Scrumpy Bucket

Strange Games reader, and self styled King of the Scrumpers, Christopher Trigg sent in the Autumnal game of Scrumpy Bucket some time ago and it is only now that I am getting around to write about it. Scrumping is the noble childhood activity of stealing apples from someone elses orchard and the Game of Scrumpy Bucket could be seen as some sort of celebratory game of this activity.
Christopher Trigg writes,"Scrumpy Bucket is played in teams of twos in an orchard at Scrumpy time. One man, the 'bucket-boy' holds a large plastic bucket in each hand then starts spinning around on the spot. His partner stands a couple of yards off, gathers as much fallen fruit from the ground as possible then tries to throw the fruit into the buckets. Obviously, with bucket-boy spinning around, this is no easy matter and much fun is gained by the fruit missing the buckets and striking his team mate instead. The job of the bucket boy is made even harder as the game goes on - he gets dizzier and dizzier and is more than likely to stumble and fall on the apple strewn ground. Get more than one team playing at the same time and set a time limit for the spinning...then simply count the apples in the buckets at the end to determine the winning team."

A humorous description of Scrumping can be found at Scaryduck

Blongo Ball/ Ladder Golf / Hillbilly Golf

Strange Games is indebted to reader Jerry Coffey for drawing our attention to the classy American game of Blongo Ball.
To play, you will need a Blongo Ball set consisting of two sets of bolas (two rubber balls connected by a short length of cord) and a goal, which is a little like a plastic clothes-dryer with three crossbars. The aim of the game is to throw your bolas and get them to wrap around the horizontal goal bars, each of which is differently coloured and gives different points. The best throwing technique is to spin one ball around the other then launch the whole bolas in an underhand style.
Rules can vary but a good allocation might be 1 point for the easy top rung, 2 for the middle and 3 for the tricky bottom. You can gain extra points for more unusual shots such as getting the bolas to bounce off the ground before they wrap themselves around the bar. You could even give differing points to whether your shot produces a 'wrap around' or a 'hanger' (the bolas hangs on delicately by one ball only)

Play as a two player game, take it in turns to throw and if you knock one of your opponent's bolas off then they lose those points. The first player to get to 21 wins.
In his correspondence Jerry suggests, rather cruelly I think, that the game is also known as Hillbilly Golf.
Learn more at the blongo ball website where you can even have a go at a computer version of the game
Jerry is also starting a bloglist of fun family games here

Hat Ball

Strange Games is often deluged by at least a couple of e-mails a week detailing odd and obscure games that readers play. Many of these games we feature in the blog and a few are touched by the hand of genius...Hat Ball is one such game.
Hat Ball was sent in by reader Daryl Hrdlicka.

To play the game you need to be outside on a patio (or some other solid flat area) that adjoins a wall. Both players wear hats and stand close together side by side facing the wall. One player holds a power-ball (super-ball) which he then throws down hard against the patio at such an angle that the ball will bounce onto the wall and then bounce higher up into the air before it starts to descend. As soon as the ball is launched both players remove their hats and scramble to catch the ball in their own hat. The player that achieves this gains a point as well as control of the ball and play continues. The game works well for two players but could probably be extended to more people for a really chaotic version.
Daryl writes:"You couldn't take your hat off until the ball was in the air, and then you just tried to catch it in your hat (using elbows and body checks to get the advantage). I liked to use hats with rims all the way around because if you snapped your wrist right, the hat would fly out like a Frisbee and you could catch the ball in the air"
A game that involves power-balls, Frisbee skills, rough and tumble...and wearing hats. What's not to like?

Balance Ball Slapsies

Regular readers will know that at Strange Games we love Slapsies. The ultimate, brutal, playground game that has the magical combination of steady nerves, skill and pain. Simply hold your hands together, prayer like, your fingertips touching those of your opponent then try and strike the back of their hand with the palm of your own before they withdraw. Everytime you hit you get another go. The game is perfect and has remained unchanged for decades...but now, there is a new variation. We present Balance Ball Slapsies. Just as violent but in BBS you must kneel and balance on one of those large rubber exercise balls opposite the other player. The first player to fall from their ball or give up because of sore hands loses the game. This brings fantastic new dimensions to the game, you need to temper the speed of your attempted slap with the need to retain balance and stay on your ball, and if your opponent's hands escape you can find yourself in an undignified heap on the floor. Marvellous!

High Noon

High Noon is a game that is a little like a combination of a playground clapping game and rock paper scissors, but is much better than both. It is harder to explain than it is to learn and play...but here goes.
For two players, each faces the other over a table. Like a clapping game each player makes their moves simultaneously. The game begins with both players hand slapping the table (no:1 in accompanying picture). In their second move each player then decides whether to slap their left shoulder (pic 2) which is a safe move or to bring their hand up to their right shoulder (pic 3) which loads the gun, or to fire the gun (pic 4) at their opponent. After this second move each player then slaps the table again (pic 1) in unison and moves to their third move. The Hand Slap move must be made alternatively with one of the other three.
A player successfully shoots the opponent (and wins the game) if they make the 'Fire' move at exactly the same time their opponent makes a 'Reload' move. Also, players can not fire the gun unless it has previously been loaded and they must reload before the each attempt at firing is made.
Once players have learnt the rules then it is best played as fast as possible. Keeping the rhythm whilst watching what your opponent is up to and deciding whether to attempt a shot or a reload become mind-bending at speed. And once you have mastered the basic game why not go for mental meltdown and play the the two arm version.
The video below should (hopefully) make clearer my description of this superb game.

Newspaper Wrestling

Staying with the theme of strange wrestling we present Newspaper Wrestling. An unusual game for two people and an ideal use for a newspaper that's been read.
Simply place a sheet from a newspaper flat on the floor. Both players stand on the page - they will be standing very close to one another even if they use a broadsheet. Now, on a start command, each tries to push (or pull) the other off the paper. Any technique is valid in this claustrophobic combat. The first player that places a foot outside the paper, or causes it to tear, is the loser.
Once you have mastered the art of broadsheet newspaper wrestling why not move up a category to tabloid wrestling.

