5 Politically Incorrect Schoolyard Games
When I was a kid, you could play all sorts of games out at recess and no one cared what they were. The teacher wouldn’t call you out and say you were being insensitive or politically incorrect. We played the games, no matter how rough they were, and sucked it up. You can’t do that today. We care too much about our “fellow man”. Even still, who remembers playing some of these games when you were a kid? I still remember a bloody nose or a torn shirt just from having fun. Let me know if you share the memory or have one of your own!
SMEAR THE QUEER
This is not as homoerotic as the game sounds. Well, yes it is. Girls never played this game, though it would have been interesting a few years later. Basically, the game involves a ball, rolled up shirt, shoe, or whatever is close at hand. Someone agrees to be the “queer” (i.e. “it”) and everyone else tries to take the ball, rolled up shirt, etc…off of them so they can be the “queer”. There was no winner. It was a way of letting off steam and showing off how brave you were to your friends. It also let them know how tough you were from the beating you took while trying to protect that stupid ball. This game usually ended with someone crying about a broken arm or other such nonsense…Can you imagine playing this game today during lunch?
I remember this game by various names, but this was one of the most popular. Someone (usually the biggest bully on the block), agreed to be the “bulldog”. The rest of the children line up at one pre-determined spot and attempt to run to another location, about the 20 yards away, while the “bulldog” does his best to tag one of the runners on their way to the other side. As the “Bulldog” tags others, then they, too, become fellow “Bulldogs”. As the game progresses, you end up having more “Bulldogs” than runners. Finally, the game is over when there is only one runner. You can continue the game with making him the sole “Bulldog”. This game originates in the United Kingdom and is an early version of rugby. Australians believe you are a sissy if you tag the person. They prefer the runner is tackled by the “Bulldog”.
This is one of my favorite games as a kid. It is sort of like dodgeball, but with a slight variation. The ball is usually bigger and a large group of people stand between two “poisoners”. They try to throw the ball at a person in the middle. If they hit the person, then that person is “poisoned” and has to become a thrower. If the person catches the ball, they get an “antidote” and can use this if they get hit again. Another variation of this game allows the throwers to toss the ball to the person across from them. Should they get the ball all the way across, the people in the middle must “freeze” and not move from where they are standing, making it easier for the throwers to hit them. As you can imagine, throwing a large ball at a child’s head is frowned upon by adults and this game isn’t played as much as it used to be.
BLIND MAN’S BLUFF
What do you get when you blindfold a child and get them to grope around for other children? A game that’s no longer allowed on the playground! Just the terms “grope” and “child” in the same sentence makes this a bad idea. When you throw a blindfold into the mix, a teacher is just asking for trouble by allowing this game to continue! The game is played when one person is blindfolded and must “tag” people who are laughing at the way they trip and stumble their way around the room trying to lay a hand on them. What were our grandparent’s thinking making fun of the visually handicapped? Note: A variation of this game is played in the pool. It’s called “Marco Polo”, which actually allows the added challenge of drowning to this childhood game!
Another all time classic game was Red Rover. In this game, which is a British game based off of marauding Vikings, asks children to link hands and then ask a person from the other team (about thirty feet away), to run at full speed and smash into the opposing line. If the child can break through the human chain, the two children who couldn’t stand their ground have to go over to the other side. However, if the child is clotheslined or stiff armed (and doesn’t have a concussion), then he/she has to become a part of line they were trying to cross. Most people don’t realize, but this game is also the training ground for most NFL teams.