Wall Ball, also called Ball Wall, Butts Up, Suicide, Patball, Off the Wall, Thumb, Red Butt, Ball to the Wall(Some Difference-Edis), One Touch or Wallsies is a type of ball game involving a group which involves the bouncing of a ball against a wall, and may involve throwing the ball or shoes at other players.
It is a popular school yard game, perhaps owing to the simplicity of equipment needed, namely a wall and a ball that bounces, (usually a tennis ball or dodgeball). It is likely that these games are distilled versions of fives, American handball, and other sports that date back to Greek and Roman times, such as expulsim ludere.
Per 2008 Wall Ball Champ Johnny Mac
The game is played with an unlimited amount of players, between two parallel walls. The ball is thrown at the designated wall to start, where afterwards these rules are put into effect.
If the ball hits the ground before being caught, the thrower is safe. If the ball is caught before it touches the ground, then the thrower must run and touch the designated wall before the player who caught the ball can hit the wall with it. If the player throwing the ball misses the wall, that player also must run to the wall before another player hits the wall with the ball. When the ball is thrown too low, the other players must get the ball and throw it at the wall when he threw it low, if the ball hits the wall then he is on the wall, if not, gameplay resumes. If the player touches (but not catches) the ball he must run to the wall. If the player touches the ball after he is running to the wall he is out. When the player is running to the wall, if it is hit, he is out. In some versions, if the player catches the ball, throws it and catches it again, "wallball" is yelled. This signals to the player that they need to give it all they've got and throw the ball to the wall as hard as they can.
When a player is "on the wall" he must throw the ball against the wall. The player who catches the ball is then given the opportunity to throw it at the player on the wall. When this is the case, the following may occur:
"Automatic wall", when a player is put on the wall without having the option to run or get hit, occurs when:
A player can escape being 'on the wall' by performing the "wall-to-wall", where, when on the wall, the player manages to throw the ball off the designated wall, have it bounce off the adjacent wall, and return to the first wall.
Any player who throws the ball above or below set points on the wall must run to the wall, at which point the above mentioned rules are in effect.
All of the above rules apply to "Double Ball" and "Triple Ball", where more than one ball is used. Two to ten balls may be used in this variant.
In one possible rules variation, instead of having to pick up the ball the player has dropped or touched, any other ball may be thrown at him. Holding the ball for an extended amount of time may be ruled to result in the player being sent to the wall immediately.
Tussles are what players have dubbed the "dog piles" that ensue when a player is on the wall. These usually result in hockey-like hipchecks into walls, which leads to players forcing each other into a corner until someone comes out with a ball. Roofing is when a ball is thrown off the wall, and, either by hitting a brick, hitting a player the wrong way, or going too high, is put on the roof, and is unobtainable. When shoeing occurs, the played who "roofed" the ball stands as he would if he was "on the wall", yet instead of a ball being thrown at him, all players throw a shoe at the player. Mercy is another rule, is when a player is about to be hit with the ball so they go on the wall. The player can call mercy and the player throwing the ball will throw the ball lightly.
Aside from the major variations listed below, there are two basic versions of the game:
Although there are sanitized versions, the more popular games have a violent component to them. Again, the rules vary widely, but usually when someone fumbles the ball, (or breaks some other rule of the game), that person must run to the wall and touch it before another player can throw the ball directly at them. In some other variations of the game, a special punishment occurs where a player must run (or even slow walk) the width of the wall while another player tries to hit them with the ball, (at some agreed distance away from the wall).
Because the game can be very violent, schools have been known to ban or attempt to curb the playing of all forms of Wall Ball once the activity is made known to administrators or to parents. Similar actions have been taken against the milder game of Dodge Ball.
In another milder variation of the game, the ball is thrown at the wall instead of the person who fumbled the ball. The game is still often banned at schools, not because of violence, but because of damage to the sides of buildings, windows, etc.
Another optional rule is the yelling of "Wall-Ball" in the event of the ball rolling past all of the players. The person who retrieves the ball after another player yells "Wall-Ball" cannot move any closer to the wall before throwing it. This forces the player who retrieved the ball to hit the wall without it touching the ground. If the player fails to hit the wall without the ball bouncing, it is very easy for the thrower to be put out by the other players. Sometimes they yell "Blueberry", "Butterfly", "Air Mail", or "Spots".