Table Wrestling

Table Wrestling is a sport with a history that goes back to Roman times where slaves were forced to to mount their master's table and try to circumnavigate it whilst wagers were made...or it could be just an inspired made-up game by a group of bored sixth-formers in Worcester. Whichever it is, Table Wrestling is undoubtedly one of the greatest and strangest Wrestling events.

To play, simply get a table (a school size one works well, but one with more character can sometimes give greater opportunity for hand holds) lie on top of it (face down is best) then try and go 360 degrees around it without touching the ground with any part of your body. The most common technique is to stretch a hand all the way underneath to grab the opposing edge before the rest of your body follows and you fall to the floor. Then simply pull yourself underneath and then, hopefully, back onto the top. It's a little like keelhauling - only with a table and no risk of drowning.
Once you have mastered the basic move you can advance to travelling around the table length ways or if you are especially advanced in a figure of eight movement. For the hardcore table wrestler you could even attempt the 'altitude' version where you balance 1 table on the top of two others before going around it. If you are particularly speedy why not try and beat the world record which stands at 10 rotations in 1 minute!

For the player that struggles to get their body all the way around then the two player game (illustrated in the accompanying photo) might be the one to try. Each player hangs over one side of a table and attempts to dislodge their opponent by any means possible...the winner is the first to get three falls or a submission.

Visit to further your knowledge

Extreme Bucket Ball

The previous post about Extreme Swingball prompted an e-mail from Strange Games reader Rob Edwards. In it he details a similarly painful game he calls Extreme Bucket Ball.
The game works best with smallish teams of two or three players each. Teams take it in turns to have one of their members be the Bucket Boy - this player stands in the centre of a 3m chalk-drawn circle on the floor and uses both hands to hold a plastic bucket on top of their head. The game starts with Bucket Boy's team mates trying to toss as many tennis balls as possible into the bucket - Bucket Boy can aid this by moving around but he must remain inside the circle at all times. Similarly, team-mates must throw the balls from outside the circle. The opposing team however must try to disturb Bucket Boy, getting him to miss balls or even better spill his bucket. They do this by firing any tennis balls they can get at Bucket Boy's body (again, they have to remain outside the circle) You can make a no-headshots rule if you like. Whenever a ball becomes free there is a mad scramble for control of it from both sides. Play for a set time, count the bruises and the balls in Bucket Boy's bucket then swap sides and play again. Good clean fun.

Addendum: As lsk rightly points out in the comment section..this game would be improved and made much fairer if a no crouching rule is enforced on Bucketboy

(Strange Games has also covered Bucket Ball and Hanetball previously - click on the links to discover more)

Extreme Swing Ball

Extreme Swing Ball is the name for a superb combat-type game sent into Strange Games by regular reader Duncan Flann. It is like some sort of bizarre blend of conkers, swingball and sword fencing.
Mr Flann writes: "Me and my friend Steve Brand invented Extreme Swing Ball a few years ago and we play quite regularly. It's simple and quite addictive to play and can be unpleasantly painful when you lose. It works best with two players. Each has the string and ball part of a swingball set (basically a tennis ball connected to a one and half meter piece of cord). At the start of the game each player sets his ball swinging in a circle. They can have it swinging at any height, in any plane(horizontally or vertically) and at any speed they like, but it must be swinging around for the duration of the game. The players now approach each other and try and get their ball to hit their opponent while avoiding being hit themselves. Points are scored for striking different parts of the body: 1 for an arm or leg, 5 for the torso and 10 for a head shot. Once a strike is made play stops, players move apart and set their balls swinging once again for the next round. Also, a little like the game of conkers, if 'tangles' (each players strings become tangled) occurs then players move apart and start afresh. If one of the players is found to regularly cause 'tangles' then the other can request a free strike! Play tends to shift between tense standoffs, wild rapid swinging as a defensive measure and desperate lunges forwards. Often the player that performs best is not the quickest swinger or the most violent but rather the one who has the most manoeuvrability. To see a master ESB player duck down, as their opponent's ball whizzes overhead, and get in a strike to the knees is a joy to behold"

Play anything stupider/funnier/odder? Strange Games:

Get on the F***ing Floor

Does watching violence on television and in films create a more violent society? You could debate this all night...but far better to play Get on the F***ing Floor instead. This is another marvellous game sent in by Strange Games reader Katie Jacobsen.
Kate writes: "All you need to play is a toy gun. Choose one player to exit the room with the gun. The remaining players establish conversation. They can talk about anything except the game itself. The player chosen to exit the room should stand just outside the door, so (s)he can hear the other players' conversation. After a few moments, or however long it takes for the players in the room to establish a natural conversational pattern that is distracted from the game, the outside player bursts in as aggressively and suddenly as possible, brandishing the gun and screaming in a menacing voice, "GET ON THE F***ING FLOOR!!" The amount of surprise and fear (some may say authenticity) of the holdup is ranked, and the process is repeated until each of the players has had a chance to play the armed intruder."

Spit in the Bottle

Strange Games previous post, the gross bare feet-raisin to mouth game called Raison d'etre prompted reader Bill to email in a game that he played in his childhood that is, if anything, grosser. Bill writes, "Dear Strange Games... when I was a kid we played this game that we called Spit in the Bottle. Usually we played two at a time. Each player places a narrow-necked pop bottle on the ground between their feet...and then starting at the same time they attempt to spit saliva and try to get as much as possible into the bottle. Because the opening of the bottle is narrow and the players are standing up its quite difficult to get much in unless you are highly skilled at the game. Often we used to get more on our jumpers than in the bottle. After a set time (a few minutes say) play is halted and the two bottles examined to see who has got the most spit in. And, even cooler, if you want to play a more hard-core version of the game, the loser then has to drink....'
I've cut-off the rest of Bills email because I started to feel queasy...I think you can get the picture of how it continues.
Played something odder/cooler/funnier/ strange games:

Raisin D'etre

Strange Games recently received an email from Findlay Caldwell detailing a bizarre, and frankly quite horrible party game he claims to have invented. Called Raisin D'etre for reasons that will become clear - all you need to play are a packet of raisins, paper cups, toothpicks and a strong stomach.
Split partygoers into teams of three who then stand in a line. The person at the front has an empty cup and a plate full of raisins placed on the floor at their feet. On a start command this person then whips off one of their socks and using their bare toes only they try to manoeuvre the raisins from the plate into the cup. Once this is done the next person in the line takes the cup and using the toothpick only feeds the raisins to the third. The team that successfully transports the dried fruit from plate to mouth via foot and toothpick in the shortest time wins. It is the element of bare-footed fruit gathering that truly elevates this game to the status of a party classic. Thanks Findlay.

