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  • How to play Sevenies

    I played this game with my many brothers and sisters, a tennis ball and the back wall of our weatherboard house from the age of who knows what (maybe 7?) till all of my childhood.
    Although the edges of the weatherboard made it quite tricky, we had hours to perfect this game, along with hopscotch and stilts and airplane rides.
    One lazy sport afternoon recently, I tried to teach Sevenies to a group of Year 9 girls, but found the rules had dissolved into the past.
    This is my attempt at re-creating the repetitive glory of Sevenies in the seventies.

    Throw the ball against the wall and catch it - 7 times.
    Throw the ball against the wall, let in bounce then catch it - 6 times.
    Bounce the ball and catch it 5 times. (That was the easy one, and if you couldn't get through this it was pretty devastating)
    Throw the ball against the wall, clap your hands and touch your shoulders before catching the ball. - 4times.
    Lift one leg and throw the ball under your leg and against the house then catch the ball - 3 times.
    Throw the ball and spin around before catching it - 2 times.
    Throw the ball and touch the ground with your hands then catch the ball. Once.

    If you dropped the ball you were out. If you hit the weatherboard edge you might get another go, but that depends. If you cried you were definitely out.
    And when it was your turn again, you started where you had left off...

    Once you completed the sequence, the pattern repeated from 7, but this time with the addition of a clap, with a spin around, with a touch the ground, with a bounce the ball, with a throw under your leg...or any combination of the above.

    Hours of fun. Sevenies taught us to be fast, to be relentless, to be fair when the ball went wonky on the edge of a weatherboard, to be kind to the cry babies and to be clever.
    The art was in a soft, loopy throw and careful aim for the weatherboard flat.
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