No matter who you are, you can empower the world around you.
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 their 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.
Official Ringer tournament rules also include the following:
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.