The game is traditionally a drinking game in which a player who fouls must take a drink. In non-drinking forms the fouling player is simply embarrassed. Either way the fouling player starts the next round. The game can also be a children's or adolescent's game where a break in the conversation eliminates the player. The games can have as few commands as the basic "Zoom", "Schwartz" and "Profigliano", but some variations have as many as fifteen commands.
Some variants include motions which must be made along with calling the command. Some variants describe the game in terms of a highly stylized conversation between participants. Some variants describe in terms of the players passing around an imaginary ball of energy. This game is also used as an improvisation game, in which the object is to get the 'ball of energy' moving around the circle as fast as possible. it is very effective in getting one's mind used to split-second decisions and quick changes in direction.
Zoom Schwartz Profigliano is typically passed by oral tradition and varies from group to group. Below are different variants of the game:
These rules were observed among the Ultimate frisbee team at the University of Chicago, starting in 2004. Two variations from other rules are essential.
First, for a player to be introduced to the game, they must learn the game by playing it, not having been told the rules in advance, similar to the game Mao. Typically, veteran players will restrict their calls to the first three until the novice gets into the swing of things.
Secondly, at the beginning of each round, the starting player must recite, "Has anyone and everyone ever played a game called 'Zoom Schwartz Profigliano'? Zoom." This first zoom initiates the game. If at any point during the recitation the player stops, pauses, or misspeaks, they must drink. Because players are not allowed to know the rules in advance, in order to avoid alcohol poisoning, the starting position passes in a clockwise fashion.
The calls are as follows:
Zoom - Passes the call to the person the caller looks at. Pointing at someone else is a perfectly acceptable move, while looking at the intended receiver.
Schwartz - A pass-back, the receiver must be looked at.
Profigliano - A no-look pass-back, the caller may look at anyone but the one who originally sent it.
Buderman - Passes to the right, no look is necessary, and can be responded to with either a schwartz or a profigliano.
Coleman - Passes to the left, same as buderman, a popular mnemonic for the two is budeRman Right, coLeman Left.
Smith - The final call, smith is a delay. Smith can be used multiple times in a row. The most effective strategy with smith is to call smith multiple times and then profigliano, hoping that the players will have forgotten who originally sent it.
Figliano: These rules were observed in Ventura, California, in 1971. They are fundamentally different in executive, strategic and tactical decisionmaking from "Profigliano". Figliano is a pre-1971 thinking game version of a drinking game, where the primary goal is the equalization of inebriation and mental impairment among the players. Unlike other versions where a player making a mistake takes a drink (resulting in a bad player becoming drunk), this early version denies a drink by a mistaking player and rewards a drink for all of the other players. Over time, skill equalizes with good players (who drink) making mistakes (from drinking too much) who then stop drinking while other win and "catch up" their inebriation, and everyone has an enjoyable time without uneven excess.
General Overview Figliano is a drinking game and requires at least four players with six-eight being the optimum. Play begins with one player holding an imaginary "zork" who passes it to another who passes it to another player by looking at another player while stating one of six words thereby passing the zork to the person defined by the word chosen. The zork is thereby passed to the person looked at or another player through whom it was previously richocheed off in the prior pass, depending upon the word used. Success (being able to have a drink (sip of beer, wine, or spirits at the end of the round) occurs when a passer has made an error by failing to use a correct passage word while looking at a correct player (and not an incorrect player) without an unreasonably long delay. Failure is mitigated by the appreciation of the other players being able to have a drink and, because the losing player has the zork and thus controls when the next round will start, has power over the conversation in between rounds. Surprise often results in a mistake being made on the first pass. During play, only passage words are allowed to be spoken, resulting in a game of intense concentration followed by a drink and conversation which is interrupted by the start of the next round. The game continues until the players stop playing. Over time, error-free players drink more (and therefore begin to make mistakes) while error-prone players drink less (and thereby make fewer mistakes over time), equalizing the skill and drinking of everyone. Besides being the earliest known version on record, the game has balance between the word spoken, the person looked at, the passage effect, the rise and fall of skill levels, and the symmetry potential inherent in the different passage words.  Passage Words and Looks There are six passage words used one at a time while looking at an appropriate person and the passage of the zork to the person looked at or the person off whom the zork was richoched in the previous pass. The words, who is to be looked at, and to whom the zork is passed are: INSERT CHART HERE (When grapic created)