The game is sometimes played with a set player order, similar to a batting lineup in baseball. In this case, the player attempts to throw the ball such that the difficulty of returning the ball is increased for the following player. This introduces an element of strategy in that players must position themselves to defend against the previous player's throw.
Another version combines many of the aforementioned rules but has less structure.
In the town of Mamaroneck, New York, a version is known as Watermelon, in which you have to bounce the "ball" on the floor and then it has to touch the wall. This version strongly resembles American Handball and is called simply "handball" in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also shares the name "wallball" elsewhere. After the ball has bounced against the wall, and in between subsequent bounces on the ground, the next person in line whose turn it is to hit the ball can opt to pass their turn if they can move their body underneath the ball while it is in the air. However, they must shout 'Watermelon!'(in other parts of the country people shout rainbow due to the fact that it looks like a rainbow when the ball goes over you) while doing so or they are penalized with an out. Games are played in 1 or more sets/games.
The following calls are associated with this variation:
In some regions additional turn-passing tricks are added to the game beyond the watermelon/rainbow aspect: players sweeping their hand under the ball ("Banana"), and sweeping their leg over the ball, ("Cookie") and, of course, some fake, rule-breaking moves such as the "Bullet" (slamming the ball into the wall without bouncing).
Burnball. This game originated in the middle schools, and high schools of Miami-Dade and Broward counties in South Florida and is one of the most violent versions. Most often the game would be played among bored school kids before the first bell of school would ring, or during lunch breaks where kids were allowed outside. The game can be played on any handball court, wall, fence, or basketball court, although behind portable classrooms is usually the most common place the game is played in, given it's reclusiveness and lack of supervision from school security guards. The game is played using the same rules as wall ball, with some modifications to the punishments for violations. At the third burn or on a Double Touch violation when the player drops the ball and touches it again, the violator is subject to go to the wall, face the wall, stay still, and get burned. The variations of this punishment varies by school region. In the most vicious cases it's usually a burn from each player similar to a firing squad execution. or in other areas 8 consecutive burns from the player who called the violation, the 8 hits signifying the letters in the word Burnball. Flinching moving or looking back during this process is punishable by restarting the burning from the beginning. Hitting a person's face is also punishable by a burning. The ultimate object of the game is to hit a player or cause a player to get hit. The most common ball used to play is a regular tennis ball, in the more formal games a blue Penn Racquetball is used. The game of "Burnball" was most popularized in Miami-Dade County, Florida becoming a mainstay at Miami Southridge High School respectively played in the gym during lunchtime . The game is noted to be rough, with the added extremities of being hit full-force by deliberately thrown balls, and with the large numbers of fist-fights that have occurred among school kids, all as a result of the game. Although the game is not a mainstay in South Florida schools, "Burnball" has achieved an underground cult-following status among South Florida teenagers.
Another version is called suicide.
Slaughter house, also known as wall ball or 'spread eagle (circa 1990-1995 St. Joseph School, North Bay Ontario), is a 2-or-more-player game that involves speed and quick thinking. This is a list of rules for the game:
NC Ball, also known as wall ball is played with an unlimited amount of players. This game originated out of Asheville, NC hence NC Ball
Another variation, known as fence ball, substitutes the chain-link fence backstop of a schoolyard baseball diamond (typically 3 sections of fence, approximately 15 feet tall) for the wall. The following rule additions apply:
Versions of the game are: Two Way: Playing with two people. Three Way: Playing with three people. Four Way: Playing with four people. Survivor: This is for more than four players. Everyone will stand in a line and who ever is first serves then after hitting, runs back to the end of the line and the next person has to try to hit the ball. It keeps going until someone misses. Last one still in the line wins.
