Kings and Queens

One unusual feature was the ritual which began the game. We are stood in a circle and the facilitator closed his eyes and dropped the ball on someone's shoe and that person was IT right then and there. IT could throw the tennis ball directly at any one at any time, and if the second person was hit on any part of the body except the fists, that second person was automatically then part of IT's team. The IT folks could of course pick up the ball with bare hands and then run with the ball or toss to each other in order to position to get more ITs.

Another unusual feature of the game was the way in which the ball could be legally carried by non-ITs between ones fisted hands and also "batted" around to any part of the field with a fisted hand. Non-ITs sometimes displayed excellent form in keeping the ball away for the ITs by batting it to each other quite deftly. Touching the ball with an open hand put you on IT side but no one was ever really "out" in the sense of just sitting was just a superior game which continued until the second last person was hit. The very last non-IT person surviving was then hauled up on mates' shoulders and duly celebrated as either the "King" or "Queen."

There is no way to really appreciate this game without actually playing it and I remember large numbers of both girls and boys coming out of nowhere to play this game.

Contributed by Rabbi Monty from South Africa

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