Miscellaneous Games

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A series of Miscellaneous Games from Gilcraft's Book of Games collected by Francis Gidney, Gilcraft.


A 5-yard square is marked out, one player is blindfold and stands feet apart, facing the square; each other player in turn stands back to square and throws his scarf (knotted at the end) between the other player’s legs. When all have thrown the blind player enters the square at any point, and the owners of the first three scarves he treads on, and owners of any scarves thrown outside square, are executed by having to run the gauntlet, being hit on the back by the knotted scarves of the rest.


Players fall-in in fours, holding hands of those on each side. One player chases another in and out of the lines. Each time the leader blows a whistle all players turn right and hold hands with the player now on each side of them, thus changing the lanes for the runs. If the mouse is not caught in a fairly short time a change of runners should be made.


Players blindfold fall in and various simple orders are given, which they carry out. E.g. “Alert, right turn, one pace back, left turn, one pace right, about turn.” Then let them look at the mess they are in.


One player is blindfold, each other player in turn comes up to him and is allotted a certain number of steps (any number between 3 and 9), which must all be taken at once in any direction. When all have gone the blind player feels about till he touches one, who he tries to identify by feel. If he is right they change places and start again, if wrong he goes on till he is right. A player after taking his steps may bend down but may not move his feet.


Players in line, one player about 20 yards away back towards them. Players try to move up to the latter without being seen on the move. The player at the end may not turn till he has counted to himself a number between 20 and 40 since he last turned. Each player if caught moving starts again, if caught three times falls out. First to touch “granny” wins.


A line is marked on the floor, one player stands on it and makes a back, the others leap-frog over him. The place where the shortest jump lands is marked and the “back” moves up to it. All then jump clean over in the same way. Shortest jump is again marked and the “back” moves up to it. All now take one step and over, and so on.


One player has an old dixie lid, the others try to hit him with a ball. The ball must always be thrown from where it drops, but may be passed to another player. If the player is caught full pitch or is hit he at once drops the lid, and his place is taken by the thrower or catcher, who may be thrown at as soon as he has touched the lid.


One player is the deer and goes and “browses” in a wood. The rest try to get within 6 yards of him without being seen. If the deer sees one he calls his name and points, and that player must retire 50 yards. If the deer hears a stalker near him he may stampede, but not more than three times. First player to get within 6 yards becomes deer.


A circle is marked on the ground in which is put an old tin. One player is IT. One of the others kicks the tin out of the circle and all run and hide. As soon as he has put the tin back in the circle runs to catch any of the others, who if caught are put in the circle and may be released by another player kicking the tin out again. No player can be caught when the tin is out of the circle. It is better to have several ITS, or to make one team IT.


A red rag is hung at the foot of the flagstaff in camp. One player is told in secret that he is the thief and is to go to some spot about a mile away; he then knows that within two hours he must steal the rag and take it to the named spot. As soon as one of the others see the rag is stolen they go and try to catch the thief before he gets to his allotted spot.


One player goes and hides, the rest try to find him, and each as he does so hides in the same place alongside him. Game continues till all are in the one spot. Variation of Hide-and-Seek.


The wall is marked across the centre of the ground by two lines about 10 feet apart, one player guards the wall. The rest try to run from one side of the ground to the other, without being touched by the one on the wall. Any touched remain on the wall and assist the guard.


One player is IT and tries to catch the others; any he catches join hand in hand with him, and in that way they both try to catch the rest. So on till all are caught.


One player is IT and tries to catch any one of the rest, but if another player runs between him and his objective he must at once chase the one who ran between, and so on till one is caught, who becomes IT and chases any one other player.


Players in line, one on right starts drawing some simple picture, putting in the strokes in an unusual order, the player on his left looks over his shoulder and copies him, stroke for stroke, and so on down the line. When done all compare with the original.


One player comes blindfold into the room to hunt the whistle, which is quietly tied to his back, whilst his attention is attracted elsewhere. The others creep up and blow the whistle at intervals, thus only confusing the victim.


Two players stand up facing each other in front of the rest and must make a speech to each other as fast as they can on any subject they like. No gestures are allowed. The first player to pause or start laughing loses. If neither break down in two minutes the winner is decided by vote of the rest.


(cf. No. 13) Various pens are marked out on floor, 12 players in lines of 4 holding hands are the shepherds, the rest are the sheep. The shepherds try to catch the sheep or to drive them into a pen. A caught sheep is put into any pen the shepherds like. As soon as there are 4 sheep in a pen they join hands and become another shepherd.


Players divide into three sections of equal numbers: Horses, Riders, and Pigs. The riders sit pick-a-back on the horses and are armed with light bamboos padded at the ends. If they fairly stick a pig it is dead; each pig has a bit of white chalk, and any horse or rider, if chalked by the pigs three times, is dead. The pigs may dodge but may not ward off a spear thrust.


Players in two lines facing each other about 2 feet apart. On signal each player starts to tell the one opposite him exactly what he thinks of him, but as soon as the whistle goes there must be absolute silence.


Players in line ; leader gives the order—”Do as I do, don’t laugh.” Players must then copy his actions as well as possible, any laughing lose a life. Players losing three lives fall out for execution later.


All players except one are blindfold, the one has a bell which he must ring continually as he moves about the room trying to avoid being touched by one of the others.


Each player is given a card on which is an order. As soon as the game starts all try to carry out the orders on their cards. The success of the game depends on the originality, variety, etc., of the orders. Some should be to prevent others being carried out. Variation.—To put the orders in a very simple code