Wednesday, May 03, 2006


This post is about a favorite game of mine that amused me for hours when I was between 6-10 years of age. I liked to play it alone as much as with an opponent. But since then, I have never heard of anyone playing it. What a shame. So I’m going to share it with you. We called the game ‘Seven-Up’.

Now I don’t do sketches or photos here so I’m simply going to describe the moves. But first the equipment. Nothing needed except a smooth shed wall (the ridges in regular house siding will make the game almost impossible) or windowless garage wall, and a 2” or 3” diameter soft bouncy rubber ball. The ground in front of the chosen spot should be level, free from debris, and firm. It could probably be played in a shop or garage as well as long as the ceiling is not too low.

The goal is to complete all the moves in sequence without error. A dropped ball, a flawed move, and back you go to start all over again. And as easy as the game seems, for a youngster it can be difficult.

These are the moves.

Seven-seys: Throw the ball against the wall 7 times and catch it.
Six-seys: Throw the ball against the ball, allow it to come back and bounce on the ground once, then catch it. (6 times)
Five-seys: Bounce the ball on the ground five times and catch it.
Four-seys: Throw the ball against the wall when it comes back, divert it with the palm of your hand, and without catching it, bounce it twice on the ground, then divert it with the palm to bounce off the wall, then catch it. (4 times)
Three-seys: Bounce the ball on the ground once then divert it with the palm of your hand against the wall and when it bounces back catch it. (3 times)
Two-seys: Throw the ball under one leg against the wall and when it bounces back, catch it. (2 times)
One-seys: Throw the ball against the wall, then spin around quickly, and catch it without letting it hit the ground. (once).

I had to write this post because I think this game was precariously close to passing into extinction. So then I have to ask, "Did you ever play this game? What games did you play as a youngster that might also be in danger of extinction?"

And by the way, burning bee’s nests with a flaming rag on a long stick and then running as fast as you can doesn't count (like where are you going to find a flammable rag?).


Anonymous Scotia said...

Hmmm. We had a game called Seven Up in gradeschool, and if I recall correctly, it was very different. It involved putting your head down on your desk and putting your thumb up. Seven people who were "it" would walk around the room and push your thumb down and you had to guess who it was that did it when you lifted your head and opened your eyes. If you guessed right, you got to be "it".

As for games we played as kids outdoors, we invented many different kinds of tag. We had rag tag... which involved the person who was it having to throw a rag tied into a ball at you. If they hit you, you were it. One particularly hot night, we invented bicycle tag... the poor sap on foot was the one that was it, and everyone else got to ride bikes around. The ones on bikes got a breeze, at least. That one required strategy because the the person who was it would have to hide somewhere, like behind a dumpster or around a corner and try to surprise someone as they rode by.

Then there was the game of tag that lasted only one night. It was called whistle tag. Needless to say, the neighbors complained. ;)

11:36 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Scotia, how I chuckled at your game of bicycle tag. My you were a creative lot. I think when the Grandchildren come I'll suggest that one as soon as I've pulled my bike out of mothballs. But I certainly don't want to be 'it' -- catching and tagging one of them would be hopeless.

I've never heard of rag tag before, but it also sounds like good fun.

Thanks for sharing those games. My grandchildren will be impressed next time they come to visit.

11:55 PM  
Anonymous Esther said...

One of the puzzles on Wheel of Fortune recently was "HOPSCOTCH" and it suddenly released a flood of memories of all the times my friends and I played that as a child. That, and jump rope games and hand-clapping games. I do remember your game as well, we called it 7-UP, (like the cola, that has since gone away).

My favorite jump rope game was one my best friend Tammie from New Orleans taught me, (although I think it was really some kind of football cheer, since it had movement to go with each stanza).

Remember, you are also jumping rope while doing this (see below)

"Turn on the radio" (pretend to turn a dial)
" Whatta Ya Hear?" (put hand to ear and bend over)
"Elvis Presley singing a cheer!"
(pretend to strum guitar)
"Ya gotta Banjo Boogie, Uh! Uh!"
(pretend to play banjo, swivel hips)
"Ya gotta Banjo Boogie, Uh! Uh!"
"All around the U-S-A!" (turn in a circle hands out)
"Ya gotta take it from the bottom" (touch toes while jumping rope)
"Take it from the top"
(touch head while jumping rope)
"Take it from the middle"
(touch waist with both hands)
"And watch them DROP!"
(step out of jumprope and then fall backwords in the next person standing in line waiting to jumprope).

