Also known variously as wallball, punchball
and "Ow, not that game again!", this game has been around in various incarnations as long as there have been walls, balls, and kids. There are a few basic rules world wide - one person throws, and the next in line catches. Don't drop the ball; if you do drop the ball, run for the wall; and if you get hit, get over it.
Those basics laid down, the following seems to be a pretty common set of rules in the United States:
- Each throw must be done with the hand that caught the ball, or the catcher becomes a runner (defined below).
- The ball must be thrown from the minimum distance line (15') or wherever the ball was caught - whichever is farther. If a player has to chase a missed catch, he has to throw from the final retrieval point.
- The ball must be thrown in such a way that it strikes the vertical surface of the wall before striking the ground. Corner shots are allowed, and can cause difficult returns, so are attempted often - but be warned, it's easy for an attempted corner shot to become a ground ball!
- If a thrower fails to strike the wall first (ground ball), they become a runner (defined below).
- Other players may not interfere with the catch itself, nor may they touch a ball before the designated catcher does, but if a catcher in the process of "bobbling" the ball (ie, they've touched it, but are not in complete control of it yet), it can be snagged out of the air by another player.
- If a catcher misses the ball entirely, he has to go after it, and throw it from the retrieval point.
- If a catcher touches the ball, but fails to control it (drops it, or another player snags it), they become a runner.
- Runners must touch the wall before being tagged with the ball by another player (alternatively, peggers may have to tag the wall instead of the runner).
- Any player may attempt to get the ball to throw at a runner, but if they fail to control the ball, or miss the throw at the runner, they become a runner, too.
- Any runner who gets tagged gains a point.
- The first player to the agreed upon point count (usually one or three points) "goes to the wall."
- When a player is "at the wall," either just the pegger, or in more cutthroat games, each other player has one to three attempts to strike them with the ball as hard as they want - but if they fail to hit the target, they gain a "pussy point" or "wuss point." It is possible for multiple players to end up at the wall in sequence due to "pussy points," but if that is the case, the current person must still finish his round at the wall before the next person takes their place at the wall.
- Additional penalty points can be assigned for hitting out-of-bounds areas, or throwing the ball on the roof.
- The game continues until everyone is too tired to play, or recess (or cigarette break) is over.