Sofa Titanic

It's often the case that the simplest (and stupidest) ideas make the best games. Strange Games reader Kate Jacobson contacted us about one such game that she played 'in her collage days' called Sofa Titanic. This is a marvellous game that simulates all the glamour,fear and excitement of being on a luxurious sinking liner but with none of the fear of drowning, and no Celine Dion singing.
"One or two players sit on the end of the sofa. The other players gradually lift the end of the sofa that the people are seated on, until the sofa is completely vertical. As this is happening, the seated player(s) will begin to notice the effects of gravity, and will begin to slide down the sofa with increasing velocity, just like the upending of the Titanic! They can pretend the cushions are ice chunks or other passengers. Usually everyone wants a chance to ride on the Ship of Dreams, so players can alternate positions as desired."

And all you need to play is the room and a suitable sofa - if you don't own one then perhaps visit your local furniture showroom and wait till the shop assistants aren't looking. Thanks Kate.
n.b. strange games tried hard to find an accompanying photo for Sofa Titanic but failed instead we plumped for one of Sofa Death Race 2000

Chair Wars~a possible trial game for London 2012 Olympics

The UK's continuing success in sailing and cycling events at the Beijing Olympics has led to Australian comments that 'the UK only do well at sporting events where you have to sit down'
However, not only does the UK triumph in all the sitting down events it invents the best ones too.
Strange Games is honoured to write about Chair Wars.
Chair Wars is a bizarre attempt to marry Skateboarding and Jousting all with the humble, wheeled office chair. To play you need two ramps positioned so that they join at their lowest points. Now one player sit in an office chair at the top of each slope, facing their opponent and on a start command hurtle themselves towards the other. The objective is to knock the other over onto the ground and avoid toppling yourself, as well as trying to avoid bruised shins or more serious injuries. A successful technique, in this brutal random game, involves getting your office chair to turn before the impact so as to avoid your own legs being hurt as you smash into your opponents shins.
The official website gives a detailed set of rules which include the technical,"Chairs must have a minimum of three wheels and not more than six" and the marvellous,"No additions can be added to chairs such as:sharp objects, lights, or any electrical devices"
We are highlighting Chair Wars now as it is certain to feature as a trial game in the 2012 London Olympics and this will give those whinging Ozzies a chance to start practicing - in the vain hope of winning some medals.

visit the official website:

Eye Shoe Shirella~chant for playing Spectacular Deaths

If, like me, you still enjoy the odd game of Spectacular Deaths (fall down on the ground and pretend to die in the most spectacular/gruesome/humorous way possible) then you may be interested in this recently discovered,charming, chanted intro to the game. Simply shout out the rhyme...then fall down and expire after the "like this". Probably not the best game to play amongst total strangers who are unaware of what is going on but superb fun everywhere else.
"I know a little Irish girl,named Eye Shoe Shirella
and all the boys on the football team love Eye Shoe Shirella
What's for Dinner?....chicken
What's for afters?...jelly
What's on TV...Scooby
What's on Video...ET
Hows Jermima?...All Right
Died in the fish shop...last night
What did she die of?...raw fish
How did she die? this"


Strange Games receives many an email containing lines like this, "Montegue, my child is having a party and says he doesn't want any of those 'boring, cliched, idiotic old-fashioned party games'...what can I do? My son is 5"
One answer is Bagheads...disorientation, humiliation and the odd bruise in one complete party game package. To play simply give all the partygoers an opaque paper bag (grocery shop ones are ideal) and have them place them on their heads. Get players to spread themselves around the room and then everyone must try and locate other players and snatch the bag from their head - no player may hold onto their own bag. Once your bag has been removed you are out of the game. After much chaos, the last bag-headed player remaining wins. And why not make the game even more fun by not telling the winner they have won...see how long it takes them to find out.
Played an odder game? contact Strange

Chinese Knitting

Trick games are a superb way to have fun whilst annoying enemies and losing friends, and Chinese Knitting is one of the best. To play you need access to some meadow grass - the ideal variety is one in which the seed heads are quite loose and will come off easily if pulled. Pick two stems of grass (with the stems being about six inches in length) and reverse one so that the seed head of one rests against the stem of the other. Now ask an unsuspecting player if they want to play Chinese Knitting. When they agree get them to open their mouth, place the two grass stalks inside so that their stems are against the victims bottom teeth and get them to close their mouths to hold them. They should now have a stalk and a seed head sticking out of each side of their mouth. Now, before they get chance to change their mind, reach up both hands and quickly pull outwards the stems of grass - this forces both seed heads into their mouth, most seeds being plucked from the stems and deposited on their teeth and gums. Run away, quick!
Many thanks to Harvey for bringing this game to the attention of Strange Games

Another trick game covered by Strange Games and involving wild grass is Timothy Torture

Faith, Hope & Charity

There are various Victorian parlour games involving guessing the identity of a person hidden behind a sheet - this is usually attempted by examining the person's feet or hands, or listening to them cough, etc..
Strange Games' reader Jean Bingle has sent in details of a similar, but far better, game that her Mother used to play at parties in the 1950s. This is possibly one of the best party games that Strange Games has ever reported - up there with Slave Market.
Jean writes:'
All the men are sent out of the room and then three of the prettiest women stand behind a sheet – the two on the end hold it up.
Each man is brought in one at a time and asked the question ‘which girl would you like to kiss - Faith, Hope or Charity?’ He would choose one girl and then with a mask covering his eyes he is led up to the girl at the sheet. But behind is the joker with lipstick all over his mouth and as the chap is kissing his chosen girl the mask is whipped off and he finds he is kissing a man. Most men were pretty fed-up, but were then allowed to stay and watch the rest come through, of course they would join in and kid them along too – showing off the tell-tale lipstick mark on his mouth.'