Pretty hard to do, but DAMN fun!

12:38 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

I certainly enjoyed that comment, esther. Sounds like great fun but also damn difficult.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous ratty said...

i remember there being a game called 7UP, but i don't remember ever playing it :) i wish i had, it sounds like fun!
i, also, remember hopscotch, remember being addicted to it... one of my favorite games to play was jacks. my mother taught us. i tried to teach my daughter but there just wasn't much interest there. maybe it was because i was trying to compete with Barbie computer games :) my favorite neighborhood game was kick the can, which is kind of a blend of tag and hide-n-seek. especially fun to play at night!
thanks for the memories :)

2:44 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Hi ratty, thanks for stopping by. Oh yes, I remember playing jacks. A great game to play indoors when the weather was foul. And truthfully, there was no other thing in my childhood that gave me such a sense of self-worth/accomplishment than a succcessful scope of those jacks and the catch of the ball. There is value in the game. I hope it comes back into vogue sometime soon.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Ron Odde said...

Thank you for describing the ball game 7-up again. An aunt that we used to play with passed away this week, and while reminiscing, myself and her sister were trying to recall the nature of this game. Thank you for confirming its existance. We played in Buffalo, NY in the early 70's.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Hi Ron, my sympathies to you in the death of your aunt. I must say I was surprised at your comment. My world was very small when I was a kid with travel seldom exceeding a 20 mile radius. So I was so surprised to find that there were kids, like yourself, playing that game in NY. Can't imagine how anyone among my friends had any links to bring a game that far across the country. I know the rules weren't relayed on the radio, and none of us had television. I guess even then the world was smaller than I realized. Glad you commented.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I used to play seven up as a child in Maryland in the early 70s. I loved it and was trying to remember it to teach my daughter. I, too, could spend countless time amusing myself with this game. Only difference is I remember one of the numbers being bouncing agains the wall, clapping, and then catching it!

6:22 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Hi anonymous, you may very well be right. Seems there might be a move that involves clapping, but honestly I can't recall which one it might be. Thanks for popping by, however. If I ever do get a comment or e-mail that clears this up, I will let you know.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello from Nottinghamshire UK
Your world might be even smaller than you thought!
I came upon this site looking for the rhymes we used to use as children (1960- 1970ish)when throwing balls against the wall.
In england we called this game 2-ball because - yes you guessed it - we played with 2 balls. Mostly we played in the school playground because finding a nice flat wall in an estate of terraces was difficult.
We did all the moves you describe and called them exactly the same names - how amazing is that!!
We would throw the first ball then throw the second and catch the rebounding first ball in one swift movement and then throw them one after the other in an unending rhythm. It was superb for developing our fine motor and hand/eye co-ordination skills
But we just thought it was fun!
We used to play a skipping game too.
Cowboy Joe.
You started skipping and recited
Cowboy Joe
From Mexico
Hands up (put your hands in the air)
Stick 'em up (pretend to have 2 guns in your hands pointed at the next person in line)
Drop your guns (touch the floor)
And pick 'em up (stand up again)
And out you go ( leave the rope as the next person ran in - without stopping the rope of course!)
So good to hear we were playing the games children all over the world were playing
Cheryll in the midlands UK

12:31 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Cheryll, so surprised you came to visit and more surprised you played this same game. But between your skipping medleys and actions and the two balls you used to play 7-up with, you were certainly a better coordinated kid than I was. Wish I'd have known you then. We would have had so much fun playing favorite games together.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Moody, B.C. said...

Thanks so much for the 7-up. I played it as a child in the 70's in Ontario, and children out here in B.C. just look at you strange when you suggest throwing a ball against the wall and singing a song and doing some moves. We had a lot of other games we played like that, but for the life of me I cannot remember any of the moves or lyrics. Any other ball game memories out there?

