Kerbsies is a game that was (and possibly still is, somewhere) played on the roads of England.

Assuming you didn't live on a busy main street, you could play it armed with only another friend and a football (the round one used for soccer, natch).

You and your buddy stood on opposite sides of the road. (Preferably on a section with a barrier behind yourselves, and well away from the bigger boys).

This was a game of skill, which went on as long as you wanted.

You held the ball as you would for a throw in in soccer (that's above and behind your head) and throw it to the other side of the road. The idea was to hit the kerb (curb for you Americans) at the perfect angle so that it bounced back into your ams.

If the ball bounced back and you caught it, you scored a point and played again. Else your opponent took their turn. There was no generally accepted target to reach, so you either estimated a nice round total according to your boredom threshold, or just saw who had the highest score at the time one of you had to go home for your dinner.

After a run of points you tended to get cocky and over-throw, either bouncing the ball humiliatingly to your friend, or skimming it past their feet. (This is where the hedge/wall/car hopefully behind them came in handy - it saved constantly running for the ball).

On the other hand, if you were being thrashed, you tended to take way too long to aim, and throw a pathetic girlie shot.

Although primarily dependant on your natural throwing skill, the logic of pub pool came into effect: it is better to not take too long over your throw and just go for it.

Kerbsies was typically the game you would play when everyone else had gone home after a park football match but you still fancied a bit of ball-bouncing fun.

It followed the tradition of game names in (at least my part of) England: that is take the main feature of the game, or action, and add -sies onto the end. (See 'rapsies' which was the punishment dealt out to your knuckles with a deck of cards, etc).

Kerbsies seems to have disappeared in the last few years, probably as a direct result of games consoles and recreational drugs. Shame.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.