Slow & Smooth or Baby-Bouncy?

Remember playing kickball on the playground?  And when you’re up, you tell the person how you want the ball rolled to you; Baby bouncy, Big bouncy, or Slow & smooth.  And the best was instead of using the big red playground ball, you asked for the small red playground ball.  Or better yet, play kickball using a volleyball!  That sucker flies over the fence.

Remember dodge-ball?  That was pretty easy – as long as you watched the ball.  But German Dodge – that was challenging.  There were two balls used.  And if you could catch a ball thrown at you, then you could get someone out of jail.  Just make sure you don’t drop it or you’re out.

Elementary school PE – remember that?  No PE clothes – you played in your school clothes.  And with like 30 people in a class – each volleyball team consisted of 15 people squeezed onto each side of the court.  You were lucky if you had a turn to serve before PE was over.

Tetherball was a pretty popular first-recess game.  Everyone would stand in line watching the 2 people play waiting for someone to make an out.  Then the next person in line gets to play the winner.  Remember yelling “Rope!” when they missed the ball and snagged the rope?  That’s an automatic loss.

Those were the organized games.  But how about the pick-up games that the early-bird kids used to play?  Like finding a nice big wall and whipping a tennis ball at the brave souls standing against the wall trying to dodge it.  A wet tennis ball flies faster.  And hurts more.

Or the pick-up kickball games during recess?  Using slippers as the bases.  And beaning allowed!  Did anyone even keep score?  LOL

What are some of your playground memories?



13 Responses to “Slow & Smooth or Baby-Bouncy?”

  1. KAN says:

    I remember the Fabulous Five! Tom Henderson was King!

    As for other elementary school games–I loved Red Rover. And I’m amazed that no one broke a hand or a wrist in that game!

  2. 4G says:

    LOL – I don’t remember being able to tell the “pitcher” how you would like to receive the “pitch” in kickball. Kickball was good as a co-ed sport. My favorite from that time, though, was sham battle.

    I also recall sky inning. I’m not much of a baseball fan, but that was a fun game. There was a lone batter and everyone else was a fielder. The batter would toss the ball into the air, then hit it with the bat. The fielder would stop at the point where they fielded the ball. The batter would then call out a number, say, “three” (depending on how far away from the batter the fielder was). The fielder would then toss the ball into the air and run toward the batter and catch the tossed the ball. The idea was to get closer to the batter. If the batter said, “three”, then the fielder could do this three times.

    Upon completion of the previous step, the batter would lay the bat down, perpendicular to the batter and fielder. The fielder would then roll the ball toward the bat. The idea was to hit the bat and pop the ball into the air. If the batter caught the ball as it popped up, they would get another turn at bat. If not, the fielder became the next batter and the batter became a fielder.


    OT – Olivia Newton-John story:

  3. Mark Shelby says:

    Off Topic.

    I just found an awesome video! I am suggesting a new thread that is dedicated to the new, long time ago, immigrants to Hawai’i. All of them, not only the ones in this video.

    View this video and see what you think Rodney.

    I think this subject would be Awesome! It’s our Hawaii roots. These hard working people helped build our island home and our culture! And so many families here have it!

  4. adobo says:

    I should add, in kickball it wasn’t only the guys who would return the ball and ask for a bouncy pitch. A lot of girls would do this too and slam some over the fence. Elementary school we had a girl who dominated in tetherball. It didn’t matter how good you were in other sports. Challenge her and you get put in your place.

  5. sameguydifferentchannel says:

    Two more elementary PE games: Hokey Pokey and Simon Says…

  6. sameguydifferentchannel says:

    Oh, and our elementary teachers had us doing hopscotch. No, really, hopscotch.

  7. sameguydifferentchannel says:

    Our elementary teachers didn’t want us playing dodge ball or shambattle with the rubber balls, ‘because someone might get hurt.’ (see earlier post)

  8. sameguydifferentchannel says:

    I don’t remember having a choice of bouncy or slow & smooth.

    I recall our class being split in half and we formed two lines. The person at the head of the line passed a chalkboard eraser to the next person, which continued all the way down the line. The last person with the eraser sprinted to the front and handed it off to continue the chain. First to have everyone sprint through wins.

    We played these sort of games at our school for PE. Other feeder schools to Kaimuki Intermediate (Waialae, Wilson) played sports like basketball…which kinda explains why we sucked in 7th grade PE.

    • adobo says:

      @SGDC, bouncy was for the guys who like make home run. If you time your kick when the ball in the air you get better chance of it going over the fence. Basketball was big back then due to the Fabulous Five. The best guys played on the best courts during lunch and recess. But even if you no can make that cut still had other courts. Bring your own ball to school in your Pan Am bag and play whenever you can. Before and after school, playground was our hangout, even night after dinner we go neighborhood park to play basketball or football. Wilson, KIS, Kapalono, Kaimuki, Petrie, all had games at night. Paki park had some mean bb games, sometimes with UH players. Back then courts at all the parks was always full so you had to wait to challenge or move on to another park.

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