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting the rules to 7-up - it was one of my favorite games, and as a non-athlete, gave me something to do at recess while my more coordinated friends played kick ball and did flips on the bars. I'm excited to teach my daughters how to play, and add the variations for extended play (claps, spins, etc on each successive round). Cheers!
~ Cam Nolin, Loudon NH

3:07 PM  
Blogger Craftybernie said...


I just came across your blog while looking up this game on the net. We played something like this in Ireland when I was a kid in the 70's.

My little girl asked for some juggling balls for Christmas and she just got them out today. When we were practicing it reminded me of the game you mention.

I don't remember the name of it nor the songs we used to sing when we played it. But I'll be off into town tomorrow to get some tennis balls so we can have a go tomorrow after school.

Thanks again for sharing.

Regards & best wishes


11:23 AM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Hi craftybernie, so pleased you popped by. I still am so amazed that this game was popular with so many kids so many years ago. I hope you and your little girl enjoy the game as much as we did.

I didn't know there were songs involved so I can't help you with that unless we just make some up.

12:47 AM  
Blogger Freckles said...

Thank you for this memory. I played it faithfully as a child, but for the life of me could not remember it to show my daughter. So here is to carrying on traditions and keeping the old games alive. You have no idea how long I've been searching for the details of this game. I'm so glad you posted it! Thanks again!

5:31 PM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Hi Freckles. I really cannot believe how much interest this post stimulated. I'm very pleased that you will 'carry on the tradition' so future generations will play this game. Thanks for letting me know how important it was to you...and you are totally welcome for the memory.

2:10 AM  
Blogger Peggy said...

I came across your blog when I googled the game "seven up" with a few extra words describing how it was played. The game popped into my head tonight when my kids were outside playing with another family who was doing double-dutch jumprope. (BTW, I can still do it at 41, even the jumping in part!) I amused myself for hours in Omaha, Nebraska, playing Seven Up with my friends or by myself against the garage door. I could remember all the moves from 7 to 4, but thanks so much for clearing up my memory on the last 3, as well as how to make each round harder. Another fun "lost" game is Chinese jumprope. You can still get them on, along with books showing the jumps. Thanks for helping me along my trip down memory lane. I can't wait to teach my kids how to play Seven Up.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Hi Peggy. Glad I was able to help. This was indeed a fun game and I enjoyed it so much because I could play it after school even if I was spending the afternoon alone. Skipping was great fun too, but I'm not so daring as you. I quit that a few years ago. Thanks for commenting. I hope you'll stop by occasionally.

2:25 AM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

I specifically looked for this game 7up that I loved playing as a child. I have an eight year old and for the life of me,could not remember all the throws. I hope she will like the game as much as I did. Thank you for remembering and sharing!

6:58 AM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Hi elaine, thanks for the visit. I'm truly glad I posted this knowing that your daughter might find a lot of joy in playing the game.

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Therese said...

What at great trip down memory lane. I remember playing 7UP in Maryland in my girlfriend's driveway against a brick wall. I remember the beginning & end but not the in between. I remember at the end when you bounced the ball again the wall you turned around while clapping your hands 7 times before catching the ball.

We also played TV Freeze Tag whereby you had to squat & name a TV show before you were tagged. Also playing hide & go seek with kids coming back to base & everyone forming a link holding hands which we called "the lighting rod" to help other players get back safely before being tagged.

I remember playing jax (loved that game) & skipping rope with a group of girls on the playground. Two rhymes that I remember were:

Vote vote vote for dear (name of person- she enters the skip rope)
In came (name of 2nd person) at the door
She's the only one that's having lots of fun
So we don't need (name of 1st person) any more
Shut the door (1st person exits & 2nd person) enters in the skip rope & the rhyme starts all over.

Not last night but the night before
A pickle & an onion came knocking at my door.
I ran downstairs to let them in
They hit me over the head with a rolling pin
Ran out the back door (leave the rope & run around to the front)
Came in the front door (enter into the skip rope again)
And this is what they said to me
Teddy Bear Teddy Tear
Touch the Ground (squat down and touch the ground while jump roping)
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear turn around
don't remember the rest but what I do remember was great!!!!

