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The Games: Section guide

• The Games home
• Rulesheets

The biggies
• Stickball
• Handball
• Skully (Bottlecaps)

• Ace-King-Queen
• Asses up
• Box Baseball Video!
• Boxball Video!
• Boxball (4-way)
• Fivebox
• Halfball
• Hit the stick
• Stoopball (original)
• Stoopball (bounces)
• Stoopball (curbball)
• Off the wall
• Spaldeen-game discussion

Girl power
• Clap and Rhyme
• Hopscotch
• Jacks
• Jumping rope
• Girl games discussion

Other games
• Baseball cards
• Marbles
• Ringoleavio
• Running around

Tools of the trade
• Spaldeens (and other balls)
• Playgrounds
• Stoops
• Streets
• Walls

Spaldeens... and other balls

This is a spaldeen
Click for bigger picture
This is a spaldeen.
The spaldeen has been called by some the rosetta stone of urban childhood fun. Just look at the number of spaldeen-based games we list in the section guide--it's a truly important element of street play.

But what is it? It's a pink rubber ball, a tennis ball without the fuzz, that was ubiquitously available to children in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. For unfathomable reasons, the Spalding sporting goods corporation took the spaldeen off the market in the late 70s. Luckily for civilization, they've brought back the spaldeen and you can buy one today!

Why "spaldeen?" The name is a corruption of the pronunciation of "Spalding," probably colored by the New York City dialect. The moniker became so popular that even Spalding now markets it under that name. Anyone who actually calls a spaldeen a "Spalding Hi-Bounce Ball"... well, we just feel sad for these folks.
Our spaldeen features will keep you bouncing 'round the site...

Return of the Spaldeen - Review of the media coverage that ensued from the event that rocked the Western world.
Stickball - In-depth coverage of the ultimate spaldeen game.
Last Licks - One of our favorite children's books, with spaldeens and punchball at its core.
Halfball - Popular game in Boston and Philly.
Pink Balls - An essay on what makes the rubber ball so special.
Chips on the ball - Kids' legal guide in determining financial resposnsibilty for a spaldeen that becomes lost, broken, or stolen while playing a game.
Roofing It - Searching the urban junkyard to keep a game going.
Urban Fishing - Charlie Brown had his kite-eating tree; street players have sewers. How do you retrieve a ball from the murky depths?
Over the Fence - The long ball and urban cool.
Superballs - Youthful adventures and high altitude memories.
Spaldeens vs. Pensie Pinkies - Voice your opinion in this eternal debate.
Streetplay's "Official Bounce-Off" - How do the current crop of rubber balls measure up to the Streetplay test?

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