Recently, gaming blog Kotaku had an interesting set of instructions to allow you to adapt videogame classics to be played in the playground. It reminded me of a game we used to play in the playground at my primary, Scott Lower School.
In the playground there were these three large concrete slabs stuck in the playground. They were flat on one side, probably with painted circles and targets for throwing balls at. The other side had a sloped section at 45 degrees, which stuck out about two feet from the bottom. They were known as “The Slabs”, and from what I can see, they’re not there any more.
In the gender-polarized world of the 5-year-old, girls would play on one side of the slabs, and boys on the other, although there may have been some crossover. I doubt it involved me if there was. The girls used to do handstands against the side with the sloped part, and the boys would play something altogether more … sinister.
To the tune of When The Saints Go Marching In they would sing “When the Ducks Go Marching In”, and walk past the slab in a row. A lone kid with a tennis ball or a small toy ball would would throw the ball at the row of kids. If a kid was hit, they would be out, and they would stand with the thrower. If they weren’t hit, they would run around the slab and back for another pass.
Eventually, one person was running past the slab, as a group of children cheered them on and sang, while the thrower desperately tried to hit them with the tennis ball.
I think the ducks thing was referring to those old carnival games where you fired pellets to knock metal ducks over, as simulated in the video arcade classic, Carnival. Hence the Kotaku link.
OK, not so sinister. Anyway, it was either that or Kiss Chase (yuck!) or worse, Knicker Chase! Double yuck! (At least until eight or nine years later…)