Thanks for this site.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Roberta..thanks so much for this! I've been searching for this because one of my memories from childhood is playing this game with a friend of mine who visited her grandmother, who lived across the street from me, in the early 60's. She lived in Maryland. I could remember some of the moves but not all. Like "anonymous," I remember a clapping movement, too. I don't know exactly where it was. I wish I could get in touch with my friend who taught it to me but she's long lost. Thank you, again.


4:11 PM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Hi therese, thanks for the stroll together. I was fascinated by the skipping rhyme you wrote. We had many rhymes but this one is new to me -- can't imagine who dreamed them all up. Guess they were just magically passed along the line in the same way the game of 7-Up was.

And when you mentioned the clapping, I'm thinking, "Yes, I believe you are right." That clapping was part of spinning around. My goodness, seems almost impossible. I might have to get my bouncy ball out and see if memories come back better with re-inactment.

And "jacks"? That was one of our favorites as well. Kids might be fast on the draw with their video games but jacks was a bloody intense and fast-moving game. And so much fun as well.

Glad you enjoyed your visit.

1:29 AM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Hi Rachel, as I mentioned to therese, I think you are right..that there was a clapping move involved.

This post has generated enough interest, though it was written a long time ago, that eventually I'm convinced that someone with a photographic memory is going to crawl out of the woodwork and tell us exactly how it is to be played.

Or barring that, maybe we could apply for a recreation grant and have a 7-up convention. Are you in?

1:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your posting. I was looking specifically for the steps to this game having remembered playing it in the mid-late 70s. I've now passed it on to my 7yr old son and he has in turn passed to many more kids on the playground. It's now big in Boise Idaho! Thank You!!

4:25 PM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

anonymous from Boise, Idaho, thanks for visiting and thanks for commenting. I am thrilled to hear this game is being resurrected. I certainly hope your 7-yr-old & friends enjoy the game as much as we did.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Joan said...

Ok Roberta, here I am at 70 and it's 2007. I just found your blog about 7up. I played it in Buffalo NY in the 40s! Those were the moves, and yes, one is missing the clapping, but I'm not sure which one. That was a long time ago. :-) Nice to know that it hasn't died out. My girlfriends and I would spend hours and hours playing against the wall. I seem to recall another game we played against cement steps, but I am very vague about the rules. It was a good thing, however, if the ball hit the edge of the step and you caught it without a bounce. Do you remember that one? Thanks for your writing--it's a lot of fun.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Hi joan, two incredible surprises here -- one is that you found this blog that was posted quite a long while ago, and the second is that you played this game back in the 40's. Now that you mention it, yes, I'm sure there is clapping in one of the moves, but I'm not sure which one. Obviously an amazing number of people have found this particular post and so many of them are promising to reintroduce the game to kids of the new generation. Glad you found me and glad you enjoyed the post. I hope you'll drop by again at my new digs --

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I found this site, too.
my best friend and I played this game for hours at a time. She and I are still best friends 30 years later!! I will share this info with her. thanks

1:22 PM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Hi anonymous, thanks for commenting.

About 30 years ago for me too, but your comment made me think this is not a highly physical game. Maybe we can still play it.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I played 7 up back in the 70s too. i have slightly different moves after the first 2 (e.g. my 4's was bouncing the ball on the ground at an angle so it hit the wall and then came back to you). However, i seem to remember that the claps, double claps, and twirls came in on successive rounds to make it harder.

Also, heads-down-thumbs-up game Scotia mentioned is totally different, but we played it as a class with a teacher running it (I think when we had a few minutes waiting to go out to the busses at end of day?) Not sure why this was sanctioned by the school. Or why both games had same exact name--perhaps the drink was heavily advertised and anything with 7 in it was a good candidate for that as a name?

If anyone has a different version of the 7 steps, I think I remember all but the final one.

sevens--bounce to wall and back
six--bounce to wall, allow to hit ground and come back to you
five--like 2s except you hit it back to the wall before catching.
Fours--to ground, wall and back to you
threes--toss into air and catch
twos--bounce twice than hit to wall and back
ones??? We're playing it that you throw to wall, hit to wall again, then allow to bounce and catch, but it doesn't feel familiar.