Played odder/funnier party games than this? e-mail:

Victorian and Extreme Blow Football

Remaining on the subject of Blow Football mention must be made of ancient versions of the game. In Victorian times there was a superb indoor football game. To play all you needed was an un-carpeted drawing room, some paper fans and a blown hen's egg (prick a pinhole in each end and blow out the yolk). Goals were created at either end of the room and then teams tried to propel the egg towards them using only the power of wind created by frantically fanning their fans close behind it. The unpredictable motion of an egg coupled with the exertion required to move it would, one suppose, result in lots of tired arms and many no-score draws.
Extreme Blow Football conjures up images of a dangerous game played up the side of a mountain by out-of-breath dudes in baggy trousers. Fortunately its nothing like that but is quite weird. Basically a scaled up version of the table top game you need massive straws (thin plastic plumbing tubes work well) a ping pong ball and a flat smooth floor and you are away. All the usual blow football rules apply, with the more solid tubes being handy if a fight develops.
(Notice how in the accompanying picture the teams are wearing coloured bibs to distinguish themselves in this fast moving game.)

Underwater Blow Football

Possibly the oddest, and therefore the best, indoor football game for two players is Underwater Blow Football. To play get a flat bottomed rectangular tray with high sides (a large lasagne dish works well – the most important thing is that the bottom is as flat as possible). Now fill to the brim with water, furnish each player with a straw and then place a large marble in the centre. The level of the water needs to be enough to just cover the marble. Now each player puts the tip of his straw underwater, close to the marble, and blows...the aim being to blow the marble till it hits the opponent's side of the dish. Just like in the more normal dry version players must not touch the ball with the straw - this results in the opposing player having a set time (a few seconds) of free blowing. Most of the fun in the game comes from the almost random, uncontrollable motion of the marble underwater and the soaking that each player receives as water flies everywhere.


Strange Games reader Nate Hoffert sent in the description of a game he plays and calls Hotelball:
'My friends and I have invented a game called "Hotelball" which can be played in a typical, at least by North American standards, franchise hotel room containing one king size bed or 2 queens.
The only equipment needed is a hackey sack or firm nerf-type ball no larger than a tennis ball. Balls with too much "bounce" will be unsatisfactory for anyone but the most skilled players.
The beauty of the game is that participants do not compete against other players, they strive to better their previous best performance, and the game is played while essentially relaxing in one's hotel room so there is an interesting congruence of competitive athletics with leisurely relaxation.
3 players are generally required although more can be included and two will suffice, although it seems to be more fun with 3.Play can proceed while watching the hotel room television.
One player, the server, positions him or herself near the foot of one of the beds. S/he can be seated in a chair or on the foot of the bed or on the queen adjacent to the one on which one of the other players is sitting. The second player is seated on one of the beds usually with his back on the headboard. Torso and legs will be at a 90 degree angle to start. A third player is seated on the opposite side of the bed from the server. The server puts the ball in play in underhanded fashion to either of the other player's heads. After the service, the server's responsibilities are completed other than officiating the "game" and offering encouragement to the participants.
The player receiving the service heads the ball back to the third player. Play continues with players alternating heading the ball to one another until a ball is played which is impossible to head. At that point, the ball must be caught by one of the players or the play is considered a failure. Modifications may be made to the game to allow use of other body parts in passing the ball between players 2 and 3. Success is defined by the number of head passes made prior to the ultimate catch.
For example, four head passes and a catch would be described as a "head-head-head-head-catch" or a "Quad-head-catch." Three headers followed by an elbowed ball followed by a thigh ball followed by a catch would be a Head-head-head-elbow-thigh-catch. The game can require a good bit of athleticism with players often diving off the bed or into the furniture or television to make fine plays.'
So, if you ever find yourself stuck in a hotel room with two friends, a king size bed and a hackey sack - you now know what to do. Strange Games welcomes contributions of any unusual/stupid/weird games that you may play, email:

International King of Sports: Downhill Giant Slalom Running

Possibly the worlds greatest odd sporting event, the recent Cheeserolling championships at Coopers Hill, highlighted the fun that can be had with just an extremely steep grassy slope, fearlessness of being hurt and a nice mature cheddar.
But if you have the first two and are lacking the cheese you could do worse than play Downhill Giant Slalom Running. This invented sport was featured on Channel 5's International King of Sports in 2004. Basically it's a running version of skiing's giant slalom and all you need to play is as steep a slope as possible and a set of poles to makes the slalom gates. Then, simply, take it in turns to run as fast as possible down the hill, passing through each gate in turn. The key to a fast time, just like in skiing, is to stay as close as possible to the inside pole. The fastest down the course wins.

Fizzy Dizzy

After the recent entry "My Granny Went To Guantanemo" Strange Games received an email from Bryan Mayoh detailing an inane game he loves to play that has some similarities. He calls the game Fizzy Dizzy.
Fizzy Dizzy is for as many players as feel brave enough to try it, each is given a glass full of fizzy coke which they must drink yet hold in their mouth without swallowing. Still holding the drink they must now do the usual close-eyes-head-on-broomstick and spin around ten times quickly. Once completed, and if they haven't choked or spewed, they must then try and run a short distance (say ten yards) and spit out whatever remains of the initial drink into a collecting glass. The winner is the person who can transfer as much of the original drink as possible in the shortest time. Bryan says, “When played properly there is much gagging, coke nasal spraying and general nausea amongst all players.”
If you have a
ny Strange Games that you like to play then please send them to:

US Swingball

As the European Football Championships are being staged at the moment it only seems right that Strange Games should highlight an unusual new soccer-related game.
When you mention Swingball thoughts immediately turn to the well loved tennis-on-a-string garden game, but that is about to change as the new US version of Swingball takes off in popularity.

