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Hopscotch
by Streetplay member BUTIRFLI


Girl playing hopscotch
Click for bigger picture
Hip-hopscotch-hooray!
Game origin
Hopscotch began in ancient Britain during the early Roman Empire. The original hopscotch courts were over 100 feet long! Can you imagine that? They were used for military training exercises.

"Hey, Claudius! how bout a game of Hopscotch?" "Okay Brutus, but first I have to put my gear on! Hang a minute and wait for me?"

Roman foot soldiers ran the course in full armor and field packs, and it was thought that Hopscotch would improve their foot work. Roman children imitated the soldiers by drawing their own boards, and creating a scoring system, and "Hopscotch" spread through Europe. In France the game is called "Marelles", in Germany, "Templehupfen" (try saying that three times fast!) "Hinklebaan" in the Netherlands (probably played with Heineken beer cans) "Ekaria Dukaria" (played while while watching Daria) in India, "Pico" in Vietnam, and "Rayuela in Argentina."

In order to begin the game, each player must start with a marker. Common stones were used in the days of the Roman Empire, but in more modern times, items such as bean bags, pennies, and other assorted items were used.

Hopscotch boards were usually found in playgrounds, but if there weren't any, a good piece of chalk could easily remedy that.

How to Play Hopscotch
The first player tosses her marker into the first square. The marker must land completely within the designated square and without touching a line or bouncing out. If the marker lands in the wrong square, the player forfeits her turn. If the marker is successful, the player hops through the court beginning on square one. Side by side the squares are straddled, with the left foot landing in the left square, and the right foot landing in the right square. Single squares must be hopped on one foot. For the first single square, either foot may be used. Squares marked "Safe" "Home" or "Rest" are neutral squares, and may be hopped through in any manner without penalty.

When a player reaches the end of the court, she turns around and hops back through the court, moving through the squares in reverse order and stopping to pick up her marker on the way back. Upon successfully completing the sequence, the player continues his turn by tossing his marker into square number two, and repeating the pattern.

If while hopping through the court in either direction, the player steps on a line, misses a square, or loses her balance, her turn ends. The player starts on her next turn where the player last left off. the first player to complete one course for every numbered square on the court wins the game.


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