1:16 PM  
Blogger AbesLol said...

Hi --
Loved your description of the old favorite Seven Up game -- I had been going crazy trying to sort out the moves from threesies to onesies!
Thank you.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Hi Lilian. Thanks for visiting, thanks for commenting. Glad I could be of help.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this game certainly does have longevity! I played it when i was in gr 8 in the "90's". I was thinking i would like to teach it to my 11 year old daughter myself but couldn't remember the rules. I also played a game where you stood against the wall and put a ball in a sock. You bounce the ball off the wall in a pattern of some sorts but that i can't remeber.

11:17 PM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Hi anonymous. Thanks for commenting. This game does have longevity but I think what will cause extinction is difficulty in finding an appropriate wall to play on -- ie. smooth, no siding, no windows.

I've never heard of the sock-ball game but it sounds very interesting.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been trying to remember the moves to this game for the past few years to teach my son who is now almost 13. I remember a version that is somewhat a mix between your version and the anonymous version. He was bouncing a wall against the wall yesterday and I finally had the idea to google it. He's a little old now but was excited to still try it. For the adult from Ontario - we placed this game in the 70s on the West Coast of BC. So I don't think kids here look at your strange because of a loction difference; just a different era.
Thanks for posting this and reviving it,

9:55 AM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Hi Kim,

My goodness, I can hardly believe it. In all my years of blogging from 2003 until now, this post has generated the most comments.

Guess it's not a lost game anymore, it's a newly revived game. I do hope your son enjoys the game as much as we did. Thanks for commenting.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous DeathofRats said...

My mother taught my brother and I a slightly different variation of the 7-Up game back in the 80's. Perhaps because it was the way she was taught, or the shortage of flat surfaces next to flat walls on our farm, we learned a "non-wall" version.

7 - Bounce the ball off the ground and catch.
6 - Throw the ball up and catch.
5 - Bounce off the ground hard enough to get it to bounce over your head and then catch on the way back down.
4 - Throw up and let it fall and catch it on the bounce.
3 - Bounce and smack back down without catching.
2 - Bounce off the ground going under the leg and catch.
1 - Throw the ball up, spin yourself around, and let the ball fall and catch it on the bounce.

Then for subsequent rounds you did clapsies, then double-clapsies to increase the difficulty level.

We usually played with a tennis ball.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

deathofrats, I'm so pleased you left this comment. As I mentioned somewhere here for my version of the game one needs a shed with a smooth wall (and not too many glass windows). Your version of the game makes it a game completely portable without these accessories.

And a tennis ball is much easier to find nowadays than the spongee rubber balls that we used to use. I am going to copy this version so my grandchildren can play it.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We played 7-Up in the Phila. area in the 60s. I came online looking for the rules to teach my granddaughter. So nice to hear pleasant people talking about simple childhood games in this so overly complex modern world! Good on you all

7:44 PM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Thank you 'commenter from Phila' for stopping by and taking the time to comment. It is true, that it is not often enough that we find joy in the simpler things of life. Like this little visit with you.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah! I am two years late on this post, but I HAD to write something. I lived in a small farming community, had animals, and a barn. At one point I had a bike, but that was it. I did have a ball, and remember playing this game. I wanted my kids to play it, and when my 8 year old asked again, "Mommy, how do you play that game, again?" I decided it was time to get on line and find out. Your rules are a little different, but you straightened me out on a couple of ideas. It's such a fun-I-can-keep-myself-busy-without-playing-on-the-computer-game. We definitely needs to keep these alive for the next generation!
Thanks for the memory,
PT from North Carolina

3:09 PM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

PT from Carolina, as brief as your comment is I feel a kinship with that which you stated. We must have come from the same 'time'. I am pleased you found this little rant helpful and pleased you took the time to comment.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Maryland and my mom used to recite a rhyme to us as children that is a version of the pickle and onion jump rope song.
Not last night but the night before
A pickle & an onion came knocking at my door.
I ran down to let them in
They hit me over the head with a rolling pin
I went up to get my gun.
You should of seen that pickle and onion run.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Thank you anonymous, for that little chant to add to our list of lost chants and lost games. I will share it with my grandchildren.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Sophia said...

