Hot Rice

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Hot Rice is basically a game of tig played with a ball (in fact, in some places it is simply called "ball tig"). It begins with a huddle of children, who stand in a circle toe to toe, with legs spread a little. At least in Leeds, the ball is bounced in the middle in time to a mysterious scatological incantation:

Hot rice, bounce twice
Shit pies, taste nice

The alternative version of this rhyme (presumably common to more genteel areas of the land) is:

Hot rice, bounce twice
Once, twice, hot rice

Then the ball is released into the middle of the circle. As it inevitably rolls towards one child or another, they must prevent it from passing between their legs by using their feet in the style of pinball flippers - pivoting them on their heels to deflect the ball towards someone else.

Eventually, someone will fail to prevent the ball from passing between their legs and they become 'it'. The other children instantly scatter, for they are all now targets for 'it', who takes the ball as his or her weapon. They throw the ball at the other players who also become 'it' if they are hit.

As such a team of 'its' is created. They are able to throw the ball to one another, thus increasing the chances of cornering the remaining survivors. Eventually, the last played left is the winner and it is they who will begin the next game by bouncing the ball in the circle.

As with all the best games, the rules are monolithically simple, but can be adapted sometimes to include "fists and feet." When the game is played under "fists and feet" rules, the uncaptured can defend themselves by using their fists or feet to deflect the ball.

Of course, this leads to heated arguments when a debatable call is made ("it hit my fist... MY FIST") but until third umpires and television replays come to the playground, such controversies are likely to continue to dog the game.

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Author: Ian Freud   |  Last updated: 13th August 2014 | © Weird Island 2010-2019
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