Back in elementary school
, everyone used to play handball
. Nobody really knew what the official rules were so the rules would often change over time. To help decide what these rules were, we had a bunch of colorful terms to describe parts of the game. Whenever a new game started up people would "call" the rules. For example, you might call "old school, catchies, no hardies," or some such. I don't know if these terms are regional or generational, and I've probably forgotten a ton of terms but here goes:
american - An american is a hit that does not bounce before it hits the wall. These were almost always illegal, except in "american handball".
american handball - a style of play in which every hit has to be an "american."
baby - hitting the ball very softly so that the opponent would have to rush forward to hit it before it bounced twice.
catchie - catching the ball and throwing it rather than hitting it on the fly. This was usually not allowed.
hardie - hitting the ball so hard that it lands behind the back line of the court.
interference - interference is a penalty that you can call on your opponent if they get in your way when you are trying to hit the ball. This was always a controversial call, and was sustained or overrulled by the whims of the mob. Popular kids almost never got called for interference and almost always had their interference calls upheld.
lineups - If one person beats everone else in a row, they can call "lineups". Everyone lines up against the wall and the winner picks an order. Then everyone plays a giant game, hitting in that order (As a kid I was told that lineups used to mean in the old days that every one lined up and the winner got to hit them with the ball, but I don't know if this was true).
old school rules - what older kids call their prefered style of play, as opposed to the "lame" rules that younger kids use.
out of bounds - handball courts are squares. Normally a ball that lands outside the square is out of bounds and the person who hit it is out. But if you called "no out of bounds" the ball could land anywhere and still be a legal hit.
poppie - see watermelon.
take over - replaying a game. This happened when there was generally disagreement on whether a person was out or not.
watermelon - a ball that lands right at the spot where the wall meets the ground. This makes a very noticable popping sound. Sometimes called a poppie.