Well, it's February 2009 now.

I was googling for the words to games played with two balls against the wall. I was a child in London in the 1960's and we played them a lot. I seem to remember one where we would juggle the balls against the wall and chant a short rhyme

Mother's in the kitchen
doing a bit of knitting (bounce ball against floor)
in came a bogey man and
knocked her OUT

the next player than had to catch the balls without dropping them.

I wish I could remember more of the games and the words to go with them. Many of them involved throwing the balls with just one hand or bouncing one against the floor or turning around or throwing one under a leg etc. I would love to teach them to the children in my reception class.

Great thread, thanks


8:13 AM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

hi Sophia, thank you for visiting. I am also happy that you took the time to give me the chant and actions for another simple game. I think my Grandchildren will like this one as well. Have a very nice day.

You can Google me at 'Roberta Elusive Abstractions' if you wish to visit my current blog.

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These posts bring back so many memories growing up in Ontario. We played these games every day at school during recess. We played sevensies but the one I loved was the ball in the sock banging it against the wall. I cannot remember the song or what order we did it too and I cannot find it online anywhere. I'd love to teach it to my kids.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Hi anonymous-who-grew-up-in-Ontario. Thank you for visiting, but unfortunately I can't help you with this game. It does sound like fun. If you find out how it was played, you all come back and let us know.

3:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I finally found someone who knew about this game! I played this game in the late 60's / early 70's in Massachusetts. We had a slight variation on some of the steps but the game was essentially the same one described. We also called it "7-Up" although there were rumours that some kid had expanded the game to 14-15 levels and had successfully completed the arduous task! We never knew what you had to do at any of those levels so I can not described.
Thank you for rekindling those memories.


5:55 AM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Hi anonymous from Massachusetts. I appreciate you stopping in. Thank you for the comment. I'm pleased you found something here that brought back fond memories of days gone by.

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI, I too played the game with the ball in a sock and for the life of me I can not remember the chant / song that went with it! I have 2 young daughter and I would love to share that game with them! (I am also in ontario). Hopefully someone can remind me of the song (late 70's early'80's).

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's April 2010,and I was thinking about this game for my kids to play, but like lots of posters, I couldn't remember the details. I used to play in the Phila. suburbs in the 70's. Thanks for giving us all a blast from the past.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

To Anonymous 1 & 2, above. Thank you for commenting. Anonymous 1 from Ontario, I was unaware of a song or chant that went with this game so if you find a source for it let me know.

And Anonymous 2, glad you enjoyed this recall of amusements once cherished, and now forgotten.

2:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I played 7up in northern New Jersey in the late 70s.

Your post brought most of it back.

Here is my recollection.

Seven-seys: Throw the ball against the wall 7 times and catch it.
Six-seys: Throw the ball against the ball, allow it to come back and bounce on the ground once, then catch it. (6 times)
Five-seys: Bounce the ball on the ground five times and catch it.
Four-seys: (the reverse of six-seys) Throw the ball against the ground having it bounce against the wall, then catch it.(4 times)
Three-seys: Bounce the ball on the ground once then divert it with the palm of your hand against the wall and when it bounces back catch it. (3 times)
Two-seys: Throw the ball under one leg against the wall and when it bounces back, catch it. (2 times)
One-seys: Throw the ball against the wall, then spin around quickly, and catch it without letting it hit the ground. (once).

After completing this circuit once, you would then proceed to clapping during each throw.

1 clap on each of the throws through the full circuit of seven-seys to one-seys. Then you would add an additional clap all the way up to seven claps per throw through the entire circuit.

Dave in NJ

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd been trying to remember the ball in a sock game that you played against the wall and finally found it. It brought back a flood of memories!
You put a rubber ball in a sock (we used one of mom's old nylon stockings so you could wrap it around your hand a few times) and stood with your back against the wall (we used the school's brick wall). You then swung and banged the ball against the wall either side of you saying a chant and on the last word of every second line of the chant, you lifted one leg and swung the ball under it. The chant was one often used in another bounce-the-ball game in which you swung your leg over the ball with each name in the chant:

"A my name is (use a name starting with "A" such as Alice)
My father's name is (use a male name starting with "A", such as Albert
We come from (use a name of a town, province or country, say "Alberta")
And we sell (use a name of some fruit ("apples") or animal ("alley cats") or article ("ashtrays")!"

