Most children understand the game of marbles the first time it is explained, but to make it easier, these drawings show
the most common plays. (For a simpler version of Ringer, see the video above.)
|FIG. 1: To start a game of Ringer the children lag from a line, drawn
tangent to the ring, to a parallel line across the ring, which would be 10 feet away. The child whose shooter comes nearest the line has the first shot. Players must lag before each game.
Practice lagging, as the first shot may mean the winning of the game before your opponent gets a shot. In lagging, a child may toss his or her shooter to the other line, or he or she may
knuckle down and shoot it.
FIG. 2: This shows child No. 1 who won the lag,
preparing to knuckle down. His knuckle has not quite reached the ground, which is necessary before shooting. He can take any position about the ring he chooses. (The process of picking the
best possible position for starting is referred to as "taking rounders.") The 13 marbles in the ring are arranged as in tournament play. For casual games, a one foot ring is drawn inside of
the ten foot ring and each player puts in some 5/8" marbles, so that there is about a dozen marbles in the smaller ring.
FIG. 3: Child No. 1 knocks a marble from the ring on
his first shot and his shooter stays in the ring. He picks up the marble. As he has knocked one from the ring, he is entitled to another try. Players are not permitted to walk inside the
ring unless their shooter comes to a stop inside the ring. Penalty is a fine of one marble.
FIG. 4: Here we see child No. 1
continuing play. He "knuckles down" inside the ring where his shooter stopped on the last shot. This gives him the advantage of being nearer to the big group of marbles in the center of the
ring for his next shot. Expert marble shots try to hit a marble, knock it out of ring and make their shooter "stick" in the spot. "Sticking" or shooting seven consecutive marbles out of
the ring and winning the game without giving an opponent a turn is usually good for two days of playground bragging rights.
FIG 5: On this play, No. 1 hit a marble, but did not
knock it from the ring. At the same time his shooter, too, stays inside the ring. He can not pick up the marble, and whether he is allowed to pick up his shooter depends on the type of play -
in tournament play, if your shooter is in the ring at the end of your turn, you must remove it. In casual games, if your shooter is in the ring at the end of your turn, it becomes a
legitimate target and any player who hits it out collects a forfeit from you, or even your shooter! (Players should agree in advance whether to use this rule.)
FIG. 6: Child No. 2 may start by "knuckling down"
anywhere at the ring edge. In this case he may shoot at the 11 marbles in the center or if he wishes, he may go to the other side and try for the marble that No.1 almost knocked from the ring.
In a casual game he might also try to knock the other player's shooter from the ring.
FIG. 7: Child No. 2 chooses to try for No. 1 child's shooter
and knocks it out of ring, winning all the marbles No. 1 has taken (and his shooter, if that rule is being followed) and putting No. 1 out of that game. Or he could shoot as shown in Fig. 8.
FIG. 8: Child No. 2 hits a marble but does not
knock it out of the ring, yet his shooter goes thru the ring and stops outside where he may pick it up. The target marble remains where it stopped in the ring, and as No. 2 did not score,
it is now the turn of No. 1 to shoot again.
FIG. 9: No. 1 "knuckles down" inside the ring where
his shooter stopped (Fig. 5). he is going to shoot at the marble nearest his shooter. By hitting it at the proper angle and knocking it from the ring he can get his shooter near the center of
the ring for his next shot. Play alternates until one player has knocked a majority of the marbles out of the ring.
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