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Junkyard Sports
Creating new forms of play
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Playful World: Section guide

• Junkyard Sports home

• Schedule a JunkFest
• Buy the book
• Read Bernie's JunkLog
• Meet the Junkmaster
• Bernie's Junkyard site on Facebook
It's a junkyard out there

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Bernie DeKoven's Junklog
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Junkyard sports is a colorful term evoking images of wacky games played with all kinds of funky materials. Truth is that while this activity is a bit offbeat, many of the games are quite recognizable. As the creator of the concept and self described "junkmaster" Bernie DeKoven explains, "Junkyard sports are 'real' sports and games played with the wrong equipment."

Children in Belize playing with tires
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Children in Belize playing with tires (photo by Martha Cooper)
The focus is on full and active participation. Players develop new rules to best fit with the people involved and the environment in which the games will be played. The goal is not winning but fun and involvement or as Bernie states, "the more the merrier" principle. The more people involved and the more fully they're involved the better the experience is for everyone.

Many of us will recognize junkyard sports as a distillation of fundamental principles from our own childhood, where we would adapt a game like stickball to account for the vagaries of the specific field or teams. For kids, play is the thing that really matters and all obstacles can be woven in to be part of the game. Children naturally use their imagination to create new games for specific situations and can find adventure and opportunity in many common household items. What Bernie has done is to create a format safe enough for adults to give themselves permission to once again partake in this type of experience. The time needed is reasonable and the format is loose with just the right amount of structure to keep the flow positive and encourage all the players to play and have a good time.

We've asked Bernie to bring some of his junkyard sports ideas into Streetplay. We're hoping it will give our readers more opportunities for fun and help us expand the recognition in the power of play as a cultural bridge in this dangerous and yet wonderful world.

Learn more about Junkyard Sports:
• Schedule a JunkFest
• Buy the book
• Read Bernie's JunkLog
• Meet the Junkmaster
• Bernie's Junkyard site

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