Search and replace case and quotes 1. Zoom Look at any person (other than one passing the zork to him) Passes the zork to the person looked at 2. Schwartz Look at the person who passed the zork to him on the previous pass Returns the zork back to the person passing it to you on the prior pass 3. Figliano Look at any person (other than the person passing the zork to you) which sets up that person for a potential Mooz on the next pass Returns the zork to the person passing it to you on the prior pass 4. Mooz Look at the person who passed the zork to him on the previous pass via Figliano Passes the zork to the person looked at during the prior Figliano 5. Toad Look at the person who passed the zork to him on the previous pass via Mooz Returns the zork to the person passing it to you on the prior pass using a Mooz 6. Zork Any person other than the person starting the round The person starting the round. Accuracy requires that the proper word and proper person (and not an improper person) is being looked at when the passage word is spoken, and the person holding the zork does not need to wait an unreasonable time (usually 1-2 seconds in practice) to establish eye contact with an available player to pass the zork to. Techniques to stimulate a mistake by another include using all of the six words instead of only a few, constantly changing who you are looking at (local rules require turning your head to face the person you speak a word to toward the person you are looking straight ahead to make sure of good eye contact during a passage), and varying speed. Passage words work in ascending order; meaning that you can Zoom anytime to a new person, Schwartz anytime to the person who passed it to you, Figliano anytime after a Schwartz, Mooz anytime after a Figliano, Toad anytime after a Mooz, and Zork anytime (unless you started the round). The game lends itself to intimidating a non-active player into speaking a command word by looking at him with expectation of a response when speaking a command word or visualizing an expectation of a response from a non-active player who was looked at in the last pass.  Example play Zoom (1): Play begins with any player (e.g. A) looking at another (e.g. B) and saying "zoom.(1) " Notation could be written as: (A-B 1) where A is the person passing to B using zoom. Mantras are invented to assist in play as inebriation increases, such as "Zoom a stranger". Schwartz (2): Player B now has the zork. He may either zoom another (B-C1) or Schwartz his zoomer (B-A2). B passes the zork back to A by looking at A and saying the word "Schwartz". Mantras include Schwartz Volley (A-B1, B-A2, A-B2 etc.) Figliano (3): Player B could also pass the zork back to A without using Schwartz by using a ricochet move called Figliano. Instead of B looking at A and saying Schwartz (B-A2), B can look at another player (C) and say "Figliano" passing the zork back to A (B-C-A3) (who had passed it to him perviously) and at the same time setting up player C who was looked at during the Figliano, to get moozed on the next play. Montras include Figliano Tri-Burst Volley followed by a Schwartz (A-B1, B-C-A3, A-D-B3, B-E-A3, A-D2). Montra: Keep your head moving! Remember the 3x max limitation rule $(see below). Mooz: Following a Figliano (A-B, B-C-A), the player with the zork (A) could look at the person passing it to him (B) and say Mooz, thereby passing it to the person looked at (C) in the pervious Figliano (A-B-C). The person using Mooz is automatically set up for a Toad on the next pass. Confusion typically occurs in the person having been looked at (C) in the previous Figliano who doesn't realize he has the zork. Montras include "Always Toad Your Moozer" and Mooz-Figliano-Schwartz downgrade. Toad: Following a Mooz, the person receiving the zork (C) can return it by looking at the person Moozing him thereby rochocheting it off him (C) and back to the person Moozing him. Toad: Following a Mooz, Toad passes the zork back to the person who Moozed him. Toad is reverse ricochet of Mooz, passing the zork from C back to A through B. (A-B1,B-C-A3, A-B-C4, C-A-B5.) Montras include: "Always Toad Your Moozer" (confusion is REALLY high here). Zork: At anytime, any player other than A (who started the round) can pass the zork to A by looking at any person and saying "Zork". Zork passes the zork to A who began the round. Errors occur when the person looked at is not A and says anything (like Schwartz). Montras include: "I didn't start this round so ZORK!".  Rules repeated in later versions You can't zoom a zoomer It is a foul to respond to a zoom command with another zoom command aimed back at the previous player. You may follow a zoom with another zoom, but it must be to a third player. You can't say the same command three times in a row (either the group (zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom) or a person (schwartz, schwartz, schwartz, schwartz) You can't take too long to respond (local custom is about 1-3 seconds) Any mistake (like looking at the wrong person, saying the wrong word, taking too long to respond or calling a mistake when it wasn't a mistake, stops the round and everyone but the mistaken player drinks. Conversation replaces the game until the next round which starts unexpectedly by the person having the zork. Eventually, everyone plays on the same level from experts to novices. The game is a good mix of conversation and drinking.  History Figliano was brought to Ventura College in Ventura California in 1971 by Kelly Weaverling, a former Navy submarine sailor who claimed the game was originated by the crew on board. Kelly majored in technical theatre (not an actor) and taught the game to the technical students at Ventura College. One of them was Jerry Crow (the author of this article) who mastered it during the next two years. Jerry brought it with him to the then #1 rated party school in California (San Diego State University) and taught it to co-workers in the Program Department of the Student Union on that campus. From there, it migrated across the United States and beyond. It is assumed that Kelly continued to teach the game as did all of the students from Ventura College Theatre and San Diego State
There are 4 commands: Zoom, Schwartz, Profigliano, and Beterman. Actually, there are any arbitrary 4 commands, specified by the person starting the round... Their order determines their meaning... Without loss of generality, we'll call these commands Zoom, Schwartz, Profigliano, and Beterman. In this example game, the first person would start the game by saying
"The name of the game is Zoom Schwartz Profigliano, Beterman. ZOOM!"
