March 31, 2012

What I Taught My DH This Week...


Not that I've ever played in my life (I know about it because my mom grew up in Brooklyn), but I taught my Department Head about the game Skully today.

Here is all you could want to know about the game via Wikipedia...

Skully: A children's game played on the streets of New York City and other urban areas.

Sketched on the street usually in chalk, a skully board allows a game for 2 to 6 players. A sidewalk is sometimes used, offering greater protection from vehicular traffic; however, the asphalt on a typical city street is smoother and provides better game play than a bumpy cement sidewalk.

Game Play
Players use caps--usually bottle caps, or similar items like checkers, or chair glides--to play. Many players use clay or wax to weigh down their caps for easier gliding. Caps were typically plastic milk bottle caps with clay in the middle of the cap, other times candle wax is melted into them. Some players took extreme pride in their designs, thinking theirs looked or played better than other players. On hands and knees at the starting line, the first player flicks a cap poised between thumb and middle finger, and attempts to land it in the box labeled "1". If successful (the cap cannot touch a line), the player continues by flicking for the next number - and so on, in the sequence: "2", "3", "4" etc., up to "12". If any flick is unsuccessful, the player's turn is forfeit in favor of the next agreed player. When all players have had their turn, the first player resumes by flicking for the square previously missed.

Flicking a piece into a square without touching a line allows the player to immediately take another turn. In addition, if a player strikes another player's cap, he is immediately rewarded with the next box he is going for, allowing him to pick up his cap, walk over to that number, and immediately take an additional turn from there.

A complication in the game involves the space surrounding the square box "13". If, in flicking for any square (including "13"), a player accidentally lands on the area surrounding "13" (the skull), the player remains stuck there until freed by another player's shot. In one variation of the rules, such good behavior is motivated by assigning each area a number of bonus squares which advance the player who frees a stuck player. In other variations, the freeing player gets a number of bonus turns equal to the last number in the number the stuck player had reached before getting stuck.

After the player completes the circuit from "1" to "12" and successfully flicks into the square labeled "13", a circuit of the four trapezoids surrounding the "13" square must be made. The circuit of these must be performed in succession in a single turn, with the player saying "I" in the first, "Am" in the second, "A" in the third, and finally "killer" in the fourth. If all trapezoids are not negotiated in succession in a single turn, the turn is forfeit and the process must start again on the player's next turn by first flicking for the "13" square. If the trapezoids are successfully negotiated, the player is deemed to be a killer.

In another variation of the game, players must complete the circuit of numbers from "1" to "13", then backwards back to "1", before making the attempt to become a killer. This version consequently takes more time to play.

End Of Game Sequence
Once a player becomes a killer, further flicks of the bottle cap can be used to knock another competitor's bottle cap outside the six-foot square. If successful in this, the player knocked outside the square is "killed," i.e., removed from the game. In other common variations of the game, the killer needs to strike a non-killer's cap three times in succession in order to "kill" that player, or another killer's cap only once. In some variations, a non-killer can become a killer by striking the killer's cap (hit-a-killer); additionally, a killer's turn may either end or continue when he "kills" another player, based upon local convention. Also, some variations allow the killer to "walk the lines", the killer will pick up their cap and walk or jump along the lines of the board to get close to another player's cap and shoot from the closest point on the line. Some variations require the new killer to "get out of "town" (the skelly board) to the "killer line" drawn some distance away from the main skelly board. At that point, the killer flicks his top back to the skelly board at which point the killer rules are negotiated by yelling them out, the player saying them first wins: For instance "No hit a killer-be a killer", "three baby taps" or "three blasts", "all boxes are mine", etc which will govern how powerful the killer will be. Some aggressive players would typically "kill" other player's caps by not just flicking but kicking their own cap into opposing players cap's, called booting, and sending it way out of the board, sometimes damaging or losing the cap, adding further insult to the loss.

The last player on the field wins.

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