Devised in 2001 by high school students in Hawthorne, New Jersey, as a soccer training aid to help learn dribbling and passing skills, Swingball requires two teams of two players, a soccer ball and a set of park swings. One team's players sit on the swings and start swinging - they can choose to face the same way or different and to swing in sync or out of sync. Opposing team players stand at either side of the swing and attempt to pass the ball back and forth between themselves, using two touches only on the ball - one to control it and one to pass. Every time they successfully get it past the swing defenders they gain a point. The team on the swings must try to intercept the ball whereupon they then control it and try to shoot it past the other team. Places are then changed to see who can achieve the greater score.
It would superb if US Swingball took off - think of the joy in watching Wayne Rooney wobbling about on a child's swing as David Beckham elegantly passes the ball through his legs.
The sports offical governing body the United Swingball Association (USBA) can be contacted through or through the Facebook group USBA - their motto proudly and eloquently sums up this dignified and exciting new sport, The Glory, The Passion, The Intensity.

UPDATE: Pub Bounce 2008

An update on The Pub Bounce 2008 (bounce,binge,barf) first mentioned on Strange Games here.
The perfect English event Pub Bouncing combines two of the country's most notable traits: nostalgia for the 1970s and binge drinking. The event, a pub crawl performed wholly on space hoppers around 9 pubs in Newport Pagnell, was successfully held on June 7th.
Spacehopper head honcho Mike Jones takes up the story:
" Although 148 people were in the facebook group only 30 people bounced, with others coming to watch or giving up at the 2nd or 3rd pub . We did stop traffic at one point with people bouncing in the road and 4 people popped into one of the local shops on their space hoppers, which was funny. At the first pub the landlord give a pitcher of Fosters free to the winner of a space hopper race. Only 3 people completed the route at 10:30 pm to a free bottle of Aftershock donated by the landlord. Everyone fell off their space hopper at some stage (I fell off 8 or 9 times). We all have cuts and bruises, which I kinda expected, but my upper thigh muscles still hurt now going upstairs and the next morning I couldn't walk." Amazingly, no one was sick!
Get involved, join the Pub Bounce Facebook Group
Note: the accompanying photograph is of the actual event and shows how lack of pre-pub-bounce training affected Wayne Seamarks

My Granny Went to Guantanemo

Of highly questionable taste, this was sent into Strange Games by one Boris Spedding. It's the sort of game you would get if you crossed a memory test (My Granny Went to Market) with some light torture techniques so it's probably not one to play at the next kids' birthday party.
Boris writes: "Me and my friends devised this game at college. Everyone who's playing contributes to a list of words, say twenty in total and sets about memorising them. Then one at a time a player is blindfolded, stands in the middle of the room with his head bent down so that his forehead rests on a broom handle, and then they spin/shuffle round quickly twenty times. Whilst they are spinning round like this they must try and eat two dry crackers (Jacobs Crackers are good for this). The combination of being blindfolded and making yourself dizzy whilst forcing dry crackers into your mouth makes mincemeat out of most people.
As soon as they stop spinning they have a minute to shout out, as coherently as possible, as many of the words they can remember from the list."

if you know of any Strange Games please send them to:

Human Buckaroo

This is a marvellous game for young children or particularly childish adults sent in by Strange Games reader Lurch Latronico.
Human Buckaroo is a human version of the popular kids' table top game.
To play make some simple cards containing parts of the body such as 'Neck', 'Left ear', 'Right ear', 'Left shoulder', 'Head', 'Bottom' etc.. One player forms the bucking bronco by kneeling down on the floor, supporting their upper body with their they look just like a mule. The riding player then picks one of the cards at random and hands it unseen to the 'bronco' who can look at it. The riding player then sits on the broncos back keeping their feet off the floor and holding on with one hand and must use their other hand to touch one of the bronco's body parts. Obviously only one will result in the bronco bucking and the rider must do his best to hold on or else fall unceremoniously to the floor. If the rider touches a 'safe' place they can either retire unhurt with that score or else dare to play on: touch a different part of the bronco and try to score more.
For every body part touched without the bronco bucking you score a point, if the bronco bucks and you remain on then you gain an extra point. If you are thrown then you lose all points gained. Once a player either retires, or is thrown, play is reversed and the game continues.
Thanks once again to Lurch Latronico for this game...if you know of any Strange Games please send them to:

Strange Board Games #2: Marching Season

We recently highlighted the odd board game of Feel Safe. Another brilliantly odd board game for lovers of the strange is The Marching Season Game. For three and only three players, in The Marching Season Game one person takes the role of Loyalist, another is the Republican and the third plays the part of The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
The game is set during the Orange Marching Season and the aim of the Republican and the Loyalist player is to place counters on the board to control a specific Northern Ireland geographical area. The Loyalists want to claim areas of the board to march down, the Republicans try and stop them. The role of the RUC is to try and control the situation. They must decide whether to allow a march and risk a riot or try and divert it and risk a riot or...just risk a riot.
The game’s designer David Kershaw, who created the game around the time of the Drumcree Standoffs, has said that the aim of the game is not to push any agenda or glorify violence but just to highlight the lunacy of the situation using black humour. Rumours that he is working on a Sunni versus Shia version of dominoes are totally unfounded.

Dunce Wars

Some of the greatest party games are little more than brainless, violent fun and Dunce Wars, one of the stupidest, is also one of the best.
Simply give everyone at the party a cone shaped dunce's hat with elastic to hold it under the chin and also furnish them with a stick (or rolled up newspaper).
Then get them to try and violently knock their opponents' hats off whilst all the time trying to defend their own. The last dunce standing is declared the winner...and told to stand in the corner.