The player starting the round must start by stating the name of the game (Zoom-Schwartz-Profigliano-Beterman in this case) and must start with the first command (Zoom in this case).
The commands do the following things...
There are 3 rules...
Again, W.L.O.G. the name of the game is Zoom, Schwartz, Profigliano, Beterman. Anyone saying Beterman after a Zoom-Schwartz-Profigliano drinks.
That's it... If you screw up, take too long, or call someone out when they did it right... you drink, and get about ten second to revel in laughter of others...
One player is active. The player who is active must, within a slow count of five, give one of the following commands. Failure to give a command is a foul. Giving a command when not active is a foul. If another player passed active status to you using zoom, it is a foul to return the active status to them using zoom (although you can return it with schwartz. There is no prohibition on responding to schwartz with a call of schwartz.)
Misleading head fakes and hand gestures are perfectly legal, and add an extra level of skill and enjoyment to the game. Example: Looking and pointing to the person on your left while saying "Profigliano". If that person responds, it's a foul. If the person to the right fails to respond in time, it's also a foul. Getting two people to foul (and drink) from one command is considered expert play. (The 'Zoom' command is exempt, since it requires looking at the person to identify them as the next player.)
The legal commands are:
1. Zoom: The active player must also clearly make eye contact with another player. (Among the original members in 1971 of the Law Faculty of the University of NSW failure to make clean contact was a "Chinese eye feint" and incurred a penalty) The other player becomes active. It is a foul to respond to a zoom command with another zoom command aimed back at the previous player. You may follow a zoom with another zoom, but it must be to a third player.
2. Profigliano: Sign language signal is touching either bicept with the opposite hand and looking away from the player with whom one is playing. Active status then returns to the other active player
3. Schwartz: Sign language signal is shrugging shoulders and making eye contact with the other active player. Active status returns to the other active player. Two players can pass active status back and forth with schwartz.
4. MacBeth: Sign language is covering the left pectoral muscle with the right hand and sends the active status to the player that originally started the current round.
5. Dyslexia: Sign language is that player must look to the left or right and touch his forehead with the same sided hand. The active status then goes to the person directly to the opposite side of the Dyslexia move.
A popular variation is to limit the number of times a particular command can be repeated in succession to three. The person who repeats the command a fourth time commits a foul.
These were the rules observed at the University of Waterloo in 2006. For information on the Waterloo variant see Rules for Officially Sanctioned Zoom (Waterloo Edition)
A person uses a "Zoomer" which is simply your fingers put together in the shape of a gun. The following commands are used:
Stalls. When a stall is activated by shouting one of the names below, every player jumps back, shouts the phrase, and jumps back in, then the person who is active must make an action.
|Jimmy Dean||Boy! Them are some nice sausages!|
|Worf||I am a Klingon Warrior!|
Note that looking at the person to your right and issuing a Patrick returns the imaginary ball to yourself. This is not considered a foul and can be cleverly employed to confuse others or to cause others to incur a foul. The similar trick can be employed by looking to the person to your left and issuing an Oglethorpe - the ball is returned to you.
The UCSD Variant also employed the Minley No-pointing Variant, however players are free to use their elbows to indicate who incurred a foul.
Popularized at the University of Missouri, “Thompson,” as the game is known there, incorporates the basic structure of “Zoom Schwartz Profigliano,” but the word usage is different, and it uses a number of additional words. Specifically, “it” in Thompson is passed according to the following rules (all directions are from the standpoint of the last person to speak, regardless of why that may be, unless the rule says otherwise, i.e. “X from the Palmeiro”):
Zoom – Person you point at
Boom – Person you look at
Schwartz – Last person to speak
Beitermann – 1 to the Left
Perfigliano – 1 to the Right
Palmeiro – Person to Start the Round
Thompson – Social (play resumes with the person saying “Thompson” as the new Palmeiro)
Palmer – 2 to the Left
Palomino – 2 to the Right
Uncle Toby? – Person pointed at must answer in a long, lurch-like voice, "Yeeeeesssssssss?," play then passed 1 to the Left of the person responding
Bunky Foby? – Person 1 to the Left of the person looked at answers "No," play then goes to the person looked at
Mr. Miyagi – Person pointed at (Mr. Miyagi) has two options:
• Wax On: play passed 1 to Mr. Miyagi’s Right
• Wax Off: play passed 1 to Mr. Miyagi’s Left
• Note: appropriate hand gestures are permitted, but expressly not required.
