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Hit the Stick
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Hit the Coin and Stick

Ball bouncing
Click for bigger picture
You need good aim to hit the stick
Neither speed, strength, nor agility matter here; careful aim and a light touch are the important skills. Hit the Coin and Hit the Stick require two players, a relatively level, uncracked two-square stretch of sidewalk, and a coin (usually a penny) or a Good Humor ice cream stick.

The players stand at either end of two concrete squares with a coin or stick placed directly in the center seam. The object is to hit the coin or stick with the ball and, even better, attempt to flip it over. Each hit brings one point, each flip is worth two, with play ending once a player reaches 11 or 21.

Some find Hit the Stick more appealing because it's more of a kick to see the stick flip up and turn in the air than checking to see if the penny or nickel is heads of tails. Historically, some would play with the winner buying ice cream, while others just for the fun of hitting the stick (hey, cheap thrills).

Bragging Rights
The basic laws of physics add an interesting twist to this game. Often when the target is hit, it jumps towards the other player. This can present the nearer player a real advantage as he can now lean forward and softly drop the ball on the stick. A soft touch tends to keep the stick from jumping away, thereby allowing a player to easily rack up points. On the other hand, the other player has a longer, more difficult throw--even though he may have hit the stick/coin first.

With victory assured, you can put some energy into torturing your pal. You might use the opportunity explain just how badly he is getting his butt kicked and perhaps remind him of other past drubbings. Since this game was the least related to "ball skills," this ribbing was taken as pure blather.


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