Strange Board Games #1: Feel Safe

Strange Games normally covers childhood and childish games as well as unusual festivals and sports. Board games are not really covered, however, there are some really odd ones that need more players. One in particular is a game called Feel Safe. What Monopoly does for the celebration of rampant consumerism Feel Safe does the same for the loss of human rights. It's a satirical board game based upon the US Department of Homeland Security and the Bill of Rights (the 1st ten amendments to the constitution). The object of the game is to give away your basic rights as quickly as possible so that the DHS can protect you from terrorist threats.
The highlight comes in the form of a ‘terror alert’ when all players must immediately jump their counters to the ‘Bill of Rights Bonfire’ square and throw their rights onto it.
As it says on the box: 'Feel Safe – remember always to follow the rules.'

It has been suggested that Feel Safe successfully reveals the conflict between having a full set human rights and protecting national security from terrorist threats…or maybe it’s just taking the piss.
Hats off to the fabulous board game blog Jergames for highlighting this game
Feel Safe at Board Games Geeks

Strange Games with Maggots: Modern Art

The modern childrens' party is a mixture of additive laced junk food and a handful of staid and dull party games aimed more at avoiding parental litigation and accusations of bias than actual entertainment. The hyped up kids are then sent home having all won a prize and all with an I Pod in a goody bag.
All that can change if you play Modern Art. The simple requirements to play are some paint, paper and a jar full of maggots. Each child is given supplies of each and by dipping the maggots into a selection of paints and encouraging them to crawl over the paper must produce a masterpiece of abstract expressionism. Realism is added to the game if the party host puts on pseudy art critic mannerisms and voice and goes around the finished work dispensing withering criticism. The child that has communicated their inner feelings the most, and screamed the least, wins.

Strange Games is indebted to reader Stace Coley for sending in details of this game.

More Fun with Buckets

After writing about the superb game of Bucket Ball, Strange Games has been inundated by an email detailing a couple of other games worth playing if you have a spare plastic bucket to hand.
Bucket Basket Ball is an old Scout game, apparently. Two teams are formed and one player from each team forms the basket by standing at one end of the room, on a chair and holding a bucket upright on their head. Team mates must now pass a tennis ball between themselves in a similar fashion to basket ball with the aim to throw it into their own bucket/basket. The player forming the basket may help their team by moving their head but the bucket must remain held on the head at all times.

BucketBall(2) is an office game that "involves elements of basketball, tennis, bowling, quarters, and chess". Two players sit facing each other on office chairs but 14 feet apart. In the middle stands a bucket. Players take it in turns to throw a ball so that it bounces then lands in the bucket. The more times the ball bounces the more points are scored and the first player to reach 3 points wins. For incredibly detailed 'official' rules see here.

Fans of bucket related fun should also try the wonderful game of Bucketheads. For two or more players. An easily recognizable object is placed on the floor somewhere at the edge of the room. Players then return to the centre of the room and each places an upturned bucket on their head. This acts as a disorientation device as well as a partial blindfold - players should still be able to see some of the floor in front of their feet. All players then spin round and round for a set time then set off in a chaotic race to find the object first.

My Mother Says...Slapsies variation

An interesting Slapsies variation is the My Mother Says version. For two players, each places their hands alternatively on top of one another's on a firm surface such as a table, as if they were playing the game My Mother Says That You Are This High. Now, with their hands in position, the player whose hand is at the bottom must withdraw it as swiftly as possible and attempt a hard slap on the topmost hand. Obviously the player whose hand is exposed must try to withdraw it, avoiding the slap and hopefully causing the player in motion to slap their own hand with force. As in the more 'normal' game you may not move your hand out of the way before a strike is attempted otherwise a free slap is awarded. Play now alternates with the hand at the bottom of the pile having the next go. The faster the game is played the more confusing, and often, painful it becomes.

Strange Games is indebted to Sian McDonald for describing this game. If you know of any unusual games please send them in

World Dry Foam Flinging Championships

It's not every day that Strange Games hears from a World Champion - but recently we have been e-mailed by Mark Rye(28) who is not only a world champion at Dry Sponge Throwing he is also the world record holder at the event!
The World Dry Foam Flinging Championships are held annually as part of the Bromsgrove Folk Festival (an event of folk music, folk dancing and folk throwing of bathroom sponges). Mark is on a quest to compete in as many World Championships as his bank balance, sanity and girlfriend allow. I will let him describe the ancient West Midlands tradition of sponge throwing in his own pictures and words:

"I have attached a picture of me after the 2006 championships. The bit of foam sticking out of the cup is the foam thrown in the competition. As you can see the foam is not very big so technique is very important. Also going into the competition in the right frame of mind is crucial. Luckily me and my mates had been to the Snail Racing World Championship the day before, thus we where already in a world championships mind set.
As for throwing, the secret is not to throw angry. The harder you throw the foam the less distance it will go. I favoured a gentle over arm lob. As for the competition you get three throws of the sponge. Entry is the princely sum of 20p and you can enter as many times as you want. The first year I won was 2006, when I also set the world record. This stands at 30ft 21/2 beating the previous record of 27ft. At the 2006 event there were two former champions, one of which did the Hakka before throwing. In 2007 I managed to win without a throw taking place. Over the weekend of the competition it was raining so heavily I was half tempted to start building an ark. When I turned up to throw, Bob,the organiser, informed me that it was too wet to throw dry foam. But as I had turned up I had done enough to win the championship. This year I am looking for the hat-trick of titles"

Pub Bounce 2008

Strange Games wrote recently about the Krispy Kreme Challenge - a healthy/unhealthy running and doughnut eating event in North Carolina. The Facebook group Pub Bounce 2008 are organising the UK response...a pub crawl on space hoppers. All you need to take part is your own hopper, money for beer and the address of the nearest accident and emergency department. The event, hopefully the first of many, will occur in Newport Pagnell on June 7th and will follow the usual pub crawl rules- a pint in each bar then a bounce en masse to the next. Start times and bounce routes are yet to be announced but you can keep yourself informed by joining the Facebook group here
Anyone for Pot Pogostick 2009 in Amsterdam: a toke of a joint in each coffee shop then pogo stick to the next?

