Date of Performance/Collection: 4/5/13
Primary Language: English
One of the games my informant used to play back in elementary school was a game called Wallball. According to him, Wallball is played against the wall of a building or structure with a playground ball or tennis ball. The object of the game was to hit the ball with your hand and have it hit the wall without first touching the ground. If the ball hits the ground first instead, you must run to the wall before someone else is able to successfully hit the ball at the wall, or else you are “out.” However, my informant says that usually a player could receive 3 or 5 outs before actually being forced out of the game. Games were played with a large number of students. There were a few additional rules in his version of Wallball. Players were not allowed to bobble the ball, any player bobbling the ball was forced to drop it and run for the wall just as if they had failed to make a proper hit. If a player was able to catch another player’s ball after it had hit the wall but before touching the ground, the player who hit the ball received an out. A player was also allowed to peg another player with the ball, thus forcing both players to run for the wall. This was only to be performed if teachers were not watching because teachers would usually stop the game if they saw this. Players were also forbidden from having “Tea parties” which is where a player hits the ball back to his or herself 3 or more times in a row. Also at any time, one player could challenge another player by throwing over his or her shoulder. Both players then had to run to the wall before someone else hit it there. Perhaps this challenge rule was instigated to replace pegging in the presence of teachers, but never left the game even when teachers weren’t present. This version of Wallball is very similar to the version of Wallball that I played in elementary school, except without the challenge rule.