There are some bizarre playground games for two that involve pain. Well known ones such as Feet Stamping, Slapsies and Knuckles and lesser known such as Extreme Rock Paper Scissors. But, there is one that understandably and thankfully never played today: Slapheads.
Slapheads is like the human equivalent of the summer fayre game of Hit the Rat ( a 'rat' is dropped through a drainpipe and the player has to hit it with a baseball bat when it emerges) Here, one person must hold his hands, palms facing inwards, a set distance apart (2 feet or so). The other must now bob his head down between the hands and avoid being slapped in the head. To trial this game I have just played a session with Mrs Blister and it is brilliant fun. Whether it's through fear of reprisals or slowness of reactions the bobber often wins and the slapee is left slapping thin air.
I suppose if this marvellous game were to take off today then the wearing of a safety helmet would be the only update required. Encouraging children to play old fashioned games to help in the fight against obesity is all well and good but not at the expense of a perforated ear drum.

Badfight / Badmington Fighting

Recently Strange Games received an E-mail from Michael Semenenko, senior lecturer of faculty of sports St.Petersburg State University. In it he describes a most brilliant new combination game that he has created.
Most strange games enthusiasts are aware of combining two games to make an unusual new one, Chess Boxing being the one that comes immediately to mind. But badmington fighting or Badfight as Michael has named it combines Badmington and a martial art and is very special indeed.

Badfight is played on a 6x12m area with a badmington net set at 2m high in the centre. Players attach flat sponge pads, measuring approximately 15cm square, onto the backs of their hands and also onto their feet (see pictures). The serving player must kick the shuttlecock over the net. The returning player has two moves to return it, first with the foot and then with the hand. To catch and flick up a shuttle using just your foot pad must take quite a lot of agility...and then to smash it back over the net with the hand pad! It sounds like it would be absolutely exhausting to play.
If the shuttle touches the floor or goes out of bounds then the point is lost. First to 15 points wins.
A superb game that deserves much wider publicity and inclusion in the Olympics as soon as possible.

Drawing Room Baseball

An extremely silly indoor game but immense fun nonetheless, Drawing Room Baseball brings the great American sport into the living room provides hours of endless fun and broken ornaments.

Best for small teams of three or four players (but I guess it depends on how big your house is), simply re-arrange some room furnishings to provide the bases. Then replace the baseball bat with a kitchen spatula (either wood or metal) and instead of a baseball use a ping pong ball. This gives the pitcher the opportunity to wind up his throwing arm and pitch the ball as hard as he wants without fear of injury. The damage to the room is not from bat and ball action but rather the dashes to reach bases and the scrambles for the ball of the fielding team.

Camel Jumping

Usually on Strange Games the equipment needed to play the games is minimal and often for the some of the best games all you need to be able to do is pretend to be dead.
For Camel Jumping you need...well, you need some camels. As this incredible footage from Yemen shows, to play, stand three camels side by side, take a good run up and then jump over them. Simple. Notice that the jumpers aren't exactly the tallest men you've ever met and they clear the camels with ease. Unfortunately the presenter of the piece doesn't have a go.

All those years watching extremely dull field events at the olympic games when we could have been watching camel jumping. And surely the sport could be extended to the Giraffe Polevault.
strange games no: 176