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Basketball Games Mount Ball

( Basketball, Handball, Leapfrog, Physical Contest, Relay Race )

This is a game of ball played by half of the players while mounted on the backs of the other players. It is therefore desirable that the players be paired off so that the two in each pair should be of nearly equal weight and size.

The players form a circle in pairs. To do this they line up two abreast each with his selected partner. This double line then marches in circle halts and faces inward. This will form two concentric circles. There should be considerable space between couples in other words the circle should be rather large in comparison with the number of players. It is then decided by a toss-up or otherwise which of the two circles shall first be “ponies” and which shall be riders. The ponies bend forward from the hips pressing their hands against the knees or thighs just above the knees. The knees should be stiff not bent. The backs are thus bent forward and the riders mount straddling the shoulders of the players who are ponies.

The ball is put in play by being tossed from any player to another and the game consists on the part of the riders in trying to keep the ball in as active play as possible in a simple game of toss and catch and on the part of the ponies in trying to prevent the catching of the ball. To do this the ponies must grow restive and turn around in any way they see fit but must not lose their general places in the circle.

When a rider fails to catch a ball all of the riders must at once dismount and run in any direction the pony belonging to the rider who missed the ball picks up the ball immediately and as soon as he has it calls “Halt ” All of the riders must then stand still and the player who holds the ball tries to hit his recent rider. The rider aimed at may try to evade the ball by stooping or jumping but must not otherwise leave his place on the floor. During this part of the play the other ponies remain in their position in the circle so that the one who is throwing the ball will not confuse them with the riders. If the player (pony) who throws the ball at his dismounted rider succeeds in hitting him all of the ponies and riders exchange places the riders becoming ponies and the former ponies mounting them. If the player aiming the ball at his dismounted rider does not succeed in hitting him the riders remount and the game goes on as before.

It is not permissible for a rider to hold a ball at any time no matter how difficult his position at the moment may be he must toss it at once. It is well to have a leader whether one of the players or not who watches for mistakes gives the commands to mount and dismount and announces misses and hits.

This game was played by the ancient Greeks and is found in various forms in many countries. It is needless to say that it is one of the more strenuous games. When properly played it contains great sport.

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