Many, many years ago, in a prep school not far from here, we all played a game - especially in summer - which was played on the huge lawn in front of the school.
The game was called ‘Hot Rice’, and I’ve never seen it played anywhere else, or even read about it. Google comes up with a sort of politically correct piss-pot Nulab variation, but we all played the real thing!
These are some of the rules: -
1) Three lads, (or lasses, but they weren’t invented then; except when Matron, or better still, Assistant Matron, joined in...), stood in line, about ten yards apart.
2) One lad chucked a tennis ball at the middle boy, who had a ‘bat’, more like a hockey stick without the hock – just a long lump of wood really.
3) Middle lad had to defend his area below the belt by whacking the ball as hard as he could. If he was caught (two hands, full toss, one hand, first bounce), he was out. If the ball hit his sub-belt regions, he was also out, and possibly whimpering if the ball encroached into a tender adolescent area...
4) All three took turns to be batter, and the ball was sent to middle lad alternatively from each end, usually as hard as possible, to exact pain, and hopefully, shrieks of anxiety. If the batter missed three chucks, he was out and had to give the bat to one of the others.
5) Other rules stated that once the batter had clouted the ball about fifty yards away, he could run towards the thrower, who had to stop in his tracks.
6) The three players had to stay in line, or get thumped or harangued by the others – even the two chuckers kept to the rules, and mayhem was apparent, but controlled by the rules.
7) There were other rules, but these are best forgotten...maybe?
The basic game was magic; simple, and above all, requiring friendship and a common need to ‘play the game’.
And we did.