Half Rubber

Published: 06th December 2010
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As a young boy growing up in the south, there seemed to be a season for all of the different sports. After spring when the weather was warm and before the dog days of summer, our thoughts would turn to the game of half-rubber. The game was first played here in Savannah, GA, although some say Charleston, SC. It only required a three people, so it was usually easy to get a game started. We were very competitive, and half-rubber was a challenge that all of us really enjoyed. In the old days, our equipment was simple, a bat and two half-rubber balls. The bat was made from momís old mop with a borrowed hand saw. The half-rubber balls were made from one of the many red sponge rubber balls available at one of the five and ten cent stores in the area. The local expert would with precision, carefully slice the ball in half, using a single edge razor blade. The cut had to be perfectly smooth on the flat side. With bat and ball in hand we would start the game. Often we would use the nearby community building as a backstop. The pitcher would stand about twenty paces in front of the batter and sail the ball with a side arm pitch, past the batter. A swing, then a good catcher would catch the ball and you were out. If you tipped the ball and the catcher caught it, you lost two turns at bat. A good pitcher could make the ball sail straight, level and fast. He could also make the ball skim low to the ground and rise up at the last second into the catcherís hands. Some batters could stay at bat for quite a long time frustrating the other players. Sometimes you would work so hard for a turn at bat, only to lose it with one swing. These were some of the great memories that stayed with me into adulthood. I taught my children to play the game when they were young. One summer a few years ago, my daughter and I challenged a couple of young men at the beach to play the "girl" and the "old man". They were first at bat and then it was our turn. They were amazed and frustrated as we continued to score runs. Many generations have enjoyed the simple pleasures of playing with a stick and ball. In this busy world, I hope that this simple game can be passed on for others to enjoy. Go to coastalcreativesolutions.com for half rubber game supplies

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