Anyone, large or small, athletic or not, boy or girls, old or young, geek or not, can win playing marbles. – Rich Maxwell
Ringer is a marble game you will see played everywhere. Scouts are awarded a badge or pin for learning the game and teaching it to someone. Ringer is played at local and national tournaments.
In the early 1930’s over 3 million boys and girls ages 7 to 14, competed at local tournaments to decide who would go to the National Marbles Tournament. Ringer has been the official game played at the tournament held in Wildwood, New Jersey each year in June, since 1922.
How to play: To begin a round, set out 13 target marbles, in the shape of a cross or plus sign (“+”) in the middle of a circle.
The two players lag there shooter marble across the ring to a line or the edge of the marble yard. The player whose shooter lands closest to the line or edge goes first. Player One takes his first shot from outside the ring, “knuckles down” – at least one knuckle touching the ground flicking their shooter with their thumb. If you knock a target marble out of the ring, and your shooter remains inside the ring, you shoot again from where your shooter lands. If you miss or your shooter goes outside the ring, your turn is over. (If you’re using a hula hoop for a ring, touching the hoop is out-of-bounds.) The first person to knock seven marbles out of the ring, wins.
- Only glass or stone shooters, ½” to ¾” in diameter, are permitted.
- If your shooter goes outside the big ring, your turn is over.
- Your shot doesn’t count if you lift or move your shooter hand forward while you are shooting. These are called a lift and fudging.
- You can only call “slips” (Page 5) once per game.
Organize a marbles tournament. Pictured below are 3-feet square “marble boards”, which I use to practice shooting knuckles down and playing Ringer, at festivals, after-school clubs and during tournaments.
Set up double-elimination brackets, making sure players are paired according to age and level of experience. Or divide the group into experienced and inexperience divisions and challenge players to play one game with everyone in their division.
Keep track of everyone’s score. First place goes to the player with the most wins and/or points. Second place and third place point are also recognized at an award ceremony, complete with prizes, ribbons or big rounds of applause!
As a child we played “marbles”. Players would ante up 3 or 4 marbles, which were placed in the middle of the circle drawn in the dirt. Everyone carried a favorite shooter, a ball bearing, called a “Steele” or a stone marble, called an “Aggie”, which you guarded with your live. We “played for keeps”, which means you take home what you knock out of the circle. This is also where the term, “Lost your marbles” originated.
You can learn to shoot a marble!
Kids before 2nd grade can flick marbles with there index finger or middle finger.
Older kids should learn to Knuckle Down. It can be frustrating, but once you get it you will be unstoppable!
Here’s how we “Knuckle Down”:
Step 1. Make a fist and point your index finger.
Step 2. Tuck your thumb behind your middle finger and lock it tight.
Step 3. Practice flipping your thumb like you are flipping a coin. If you’re having trouble holding your fingers still, hold them in place with your other hand.
Step 4. Tuck your shooter against your thumb nail.
Step 5. Curl your index finger and cradled the shooter in place tightly against your thumb nail.
Now your ready to “knuckles down”.
Step 6. Holding the shooter tightly against your thumb, set your shooter hand knuckles down on the floor.
Step 7. Flip the shooter with your thumb toward the target marble with a POW! Don’t lift or move your hand.
Step 8. To get better aim, shift your body sideways like you are stretching a bow in archery. Eye down your arm like you are getting ready to bowl a strike.
Step 9 Your thumb should be pointing straight at the target after you shoot.
Video below was taken at this years National Marbles Tournament.
Always Playing For Keeps! 🙂
Posted by National Marbles Tournament on Sunday, May 29, 2016
You can do this!