Art Vandalay – Person pointed at has one of four available responses:
• Import: play passed 2 to the Left
• Export: play passed 2 to the Right
• Yadda: play passed 1 to the Left of person that sent the AV
• Yadda Yadda: play passed 1 to the Right of person that sent the AV
• Note: If a player should errantly say “yadda, yadda, yadda,” he/she must slam his/her beer
Angel – Person looked at responds "blah blah blah" while making a halo over their head. If the halo is done with the right hand, play goes 3 to the Right; if done with the left hand, play goes 3 to the Left
Martha Fauker – Say “Martha;” the Palmeiro (person that started the round) says “Fauker.” Play then passed 2 to the Left of Palmeiro
Gaylord Fauker – Say “Gaylord;” the Palmeiro (person that started the round) says “Fauker.” Play then passed 2 to the Right of Palmeiro
Beer on the Rooftop (“BOTR”) – BOTR deserves special mention as a bit of a “game within a game,” in that a BOTR can go on indefinitely and can really take on a life of itself. Play begins with the person pointed at, then proceeds to his or her left. There are six available responses:
• Chip, Tap, Tip: Each of these must be said once, and only once, for play to advance. They can be said in any order.
• Skip: Play returns to the person pointed at to start the BotR, with the Chip, Tip and Tap resetting, i.e., all three have to be used to move on.
• Flip: Play returns to the person pointed at to start the BotR, although heading in the opposite direction (right on the first “Flip,” alternating thereafter)
• Chirp: Passes play to the left (basically a non-response)
Once Chip, Tap and Tip have been used, play resumes with the person left of the person to say the final word.
Roof on the Beertop – Identical to Beer on the Rooftop, except that play proceeds to the right rather than the left to begin
Special Foul Rules & “Silly Hat Plays”: As in other variations, fouls include speaking out of turn, saying an inappropriate word, or failing to respond within a reasonable amount of time. A short delay is permitted for strategic purposes if, in the judgment of the group, it is apparent that the person who is “it” is aware that he/she is it and could say something (i.e., that the delay is purely to provide an opportunity for -- or to actively encourage -- someone else to foul up). Also, you may not “boom” a “boom,” or “zoom” a “zoom,” i.e., you cannot respond to the person who boomed you with another boom. The normal penalty for a foul is to take a drink, although certain fouls are so brain-bendingly stupid, they have been deemed “Silly Hat Plays,” requiring the fouler to wear a ridiculous hat (or anything that will stay on the head, if an appropriately absurd hat is not available) until someone else makes the same mistake. “Silly Hat Plays” occur when a person starting a round begins it with “Schwartz” or “Palmeiro.” Note that apart from these two instances, it is otherwise entirely appropriate to "tag" yourself; indeed, astute players will often tag themselves for strategic purposes, i.e., the classic "Uncle Toby?, Uncle Toby?, Bunky Foby?" play.
Zoom - The command that starts the game. You must look at the person you are zooming. Control is then transferred to that person. This command keeps control moving around the circle. Therefore, if you receive control from your right, you can only zoom left. If you receive control from your left, you can only zoom right. If you are starting the game, you can zoom left or right.
Zorch - This command returns control back to where it came from. You must look at the person you are zorching. If you receive control from your right, you look right, zorch, and control moves back to the player on your right. If you receive control from your left, you look left, zorch, and control moves back to the player on your left .
Profigliano - A zoom with a head fake. Like a zoom, this command keeps control moving around the circle. If you receive control from your right, you look right, control then flows to the player on your left (out the back of your head so to speak). If you receive control from your left, you look left, control then flows to the player on your right (again, out the back of your head).
Bonk - A Zorch with a head fake. Like a zorch, this command returns control back to where it came from. If you receive control from your right, you look left, bonk, and control returns to the player on your right. If you receive control from your left, you look right, bonk, and control returns to the player on your left.
Based on these four commands, and assuming that you are looking in the direction (right or left) that you are receiving control, there are only four permissible moves:
Note the inherent symmetry embedded in these commands. Of the four commands, two maintain the flow of control, two reverse the direction of flow, two require that you look at the intended receiver, two require that you do not look at the intended receiver.
Reportedly, the brothers of Sigma Phi Chi, though not a particularly bright bunch, ultimately mastered these four commands. It has been speculated that this led to two more commands surfacing circa 1981:
Zap - A Zorch that skips one person.
Talifero - A Zap with a head fake which. This is equivalent to a bonk that skips one person.
This added two more permissible moves:
This version of the game seems to be a direct descendant of the game played in the 1975 by Syracuse lifeguards. See the 'History' tab of this article. Indeed, the simplicity of these rules makes head fakes and other subtle, deceptive moves critical to success in the game. This has led to long and entertaining rallies.
Cheers and Zoom to you.
This game is best played with a lack of Schmidtie tall boys minorly at the ready and The Who cranked to 11.