Ball Wall (a.k.a. Suicide or Butts Up)

I renamed this one to “Ball Wall” since I played it so often with young kids whose parents probably didn’t like the sound of the original names of “Suicide” or “Butts Up”. This game will keep kids of any age busy for hours.

Area: anywhere with a wall

Materials: a tennis ball is best, but a ligth and bouncy playground ball is good too.

Number of Players: at least 5. Can have 50 if the wall is big enough.

Object: to not drop the ball when it comes to you and to make it to the wall before the ball if you do drop it.

How To Play: Play begins when the ball is first thrown against the wall. Anyone can try and grab it at anytime, whether it bounces or not when the ball is coming back from the wall. When someone gets the ball it must be a clean catch: that means the ball may not have been touched by them and then fumbled. The person who has caught the ball cleanly then proceeds to throw it against the wall. The ball may not bounce before it gets to the wall or the thrower suffers the consequences (see “Consequences” sectoin below). If a person tries to catch the ball and drops it, or the ball touches someone who didn’t catch it, that person must run to the wall before someone throws the ball to the wall. If the ball beats the “dropper” to the wall, the dropper suffers the consequences. If the dropper beats the ball to the wall, there are no consequences.

Consequences: There are several different ways to suffer the consequences. It depends if you want to eject people from the game or just bean someone with the ball. The group must decide what the consequences are before the game starts. 1) Dropper must stand at the wall offering their backside for the thrower to bean them with the ball (This is the “Butts Up” way of playing). 2) Dropper gets one letter of the words “ball wall”,  “butts up” or “suicide” whichever game you decide to call it. Once a person accumulates all the letters they are out of the game.

Additional Rules and Strategies: 1) No “Brushing”: a “brush” occurs when  person intentionally drops the ball or knocks it out of the way so that they can make it to the wall before anyone else can throw it to the wall first. When a ball is dropped, it must not be intentionally moved in any way by the dropper. Automatic consequences are given to anyone caught “brushing”. 2) “Saves” are OK. If a person gains control of the ball and it is so far away from the wall that they can’t possibly make it to the wall in one throw, they may throw it to another player who wishes to save them. If the “saver” drops the ball, however, the consequences fall on the “saver” unless the throw from the first person was uncatchable. 3) Auto-Consequences occur when a “dropper” is running to the wall and the ball is thrown against the wall and beans him as it travels back from the wall. The dropper doesn’t get a letter or need to stand against the wall to get beaned since they were already beaned. 4) Transfer of Consequences: When a dropper is running to beat the ball to the wall and a thrower throws it, sometimes, the dropper gets beaned. This results in auto-consequences for the dropper but it also turns the thrower into a dropper since he didn’t hit the wall with the ball. Someone else must get the ball and throw it against the wall before this thrower gets to the wall.


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