Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Sport Called Marbles

Ever played a game of pig’s eye marbles? Oh, yes, there was such a game. I heard it from an expert. The usual ten foot circle-in-the-sand wasn’t the only marble game in town, not at all.

When there was a one-on-one challenge, these Pilot Mountain Schoolhouse children preferred the “pig’s eye” version of the game. It sounded simple when I first heard the rules, but then I realized there was more to this version of marbles than met the eye.

Whoever threw out the challenge, drew the pig’s eye.

Size didn’t matter.

Shape didn’t matter.

This was a game of strategy.

Each player put five marbles in the pig’s eye. Then they both stood about ten feet away and rolled another marble toward the eye. The player whose marble stopped closer to the eye without going in won the honors of shooting first, but the first shot had to be from that same spot.

The object was to knock a marble out of the eye with a shooter, a larger marble. When a player accomplished that, he could put the marble he captured into his drawstring bag. For keeps. And it was still his turn.

The catch was he had to shoot from the spot where the last marble stopped rolling when it came out of the eye. Power and thumb muscle didn’t always triumph when that marble went rolling merrily too far along its way.

Just curious, how many other ways can a child play marbles?

Catch of the day,


1 comment:

  1. Oh, how my Dad loved to play marbles. Even as an adult! He tried desperately to teach me and my sisters, but we never really caught on to the game.

    Wonderful memories. Thanks.

    Jean Hall

    BTW - I read your interview on Write2Ignite! Thanks.