Lovely weather for it; the childhood football games we want to go play right now
With Ireland basking in glorious sunshine, we've gotten a little nostalgic here in JOE and are reminiscing about a more innocent time when we played football from dawn to dusk.
There's nothing like warm sunshine to make us feel all fuzzy and warm on the inside as well as the outside. We hark back to a time of long summer days and football games with your friends in the great outdoors. Here are some games that need resurrecting for the kids (of whatever age) today.
Heads and Volleys
All you needed was a goal, a keeper and at least two outfield players. The goal, of course, could be two jumpers on the grass, two trees, a garage door, a gate or a wall with a crudely drawn outline of a goal on it. The rules were simple. You can only score with volleyed shots or headed goals. None of this kicking from the ground malarkey.
No, you had to display technique and timing here. One of your pals chips the ball to you and you unleash a volley towards the goal. If you score, it counts, if you miss, you get in goal. Nobody wanted to get in goal as you were in the line of fire and in danger of being disembowelled by a ball travelling at ferocious speed. Therefore a lot of care was taken with the volley resulting in a lot of goals being scored from one yard out, much to the chagrin of the keeper.
Three and You're In
This classic was another favourite of the masses. Again, you would need a goal, a keeper and at least two outfield players. It was the football equivalent of one-on-one in basketball. The keeper kicks the ball out and the two, or more, outfield players would try to win the ball and score. First person to score three goals could then take over in goal. This was a very welcome prize as invariably, you would be absolutely shattered after an energy sapping 3-2 win over your brother!
World Cup Knockout
This was an extension of the Three and You're In game. For this you need a goal, a keeper and as many outfield players as you wanted. Everyone picks a team to call themselves. Everyone wanted to be Brazil. Except that weird kid who wanted to be Austria or something. The keeper would kick the ball out and the hordes of outfield players would scrap for it with the aim of scoring and securing their place in the next round.
If you scored, you took your place behind the goal waiting for the others to qualify. The person who didn't score was eliminated each round. If there were a lot of players, the game could go on for hours. It keeps going until there are just two players remaining and the first one to score became the Knockout champion, thus earning hero-like status. Or a wedgie.
This was a game which required technique and control to excel. Normally played on concrete in car parking spaces, the lines were your boundaries. Each player inhabited a 'square' whereby the ball could only bounce once before you had to keep it from hitting the ground again and sending it into another 'square' a bit like tennis. But the squares were never square so the game should have been called parallelograms, but it was harder for kids to pronounce.
Everyone had three lives. If you messed up and lost control of the ball before sending it out of your 'square', you would lose a life. The last person standing was crowned the winner. It could prove to be very contentious, much like tennis before the Hawkeye system was brought in. Lots of 'that was in!' or 'that was out!' John McEnroe would have been shocked at some of the language used.
We're sure there are other football games you played that we didn't so do send them our way and we might do a follow-up piece on them, if the weather stays good of course.