Stickball is a street game related to baseball, usually formed as a pick-up game, in large cities in the Northeastern United States (especially New York City and Jersey City). The equipment consists of a broom handle and a rubber ball, typically a spaldeen, pensie pinkie, high bouncer or tennis ball. The rules come from baseball and are modified to fit the situation, i.e. manhole covers for bases with cars or buildings for foul lines. This game was widely popular among Irish, Italian, Jewish, and Puerto Rican youths growing up from the 1930s to the 1980s in Boston, Philadelphia, New York City and Northern New Jersey.

There are three different styles of stickball based on how the ball is pitched. In fast pitch, the batter has a wall or fence as a back stop. A rectangle is drawn on the artificial backstop in order to create a strike zone. The rectangle is chalked. If the batter does not swing and any part of the ball has chalk on it when it bounces back to the pitcher, the result is a called strike. If there is no chalk on the ball, the result is a ball. This type of play (seen in the picture to the right) is most commonly seen in schoolyards throughout Queens, NY and Jersey City, NJ. In slow pitch the pitcher stands 40 to 50 feet from the batter and the ball is hit after one bounce. In fungo, the batter tosses the ball into the air and hits it on the way down or after one or more bounces.

The batter may be out after one, two or three strikes, depending on regional rules. If the ball lands on a roof, porch or breaks a window far away it is usually ruled a home run. Hits are decided by how far the ball travels. In some versions of stickball there is no running, however in most leagues, including the New York Emperors Stickball League, the batter has to run the bases just like in baseball.

In Boston variations of stickball, a broomstick is usually replaced with a cut hockey stick, allowing a little more 'pop' on the ball if hit correctly. Also, when playing slowpitch, the ball is not necessarily bounced while pitched. 'Monkey Ball' is also usually allowed in slow pitch, regarding base runners. When 'monkey ball' is allowed, fielders can throw the ball at baserunners, eliminating the need to tag a base to get a runner out. An additional rule that can be played while running the bases is called "pitchers poison". This allows for fielders to throw the ball to the pitcher standing on the mound instead of a first basemen.

In another completely unrelated game by the same name, players stand in a circle all holding sticks, usually broom handles. They then pass a giant tennis ball to each other by rolling it along the stick and launching it. The objective of the game is to keep the ball flowing. Each player is unique in their technique. Unlike the other games which are related to baseball, this game is more akin to hackey sack and contact juggling. It first appeared in Australia in the late 1990's and is now also played in the UK and India.


*" [ Bragging Rights: Stickball Stories] " (2006). Directed by Sonia Gonzalez.
*" [ What is Stickball, A history of Australian Stickball.] (2004)
*" [ Southern Stickball,] (2008)

ee also

*Safe haven games
*"MLB Stickball"

External links

* ['s coverage of stickball]
* [ The New York Emperors Stickball League]
* [ Forest Hills Stickball Society]
* [ Major Stickball League]
* [ Brooklyn Stick Ball]
* [ Australian Stickball]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • stickball — ☆ stickball [stik′bôl΄ ] n. a game like baseball played by children, as on city streets, with improvised equipment such as a broom handle and a soft rubber ball …   English World dictionary

  • stickball — stickballer, n. /stik bawl /, n. a form of baseball played in the streets, on playgrounds, etc., in which a rubber ball and a broomstick or the like are used in place of a baseball and bat. [1815 25, Amer.; (BROOM)STICK + BALL1] * * * ▪ game… …   Universalium

  • stickball — noun a form of baseball played in the streets with a rubber ball and broomstick handle • Syn: ↑stickball game • Hypernyms: ↑baseball, ↑baseball game …   Useful english dictionary

  • stickball — noun Date: 1922 baseball adapted for play in streets or small areas and using a broomstick and a lightweight ball …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • stickball — noun A street game similar to baseball, played with a stick, a ball and various ad hoc materials; found primarily in large cities in the northeastern United States …   Wiktionary

  • stickball — stick|ball [ stık,bɔl ] noun uncount a game similar to baseball that is played in the U.S. by children in the street using a stick and a ball …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • stickball — noun N. Amer. an informal game played with a stick and a ball, resembling baseball or lacrosse …   English new terms dictionary

  • stickball — noun (U) a game like baseball that is played in the street by children in the US, using a small ball and a stick …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • stickball — UK [ˈstɪkˌbɔːl] / US [ˈstɪkˌbɔl] noun [uncountable] a game similar to baseball that is played in the US by children in the street using a stick and a ball …   English dictionary

  • stickball — stick•ball [[t]ˈstɪkˌbɔl[/t]] n. gam a form of baseball played with a rubber ball and a broomstick or the like • Etymology: 1930–35, amer. stick′ball er, n …   From formal English to slang

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