Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/670

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any time is hit, and must therefore try to hit a fellow, may throw from where he finds the ball on the ground, or from any point between there and the hole. That was our rule, at any rate.

The hole was sometimes replaced by the boys' hats, and the owner of the hat into which the ball was dropped was the next thrower. This was called "hat-ball." A new feature was sometimes introduced. A single miss did not put the player out. For each miss he put a chip or pebble into his hat for a counter, called a "pig." When he had accumulated an agreed number of pigs, he was out.

Retaining all these features except the hats, the game of "rolla-hole" went back to the hole in the ground; but, instead of a single one, there was a row of them—as many as there were players. The ball was rolled along the line of these holes, and would stop in one of them. Thus the thrower was chosen by lot, and not by discrimination; though, of course, this was not always true if the ball-holder was dishonest, and had any desire to discriminate. He was closely watched, and often accused of unfairness. It is ever thus.

I do not recall any other games of this class that we played. The most popular of them was the one called "wibble-wobble" in our school, and "hole-ball" wherever else I have seen it. Hatball and roll-a-hole may be higher forms, the latter seeming to me to be the last of its line.

There is an allied line of games which reached a more interesting development. The simplest form of it that I have seen was called "draw-base" by the boy who brought its traditions to our school. Here for the first time the players were divided into two opposing teams, and bases were introduced. These bases were two, facing each other, and the ball was thrown from one base to the other in the effort to hit one of the opposing players, all of whom were standing on the bases. A player who was hit, unless he caught the ball, was not put out, but became an active recruit in the ranks of his late enemies. When one base was in this way emptied of its players, the game was over. Played with a common ball, this game was voted extremely stupid, and was rarely indulged in. But with snow-balls it formed a large part of the winter's sport. Played with a number of balls, inside a high inclosure, so that the balls would not have to be chased, it might be made quite exciting.

Sometimes the two bases were on opposite sides of the schoolhouse, over which the ball had to be thrown to and fro until caught, before anybody could be hit with it. Whenever it was caught, the two teams changed sides of the school-house, and it was while this exchange was going on that the hitting had to be done. A player could not be hit after he reached "home." As in