This game originates from the United Kingdom and rather than throwing a ball against a wall, like the North American version of wall ball, the ball is kicked against one wall. Typically played with four players each person calls a position (first, second, third or fourth) and that is their position for remainder of the round. The first player then places the ball a specific distance from the wall and kicks it. Then the second player kicks it against the wall followed by the third and fourth players, after that it returns to the first player. Players are knocked out if the ball does not hit the wall after they kick it, they touch it more than once, let the ball stop for more than one second, touch the ball with their hand, get hit by a ball being kicked by another player intended to hit the wall or if the ball touches the wall twice after one kick (for example, if there was a small slope at the foot of the wall so that it could roll back down and hit the wall). The last person left after each player has been knocked out wins the round and a new round is started with the winner taking the first kick.
There is also another version of wallball played primarily in the Northern Virginia area called wallball, however in certain sittuations can also be called "playing in the well". This version of wallball has similar rules to the other styles with a few different rules. The rules are as follows:
The ball is thrown at the wall by any player to start the game
The next players all try and catch the ball in the air without it bouncing first, If they do this results
in an out for the thrower
Another way to get someone out is if someone tries to catch a ball that was thrown off the wall, but they
drop it, once they drop any other player can grab the ball and throw it at the wall resulting in an out for
the one who dropped the ball.
In the North East, the rules are as followed.
There may be an unlimited number of players, a big wall, and a ball. If you are using a tennis ball, each player gets two outs and if you use a spalding ball, or raquet ball, each player gets 3 outs (because those balls move faster). You start off the game by throwing the ball at the wall. It may bounce on the ground, and if you touch the ball, and do not catch it (hits you, you bobble and drop, or misplay it) you must run to the wall and touch it before another player hits the wall with the ball. Also, you may not field your own ball (your throw). You may not purposely dodge the ball to avoid being hit, unless it is your ball that you are dodging. In the event of an illegal dodge, the player must treat it as if he has misplayed a ball, and run towards the wall, and another player may get him out. If there is interference i.e. a non-participant walks through the playing field, you all freeze where you are, and will resume play when the interference is over. If a player is running toward the wall, when an interference occurs, and another player is fielding a ball to get the player out, the runner will go back to the spot where he touched the ball last, place the ball on the ground, and the thrower will stand where he was in relation to the runner. A neutral player will count down from three and on go, the runner will race toward the wall, and the thrower will race toward the ball and attempt to throw out the runner. In some versions of the game, to make it more difficult, you may instate a rule that limits fielding of the ball to one hand, and when playing under this circumstance, the last two participants must field the ball with their weak hand and throw with their dominant hand. An exception for this rule is that if the thrower is going for the ball so that he may get the runner out, he may field the ball with his dominant hand.
A newer version of Wall Ball which incorporates minor elements of the game mainly in name and in the use of a wall as a main element of gameplay. Created in March 2007 the initial concept involved tossing a foam stress ball down a deep foyer hitting the opposite wall and seeing which player could get their ball closest to the throwing line without going over.
Eventually a scoring system and rules system evolved to allow for more competitive and goal oriented gameplay, because of the scoring system two variations of the game element were devised each of the rules and gameplay are as follows:
A fault occurs when the players foot is over the throwing line when throwing the ball. This results in the player losing the turn in cannot win points that round. When any fault or foul occurs that player loses the turn and the other player essentially is given a free throw to earn the point unless they too fault or foul.
The minimum throwing distance is a line that marks the area in which the ball cannont be thrown a distance less than or else the thrower earns a foul for the turn. This line is set 7 feet from the opposing wall.
Another scoring variation developed as a spoof was the Canadian style which essentially voids all rules and awards a point to whomever gets their ball farthest from the opposing wall after hitting the wall.
Yet another version, California Wall-Ball follows yet another set of rules. The game requires only one wall face, against which players hit the balls. The version usually is played by 2-4 players in teams or individual play styles. The ball when hit is required to hit the ground once first before touching the wall. A number of actions can be the cause for a player, or team to be forced out of the game, and wait for their next turn. As well, the game usually has a boundary line that is determined to form a square or rectangle shape for the game area.
Variation on gameplay for California Wall-Ball can include:
When multiple players are playing independently (without teams), two styles can be enacted:
Ordered Play: the players are given numbers (1-4 or more if applicable) and the players must hit the ball in that order, or else are forced out (if not by one or more of the rules outlined below).
Free-For-All: Players must continue play, but may hit the ball repeatedly. The player that is closest to the ball's destination is responsible for its return to the wall. If the closest player fails to continue play, he or she is forced out. This style still corresponds to the general California Wall-Ball rules below.
