Human Skipping

You know how very tall people are often rubbish at skipping. Well now they can play long as they don't mind being the rope.

Knife Baseball

If you get tired of the marvellous game of Split the Kipper (taking turns to accurately throw a knife close to the feet of your opponent) then maybe it is time to take up the game of Knife Baseball. This is another silly, probably best not played game where the four bases of a baseball game are simulated using flicks of a pen knife. To play you will need a pen knife that has two different sized blades available at one end. Pull both these blades out but positioned so that the smallest blade is fully extended in line with the handle but the larger one is only half extended at 90 degrees to the small. At the beginning of each strike the knife is inserted into the playing surface (a wooden plank makes an ideal playing environment) using the large blade. Players then put a finger under neath the handle and by using a flicking motion flip the knife through the air. How it lands determines which base that 'hit' gets to. To get a home run you need it to land so that the small blade only is in the wood. A three base'hit' is signified by both small and large blades in the wood, second base by the knife supporting itself on the large blade only and only a single base is achieved for both the large blade and the handle touching the wood. Any other throw is considered to be a strike out and gains no points.

repost: Slap Heads

To celebrate Strange Games the Book being published (a book that has been described by Jenny Murray on Woman's Hour as, 'Not only the dog's bollocks but quite possibly the cat's bollocks of humor related christmas gift books) we repost one of our favourite games: Slap Heads.

For two players at a time, one stands facing the other. The slapping player stands with their hands held out in front of themselves at chest height and about shoulder width apart. The other player then has to bob their head vertically downwards between these two hands without receiving a slap on the head. The slapping player can not attempt a slap until the head bobbing player initiates their bobbing movement and if the bobber is successful then players change roles and the game continues.Simple....a game that requires little athletic ability, lack of intelligence and a thick skull.

Spandex Pants

The Strange Games competition is now closed..thank you to all who entered. Some excellent games were submitted, ranging from well loved violent childhood games to a bizarre game involving a shuttlecock, a glass of water and a blindfold!. After much discussion and copious amounts of vintage port I can now reveal the second place game: Spandex Pants.
It is a consensual, multi-person, multi-location, long running game of hide and seek that hides objects rather than people. It was sent in by Jade.
In her own words, "
My boyfriend and his friends have played this game for around 9 years so it's well established here. We call it Spandex Pants because that was the first item to be used in the game. It's a game of hide and seek using a random object. Objects used have been the famous spandex pants, a Tellytubby plush toy, Tiffany Greatest Hits get the idea. Such items have been discovered in birthday presents, suitcases, hanging on car side mirrors, hidden in clothes drawers.... There can be any number of players and the object of the game is to take an item (in the first case, the spandex exercise pants they found so amusing!) and pass it to each of the players houses/cars/personal being without the receiving player realising they now have it. When the receiving player finds the item they then become the carrier or owner of the item and they then have to pass it back without the new recipient knowing, and so on. The idea being that no one knows who has the item until it is found making this a game of wits and deception. There is only one rule. If the item is found by the recipient before the players part from each other then the carrier has to take it back and try again to pass it on."
Think of the horror you would have if you found a copy of Tiffany's Greatest Hits in your sock drawer....think of the pleasure in getting it back.


When I was at school violent playground games such as British Bulldog, Jimmy Knacker and the still popular Slapsies were the order of the day, and despite the best efforts of the health and safety, cotton wool cladding, Daily Mail reading, nanny stating, fun killing, idiotic moral majority the odd one or two are still being played today. Strange Games reader Cynthia Curtainpole (possibly not her real name) sent in the delightfully brutal playground game of Crabs.

For 2 players, each holds out their hands and grasps the other's as in the photo with their finger nails held against the insides of the other person's fingers. Now both players squeeze as hard as possible (in a 'crab' like fashion) which forces their nails to dig into their opponent's fingers while all the time their opponent's nails are digging into theirs. The game is to see who can stand the pain and last the longest.
This is a game best suited for players with long (even better, sharp) fingernails. This is a game for tough people. This is a game for girls!
If you play a similar unusual game that the world needs to know about then e-mail me ( and if you do so before 13th November then you will be entered into the competition to win a signed copy of Strange Games the book. See here for details.

New Finger Jousting Video

One of Strange Games favourite games, Finger Jousting has been well covered here many times but a newly posted You Tube video shows a marvellously acomplished and well balanced UK bout.
Note how they are using a scoring system of 3 for head, 2 for chest/neck, 2 for the back and 1 for the legs. Also note the superb jousting stances and high quality play all round by these fine sportsmen.

One of the jousters, a man by the name of
Richard Gottfried has a few other strange game claims to fame in that he is a key player on the UK mini-golf scene, enters many championships and writes a superb blog (The Ham and Eggers Files) on the game. He has also appeared on the quiz show Eggheads as part of a mini-golf team -the Nutters with Putters.

Straitjacket Softball

Straitjacket Softball is another game of genius from the fertile mind of Tom Russotti. Tom is the founder of Aesthletics a movement whose aim is to combine art and sport. In his own words, "Aesthletics aims to unleash the great opportunities inherent in competitive contests for social rather than monetary capital." He has also created some mad games of which Straitjacket Softball is one of the best. Tom created the game for the 2007 Conflux Festival. Visit Aesthletics and watch a StraitJacket Softball video here.

Play as normal softball except the bases are represented by the members of the fielding team wearing straitjackets. And they are not fixed in position but can move inside a set circular zone, so when a batting player hits the ball and starts to run to first base they find that the straitjacketed base runs away from them causing much confusion and giving the fielding team extra time to gather the ball and stump the running player out. Exercise, art and fun for both the sane and insane...what more could you want from a game