"B my name is Bertha
My husband's name is Bobby
We come from Boston
and we sell Barbeques!"

You would then continue in this fashion through the entire alphabet until you either couln't think of a name on the spot or the ball got tangled up in your leg and then it was the next person's turn.
My cousins and I played this game everyday down in the school yard during summer vacations--it was our favorite.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Thanks for that comment, Dave. I appreciate knowing ways in which the game can be more interesting.

Also to Anonymous, I have never played that game, but seems to me it would be great fun.

2:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!! It is November 2010 & I am so glad I found these posts! I was raised in a very small WI town & still live here today! I work at a school & was in gym class with some students today. I grabbed a small rubber ball & started throwing/hitting it up against the cement wall in the gym. The memories of playing 7-up, back in the early 80's, in the alley next to the house we lived in, came flooding back to me! I too, however, could not seem to remember how all the steps went & just HAD to google it to see if I could find anything! When I asked the gym teacher (who is older than I am) if he had ever heard of it, he hadn't. So then I began to think that maybe it was something that just my family had made up, as my older sisters, who grew up in the 70's, had taught it to me. I am so glad to see that others have shared in this great childhood game! I am going to take these rules back to our gym teacher & maybe we'll work on teaching the kids at school! I know I am going to teach my kids & hopefully they will be able to pass it on to future generations! Thanks Again!!

9:18 PM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

Anonymous, I so much enjoyed your comments and I am thrilled you are planning to do much to keep this fun game alive and well.

Thank you for stopping in. I truly enjoyed our wee chat.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I apologize ifthis is repeated but I did not read all the post. I remember playing 7-up ball game as a child in Ohio during the seventies as well. It was a lot of fun (at least at the time) . It kept us entertained for what seemed hours especially when it was too cold to go outside. Today I decided to research it to remember all the steps. I think the clapping came after successful completion of the first round. Then after that you would clap twice and so on. I guess you could really make up your own rules and steps and I am sure there are variations out there depending on where you grew up

4:38 PM  
Blogger meddlingkidd said...

We played this daily for years when I was a kid in the Bronx. Thanks for posting all the moves...I was trying to teach it to my daughter the other day and couldn't remember them all.

8:20 PM  
Blogger BN said...

It is now the end of 2011. I played Seven Up in Wisconsin in the late 50s. I also remember the clapping once and clapping twice. I remember that we started with bouncing the ball against the wall and catch it 1 time.Then we did something for 2 twice, etc. I know the bouncing/dribbling was 5 times.

Re Teddy Bear song for jumping rope.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Turn around (jumper turns around),
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Touch the ground (jumper touches the ground),
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Go up stairs (pretend to climb stairs),
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Say your prayers (palms touch like praying),
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Turn off the light (flip the light switch),
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Say good night (say good night).
(Then the twirlers do peppers until the jumper misses).

Bev in WI

10:45 PM  
Blogger Roberta S said...

To all my commenters. This post was written in 2006 and here it is Jan 2012 and they just keep on coming.

I read each one, I study each one, find joy in each one.

I thank you for visiting, I thank you for commenting. I will not offer feedback on future comments but I am here, I will read them, and if you do have something specifically you do wish me to respond to, please let me know.

Have a Great 2012 and keep on, keeping on, with those great old games that the world is so quickly forgetting.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We played the ball in sock game in \montreal in the sixties; one of the rhymes was like the "my name is Alice" one, but another involved "Plain-sies clap-sies, turnabouts, baddapp-sies....."Anyone remeber anymore? Thanks for sharing these games Jennifwe

12:25 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

I live in Ireland and it was really 'big' in the 70's here. Every girl played it in Dublin. I am going to teach my daughter and her friend how to play it during the week and googled to see if there was any info on it.

6:59 AM  

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