then attached to a belt. A non-player then holds up a plank through which a long nail (or group of nails) has been hammered at waist height. Players then take it in

Scuds and Patriots

Thursday, January 18, 2007

You have a floor covered with lots of tennis balls, teams paired up and ready to go yet the game Landmines, although tasteless, has paradoxically lost some of it's flavour...what you need to play is 'Scuds and Patriots'. I am indebted to Randy Linebacker (North American Strange Games correspondent) for details of this game. As in Landmines, scatter as many tennis balls as possible over the floor


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Landmines is a modern name for a game which I used to know as Battle of the Atlantic or Minesweepers. A largish clear space is needed for the best game. In this space scatter as many tennis balls as possible - the game works best if the floor has a good covering of them. Players are paired up - one is blindfolded. The seeing player must then navigate his partner ("ship") from one side of the room

Mobile Phone Throwing

Friday, January 12, 2007

Considering the phone was invented in 1876 and the mobile around 1980 it is surprising that it has taken so long before someone decided to throw it competitively.The UK championship (held in August at Tooting Bec athletic track) has been running for two years and was set up to promote phone recycling. Current UK records are a phenomenal 92.3m (Chris Hughff) and 53.52m (Jan Singleton) in the

Big Brother

Thursday, January 11, 2007

If someone says to you, "Let's play Big Brother" then you will probably imagine a game that involves sitting around on sofas in a minimalist house, 'bitching' about other players and arguing over shopping lists. If you are nearer to my age then you will imagine a game involving a perspex helmet and a rat.Fortunately Big Brother is none of these but is a 1950's playground tag variant that deserves

Jelly Face

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

It's not often that you can play a party game that is highly competitive, exhausting and unhygienic all at once. Jelly Face is one such game. For two players, get a perspex tube - ideally this should be about 10 inches in length and 2 in diameter. Place inside, in the centre, a large dollop of party jelly. Keeping the perspex tube level the competitors then place one end of the tube to their

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