HOW TO PLAY MARBLES
The How-To Cowboy Secret, Magic How-To Fun Tricks
1. The first thing is to choose a good shooter, between 1/2 and 3/4" Make sure its not made of metal (they chip and break other marbles).
2. Next, learn how to hold your shooter. Stick your hand out flat, palm up and place the marble in the first joint of your index finger. Curl your finger around it, cock your thumb behind the marble while curling the remaining fingers into the palm of your hand. Place your hand knuckles down on the ring, flick your thumb forward and push the marble out and across the ring. Keep your hand still and at least one knuckle on the ground. (Hand movement is not allowed.)
Some people find if they shoot slightly downward the marble will back spin and stop when it hits the target. Look for angles, so if you miss the first marble you will likely hit another farther away.
3. The most common body position is kneeling with legs apart and body forward, the non-shooting hand to one side with palm flat on the ground for stability. Some find that keeping the elbow tucked in gives them a straight shot.
4. For sandlot court games, the players must find a smooth plot of ground free of bumps and ridges; hard-packed clay is best. The ring, lines or squares are simply drawn into the surface and play may begin.
5. Rules of the games: The first thing to determine is whether you are playing for funsies or keepsies. Funsies are played with no risk as all marbles are returned to their owners at the end of the games. In playing for keepsies, you are risking your marbles and sometimes your shooter as well. It is best to know in advance who you are playing against so you dont lose all your marbles.
Games You Can Play
Increase the Kitty: Two circles are drawn in the dirt, an 8-inch inner circle called the kitty and an 11-inch outer circle called the rail. Each player puts one or more marbles in the kitty.
- The first player shoots from any point on the rail, winning any marbles knocked out of the kitty.The shooting player returns to the rail and shoots until missing.
- If a player fails to capture even one marble and the shooter is between the kitty and the rail, it remains where it stopped. If the shooter stops inside the kitty, the player can replace it with a common marble. In turn, each player may shoot at the kitty or the other players shooter.
- If your shooter is hit, you must pay one marble to the kitty and give all marbles won in that round to the player who hit your shooter.
RING TAW: As in kitty, two circles are drawn on the ground. The inner circle is 1 foot and the second 7 feet. Each player places an agreed upon number of marbles in the center ring and take turns shooting at the marbles from the edge of the outer ring. Each turn continues until a players shooter is knocked outside the outer ring. When no marbles are knocked out, it is the next players turn.
- If a players shooter remains in the ring after an unsuccessful shot, it becomes a target for the other players.
- If a shooter is hit, the owner must pay the hitter one marble.
- Play continues until the center ring is cleared.
The winner of this months Ranch Hand Challenge is Jack Hahn, the famed Marble Man of Woodbridge, Virginia. For more info, order the 30-page book below from The Marble Man, Box 4302, Woodbridge, VA 22194 (Send $3, includes S+H). And, by all means, check out
The How-To Ranch Hand Challenge: Send a unique How-To trick to IM Press, Box 5346, Takoma Park, MD 20913 with step-by-step instructions and, if accepted, you will see your trick published in this space and receive a LITTLE NED STORIES book and a $10 check. Visit The How-To Cowboy, aka Edward Allan Faine at his website: http://www.takoma.com/ned/home.htm
Saturday, October 12
Join a tree frog and his friend Wendy Whitten singer, storyteller and scientist for an energetic, interactive show about the Earth and universe. 11am & 2pm @ Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons. Free: 410/326-2042.
Bump in the Night
4th-6th graders can come out to learn about and celebrate traditions associated with All Hallows Eve,including legendary creatures. Hear ghost stories and get crafty. 1pm @ William Paca House, Annapolis. $8/ kid w/parent:
Sunday, October 13
World-famous Jules Feiffer, award-winning cartoonist, discusses his new childrens book, The House Across the Street. Feiffer wants children to enjoy reading as much as he did as a child and to learn as much as he did, as well. Just stay for the reading or ask him to sign a copy. 6pm @ Borders Books, Annapolis. Free: 410/571-0923.
Wednesday, October 16
Scare the Crows
Make your own scarecrow this Halloween. Register by October 11 at your nearest Calvert County Community Center or at Parks and Recreations Main Office. Bring clothes and stockings for making your scarecrow, the county supplies the stuffing. Adults and children welcome. 6pm @ Northeast Community Center. Rsvp: 410/257-2554.