Team Play: Even numbers of players are distributed to two teams, which through play, attempt to force the opposing team out. General Rules for California Wall-Ball: 1. The ball must hit the ground once, and only once before hitting the wall. A ball that fails to touch the ground before touching the wall (at which other players must yell "skip") is grounds for the player to be retired to the line to await another game, as is a ball that is hit by a player and hits the ground more than once before hitting the wall ("double"). 2. A ball that ricochets off the wall and lands outside the border of the wall-ball game area results in a forced out for the guilty player ("boundaries"). 3. A ball that hits the very bottom corner, or the corner of the adjacent side walls (if applicable) results in a forced out for the guilty player ("ace").
Any player may pick the ball up off of the ground or catch the ball in the air. If a player catches the ball with two hands, he must run to the wall. If a player has the ball, he must throw it at the wall. IF he hits the wall, he continues gameplay. If he misses the wall, he must run to the wall. If a player gets touched by the ball and it touches the ground before touching the wall, such as trying to catch it and touching it but not catching it and the ball hiitting the ground, then the player must run to the wall. A player with the ball may tag any players within reach of them if they keep one foot in the same spot and pivot the other. If a player is tagged, then they must run to the wall. If at all anyone has to run to the wall, any other player may try to throw the ball at the wall. If the player beats the ball to the wall, he is "safe". If the ball gets there first, then the player is "out" and loses one life. Each player has a set amount of lives. If all of a players lives are out, then the player is "eliminated" and removed from the game. Before the game, all team captains determine a set "death count". If the death count is set at four, then a whole team is out once four of its players have been eliminated. Players are allowed to "Stall" their opponent. This means that if a player has to run to the wall, a player from an opposing team may attempt to block him from the wall to give other players an increased chance to get him out. Anyone can stall anyone who is not in control of the ball.
Penalty's are given under the following circumstances-
Kicking- If a player kicks the ball after dropping it when he has to run to the wall, he automatically loses one life. Illegal Toss- If a player has to run to the wall and the ball is in his hand, the player is only allowed to drop the ball before running. If the player throws the ball up, down, to the left, to the right, forward or behind, then a life is automatically taken. Illegal Stall- If a player attempts to stall a player with the ball, he automatically loses one life. Unsportsmanlike Conduct- If a player is deemed as to be using unsportsmanlike conduct, the player automatically loses one life.
Leagues may be formed of teams that are permanently together. Up to 64 teams play against each other in a regular season. After the regular season the top 2 to 16 teams play in a single or double elimination tournament. The winning team is crowned the "Champion".
Wall Downball or Downball Wall is a populer game played in Australian schools which has simaler rules to other versions of Wallball. Wall Downball has no limit to how many players can participate as there are no teams, every player plays for himself. The game begins with a player serving the ball, which requires the server to throw the ball against the wall but making sure it bounces once first. Other players then hit the ball into the using there palm, the ball must once bounce once before hitting the wall and one bounce is allowed (although not required) after the ball rebounds off the wall before another player hits it. There is no order in regards to whose turn it is to hit the ball aslong as a player doens't hit the ball agains the wall twice in a row (unless he is the last man remaining in play).
A foul consists of hitting the ball against the wall on the full, faulting a serve twice or letting the ball bounce more then once either before or after the ball hits the wall. If a foul is made the player must stand against the wall. Once against the wall the player must catch the ball to get off the wall. While on the wall the player must have one hand on the wall at all times. There is no limit to how many players can stand against the wall. If a player hits the wall on the full all players on the wall are "freed" and are allowed to return to normal play. If a player gets hit by the ball while on the wall they are "out" and it is the end of their game. If a player is hit by the ball off a serve it is a fault. The aim of the game is to get all your opponents "out" with the last man remaining being the winner. Some game rules allow "sharkies" where in play a player is allowed to hit the ball into another player which means that player who is hit has to stand against the wall. Other rules allow using other parts of the body to hit the ball against the wall instead of the palm of the hand (i.e. foot).
Another populer Australian school game involving a tennis ball or rubber ball and a wall is Chance.