My interest in street games, both traditional and new, continues unabated. I suppose because of their informality, because they invite play – open to everyone –  and because they are so elegantly designed (easy to understand, clear rules, clear boundaries, easy to adapt).

Recently, a friend of mine shared the following.

“The Dutch championship of a classic street game called ‘Stoepranden’ (roughly translated as ‘sidewalktouch’),” writes  Ianus Keller (I met Ianus when he and my son were both students at Delft University of Technology. I was significantly impressed by his genius. We have stayed in touch since) “where two people stand opposite of a street and throw a ball to the side of the sidewalk of your opponent. If it bounces you can walk forward and catch the ball until you reach the other side.

“The kicker: the game has faded away because of the advent of more cars, so the organizers thought that older people would be in advantage. The winner was a surprise: 13-year old Iselene Visser.”


  1. Sylvan on May 16, 2012 at 10:15 am

    stop diggin’ up my childhood already

  2. Bernie DeKoven on May 16, 2012 at 11:16 am

    comments from Thys van der Veer:

    I played stoepranden in Amsterdam in those times when cars were scarce.

    For us the the game was about having the ball touch the rim in one throw, and it bouncing back.
    … catching it in its return flight might have been part of it …

    It was all about the number of hits the ball performed against the rim, and bouncing back in the direction of the thrower, as far as i recollect.

    Endless throwing, always a second chance after having hit the rim, no catching of the ball required.

    The bouncing back was of course the awe.

    See the ball tun its direction towards the thrower is the amazing experience. :-)

    If the ball did not bounce back in the direction of the thrower, the person at the other side got a chance.

    for throwing the ball. endless until tiredness. the person with the most hits being the winner.

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