Uniquely NYC
Stoopball Games
Stoopball is a game loosely based around baseball. It originated in Brooklyn and other inner cities. "Stoop" in Dutch means steps or front steps. New York's first European settlers were the Dutch. The term is a remnant of New York's Dutch origins. Stoopball reached its peak popularity after the World War II, when children played the game on the steps in front of residential buildings.
Stoopball is played by throwing a ball against a stoop (a small staircase or a porch in front of a building). In its simplest form, stoopball is played by one or more players, who stand about 10-15 feet from the stoop and throw the ball at it. When the ball returns, you have to catch it on one bounce worth 5 points or on a fly worth 10 points. The most certain way to win the game is to catch a few pointers worth 100 points each. A pointer is a ball that hits the edge of the step. It retains most of its original force and shoots back like a bullet or flies over your head. If you catch one on a fly, you get 100 points. The winning score is usually 1,000 points, but it can be any arbitrary total agreed upon.
Another scoring system was based on baseball. If the ball bounced once, it was a single; twice, it was a double, and so on. The players kept the base positions and scores in their heads. The fielders had to catch the ball on the fly to record an out. Timeout was called for passing cars. Rules differed by neighborhoods.
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