Pin Pin & Timothy Torture

Pin Pin is a childish, pointlessly violent game of pain that has recently come to light most famously on Russell Brand's Radio 2 show. On the show Russell's friend/co-presenter, Matt Morgan, has recounted the tale of when he was 10, walking home from scouts and his friend Darren French came up behind him, shouted the immortal phrase, "pin pin" and jabbed him hard in the upper arm with a naked pin. And so the game has been rejuvenated and taken off across the nation's playgrounds with cries of 'pin pin' being heard... swiftly followed by ones of 'Ow, you bastard, I'll get you for that'. There are no rules except the shout of 'Pin Pin' must be made when an attack takes place.
I can recall a similar 'sport' being played in my childhood, albeit without the 'pin pin' chant, but with a standard Blue Peter badge (one of the few pinned badges you were allowed to wear to school) being used. Assailants would come upon you unannounced, jab you hard with the pointy end and run off to avoid capture. No doubt they never achieved their Silver Blue Peter Badge.
Join the Facebook Pin Pin Group here

Writing about Pin Pin reminds me of another painful childhood punishment type game from the 70's which could easily take off again:-

Timothy Torture
Timothy Torture is a bit like a green, rural equivalent of the urban Pin Pin. So called because it uses as its weapon of choice a stalk of Timothy Grass. The common meadow grass (Phleum pratense) grows almost everywhere in Europe and Timothy is its common name. To assail, simply pull out a mature stalk and slide your thumb and forefinger from the base of the seed head to the tip - pulling all the seeds off as you go. The section of stalk exposed doesn't seem much to look at but if you pass by someone with long hair (the game is almost useless against skinheads) thrust the stalk tip into their pride and joy, twizzle, then pull hard. The naked Timothy stalk is like velcro for hair with strands instantly attaching themselves to it and if done correctly this procedure is very painful indeed with the assailant uprooting lots of hair or at the very least causing much pain and anguish. Obviously Timothy Torture is seasonal in nature, due to the flowering time of Phleum pratense but if you can get hold of this abundant perennial grass much fun (and pain) can be had.

Bucket Ball

Bucket Ball has a similar feel to Hanet Ball in the sense that the player actually stands within the goal but it is much weirder, more fun and... uses buckets.
For two competing players. At the start of the game each player stands facing the other a few yards apart. Both have placed their feet into plastic buckets, one on each foot. For children playing the game a standard bucket is usually perfect – for adult players you may need to search a garden centre for larger specimens. Players hold in their hands an equal number of small balls. The aim of the game is to throw and get as many balls as possible into either of your opponents buckets whilst avoiding too many in your own. Players are allowed to move about so the game soon develops into tense stand offs, daring bucket-footed attacks and desperately clumsy leg movements to avoid incoming balls landing in a bucket. Any player falling over loses and once all balls have been thrown all you need to do is add up the bucket-balls to determine the winner.
Bucket Ball a game for the 22nd Century.


HanetBall is the game you would get if you crossed a game of basket ball with a trip to your local Mothercare store. The game is currently played in Florida but as its creater calls it “THE game of the 21st century” expect it to make an appearance near you soon.
The game is played with two teams of seven players using a Hanet Ball (basically a basketball) on a rectangular court (similar to the one used in basketball) and the ball must be bounced when running with it (a little like basketball) but, and it's a big but, instead of being fixed to the walls the baskets are suped-up toddler playpens. Large (12 feet diameter) circular playpens with netted sides are placed at both ends of the court and inside them stands the team's goal keeper who tries to repel any ball that the opponents attempt to throw into the net. Games comprise of four quarters and last 70 minutes or until the goalkeeper cries to be let out.

official Hanetball site

Nose Licking...the game

Strange Games is indebted to Sian Mc for sending in details of this bizarre game that she plays with her friends.
A really odd standoff game, what Nose Licking lacks in hygeine it makes up for in genuine weirdness and the hilarity of actually playing it.
For two players, each faces the other and hold the other's shoulders. This hold must be maintained throughout the game. Now, simply, each player attempts to lick the nose of their opponent whilst, obviously, all the time trying to avoid having their own nose licked. Initially when played games tend to have a phase where both players strictly maintain their distance but gradually they come to realise that if they are going to grasp victory then they're going to have to get closer and try and lick that nose.

(If you play any games that are better / more disgusting / funnier than Nose Licking please send them in to Montegue Blister:

Hockern / Sport with a German Milking Stool

Is it a sport, art or maybe dance? No, it's Hockern!
Germany's contribution to the world of odd games and sports is truly bizarre. Hockern (German for 'stools') is a little like competitive break dancing...only, break dancing using a milking stool. Competitors stand in front of the Hockern judges and show off their best stool movements (sorry). These will include spinning the stool on the floor, balancing upon it (on knee, stomach or even head), and tossing it into the air and speed sitting on it wherever it lands. One of the favourite moves is a high speed throw over the the shoulders, back through between the legs and squat down onto it.
Another cool trick is to have a friend slide the stool along the floor towards you for you to sit down hard upon it as it reaches you. And it's not just a solo sport. There are synchronised group events too that have to be seen to be believed. The superstars of this new sport are known as Hockstars and regular competitions are held in the nightclubs of Germany including the prestigious Hocktoberfest.
Now is the time to grab your stool and live the dream because Hockern will surely be a demonstration sport, probably sponsored by Ikea, in the next Olympic Games.

official Hockern site (in German)

video of Hockern #1
video of Hockern #2
Addendum: Hockern-meisters Ben Denn and Orc von Rumaenien (crazy names, crazy guys) from have been in touch with Strange Games to say that the stools used in Hockern are not actually German milking stools. This is just an urban legend started by a German newspaper - rather the stools used are retro 70's style ones. They also point out that the next Hockern Championships will be held on October 25th in Kiel...clear your diaries for that date.

