Hopscotch is an old-school popular game that has passed the test of time. It can be played with chalk and a small object. One can play it alone or with friends. This playground game has managed to entertain children across the world for generations. This game has been played for a long time now. So let’s dig deeper into it.
Hopscotch has its root in ancient Rome. However, there is no conclusive evidence. People say that the game was designed for Roman soldiers for training purposes. The courts spanned over 100 feet. Back then, the hopscotch court was to help Roman foot warriors to upskill their footwork when they ran the course in full armour.
Children of Rome had taken inspiration from the game. So they started playing a smaller version of the game. Soon, the game became popular across Europe and other countries worldwide. The first recorded evidence of the game played dates back to the 17th century. Back then, its name was ‘Scotch hop.’
Draw out the court first. Now the question is, what is a hopscotch court? There are two traditional ways to do that. Either child draws it on the pavement using chalk or scratches it out on the soil with a stick. The court is permanently made with paint in some places, like a school playground.
A traditional Hopscotch court contains 8 to 10 squares in a linear format. The court measurement usually depends upon the age of players—small squares for small children and larger squares for bigger children.
There are many variations of the game. However, the basic strategy is the same for all. It involves mainly three elements- a marker, a court, and players. The name ‘Hopscotch’ itself says the game rules. The game consists in hopping over lines or shapes. The most popular version of this game is majorly played in the street.
The game utilises a small object like a stone. A player tosses it into the first square to land within the court. Then they hop through the squares skipping the square with the stone in it. The player can hop on a single leg or use both legs. Of course, that depends on whether the square is single or side by side.
The player then turns around and reminisces about the journey hopping through squares until they reach the square with the stone or object. Upon successfully retrieving the object, the player continues by throwing that object to the 2nd square and repeating the game. When there are multiple players, each player gets to throw the thing and loses chances only if any rule is broken.
If there are multiple players and a player throws the stone in the wrong square, they will miss the chance. It shall be the next person’s turn to play.
If a player steps on a line or enters the wrong square, loses balance, misses a square, or steps into a square with both feet in, the player loses their turn.
If players lose a chance, on the next turn, they are to repeat from the same number where they stopped before losing.
Whoever finishes the sequence by throwing the stone in all the squares is the winner of the game.
Draw a traditional hopscotch diagram
Throw a small twig into the 1st square
Hope on one foot into the 1st empty square and further into every subsequent square
Jump at the pairs with both feet (4-5) and (7-8)
When you reach 10, jump with both feet, turn around, and head back to where you started.
Once you reach the marked square again, pick the object while standing on one foot and complete the sequence.
On finishing without a mistake, pass the stone or marker to the next person.
On your next turn, you must throw the object to the following number.
If you jump outside the lines or fall or miss a square - you lose your turn and have to repeat the same number on your next turn.
Whoever reaches 10 first becomes the winner.
In India, people call the hopscotch game with various names like Kith Kith, Langdi, Stapu, Ek haat du hat, Ekka Dukka, Kunte Bille, Paandi, Tokkudu Bila. In India, hopscotch court drawing is done with chalk or a piece of brick.
There are plenty of variations in how the game is played. Below are some of them:
In one of the most known versions of the game, the object is kicked with your hopping foot from 1 box to another.
In a challenging variant, after players have completed their sequence, they make their initials on the square where they just finished. The next player has to skip the mark while playing.
In another variant, players are to complete the sequence within a time limit of 30 to 60 seconds.
Ashrita Furman was the first person to complete the fastest game in 1 minute 1.97 sec in Newyork. She did it on 9th November 2010.
Brand Teenmix from Cina holds the record for creating the longest Hopscotch game with a measurement of 20,144 ft in May 2016.
In the Sheffield-United Kingdom, on the 20th of May 2019, 664 people simultaneously played Hopscotch.
Hopscotch is a pure nostalgic game. It has a connection to our roots and soils. Back then, when there was no internet or video games, Hopscotch was one such game to keep people of all ages (especially children) entertained. We hope you can relate to the essence of the game no matter how old you are and from where you hail.
If you find the blog informative, share it with your friends with whom you play or want to play Hopscotch.