Finger Jousting: Photo Competition

The king of finger games, Finger Jousting, is having a competition to find "the most epic photograph of finger jousting in the most unique places and situations" Run by the World Finger Jousting Federation, headed by Julian 'Lord of the Joust' Gluck the competition is open to jousters from around the world, just send them a photograph of yourself in an 'insane' joust or in an extreme environment and you could win the coveted prize of a Finger Jousting T Shirt... as well as the utmost respect of your peers. Competition closes on April 31st.
If you are a complete finger fencing novice and new to the world of the 'bobbo lance' and ' majigger' then you can find all you need to start playing at the Finger Jousting website.

finger jousting competition

world finger jousting federation

It's My Balloon Snot Yours!

A disgustingly fun party game for any age group. Each player is given a balloon and a competition begins to see who can blow up theirs in the quickest time. However, there is a catch because players can only use their noses to blow them up. The best technique is to stretch the balloon's neck over both nostrils, breath in through the mouth whilst pinching nose and balloon tight, then exhale hard through the nose. Alternatively you can use the single nostril technique as illustrated. The player that achieves the greatest inflation in a set time is declared the winner and is given a pin. They then can chase all the other players around the room trying to pop their balloon nearest to someone.
A great party game, but maybe not one to play if you are ashmatic or have a heavy cold.


Strange Games reader Lemoncat sent in this childhood game, a variation on hide and seek and various defending the base type games.
"Three wooden clothes pegs leaning against the bottom of a wall two either side and one resting on top. Two teams are formed, however many kids are up for it. The first team take it in turns to lob a tennis ball and smash the sticks far and wide, once this is achieved everybody legs it and hides. The other team have to search them out whilst at the same time try to guard against the sticks being replaced neatly against the wall again. If they are this means a win and the other team don't get a turn at hiding and attacking... and so on.
OK, maybe not as glamorous as a face jumping contest at the Fool & Bladder but we used to have great fun as kids playing it."

Lemoncat writes a sharity music blog called Grooves of Delight, specialising in dusting down and making available again great, mainly instrumental, LPs from the past. If you are looking for 60's kids TV themes played by the Norrie Paramour Orchestra with the cover art of a nubile semi clad woman on a motorbike, then this just might be the place for you

The Krispy Kreme Challenge

As we are on a strange-food-related games then...
If you are trying to lose some weight then moderate exercise is a great way to shed a few excess pounds but you should try and avoid the Krispy Kreme Challenge . The perfect sporting event for all budding Homer Simpsons is held annually in Raleigh, North Carolina and was started in 2004 by the state's university students.
Around 3000 competitors run two miles downhill to the nearest Krispy Kreme bakery where they have to eat a dozen doughnuts each then run the two miles back to the starting line, all within the space of an hour and while keeping the doughnuts down. The record time is around the 37 minute mark. A set of vomit bins greet struggling competitors making it to the finishing line.
The average person burns 600 calories on a four mile jog. Unfortunately a dozen doughnuts contain 2,400 calories and over twice the daily recommended allowance of sugar.
web: The Krispy Kreme Challenge
Strange Games is indebted to Lexiepants for bringing this game to our attention

Wagon Wheel Rolling Championship...even more biscuit fun

Continuing the theme of unusual games involving biscuits there is news of an exciting event in May. The world's first Wagon Wheel Rolling Championships to be held in the Black Horse pub near Slough.
Slough is the birthplace of the famously large, chocolate covered marshmallow biscuit and this event will celebrate its 60th birthday. The competition itself is a bit like a biscuit bagatelle...each competitor has five rolls of their biscuit on a specially constructed course which has five separate scoring areas marked out (two 20's, two 40s and one 60 point area). If the biscuit finishes in a scoring zone then that score is added to the contestants total. The day is afforded even more prestige by having as its compere Keith Chegwin.

you tube video of Keith Chegwin demonstrating his biscuit rolling technique

Biscuit Throwing~more biscuit fun

Staying with the theme of fun with biscuits we have Biscuit Throwing
The one biscuit you should never pick if you enter a dunking competition, the humble Rich Tea, is the very one chosen for its aerodynamic properties in Biscuit Throwing. The World Biscuit Throwing Championships, an irregularly held charity event, were first held at the 2002 Glendale Show, Northumberland. Contestants have three attempts to propel a rich tea the furthest distance (the winning distance was 80m) in the hope of securing the trophy... a varnished Rich Tea.
You can't help but feel the organisers have missed a trick here. If they included the Chocolate Eclair Javelin and Chelsea Bun Shot Put they would have the full complement of field throwing events.

Strange Games with Biscuits: Malteser Blow Football & Competitive Biscuit Dunking

Inspired by the advertisement for the delicious ball shaped chocolates Malteser Blow Football is a great game for football fixated chocoholics everywhere. Make two teams containing two players. One player from each team forms a goal by kneeling down on opposite sides of a small table so that their bottom lips are at table level, they now open their mouths as wide as possible. Their team mates stand on the other side and compete, using straws, to blow a Malteser into the goal. Once a goal is scored a new ball will be required. Continue until full
Amongst biscuit connoisseurs there is often much debate about whether a biscuit should be dunked in a cup of tea and if it should which varieties are able to withstand the process best without disintegrating. There is no authoritative biscuit dunking body but to hold your own competition, each player picks their biscuit of choice and stands by a steaming hot cup of tea. All players now simultaneously repeatedly dunk making sure at least half of the biscuit is submerged each time. Last biscuit to show any damage wins.
The radio station XFM held a World Championship Biscuit Dunking Competition in September 2007 over a 3 week period. The biscuits making the final were the Digestive Caramel, Fig Roll, Caramel Wafer and the eventual winner, the hard case amongst biscuits, The Pink Wafer.