AskDefine | Define hopscotch

Dictionary Definition

hopscotch n : a game in which a child tosses a stone into an area drawn on the ground and then hops through it and back to regain the stone

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

hopscotch
  1. A child's game, in which a player, hopping on one foot, drives a stone from one compartment to another of a figure traced or scotched on the ground; -- called also hoppers.

Extensive Definition

''For other uses, see Hopscotch (disambiguation).
Hopscotch is a simple children's game which can be played with several players or alone. Hopscotch is often played in playgrounds by children.

Historic version of hopscotch rules

The first player tosses the marker (typically a stone, coin or bean bag) into the first square. The marker must land completely within the designated square and without touching a line or bouncing out. The player then hops through the course, skipping the square with the marker in it. Single squares must be hopped on one foot. For the first single square, either foot may be used. Side by side squares are straddled, with the left foot landing in the left square, and the right foot landing in the right square. Optional squares marked "Safe", "Home", or "Rest" are neutral squares, and may be hopped through in any manner without penalty.
Upon successfully completing the sequence, the player continues the turn by tossing the marker into square number two, and repeating the pattern.
If while hopping through the court in either direction the player steps on a line, misses a square, or loses balance, the turn ends. Players begin their turns where they last left off. The first player to complete one course for every numbered square on the court wins the game.

Current version of hopscotch

Rules for a common Western version of "hopscotch", which are not the same as the historic "hopscotch": The first player tosses the marker (typically a stone, coin or bean bag) into the first square. The marker must land completely within the designated square and without touching a line or bouncing out. If the marker lands in the wrong square, the player forfeits a turn. If the marker is successful, the player hops through the court skipping the square with the stone in it. Single squares must be hopped on one foot. For the first single square, either foot may be used. Side by side squares are straddled, with the left foot landing in the left square, and the right foot landing in the right square. Optional squares marked "Safe", "Home", or "Rest" are neutral squares, and may be hopped through in any manner without penalty.
When players reach the end of the court, they turn around and hop back through the court, moving through the squares in reverse order and stopping to pick up the marker on the way back (and hops in the square). Upon successfully completing the sequence, the player continues the turn by tossing the marker into square number two, and repeating the pattern.
If while hopping through the court in either direction the player steps on a line, misses a square, or loses balance, the turn ends. Players begin their turns where they last left off. The first player to complete one course for every numbered square on the court wins the game.
The placement of squares need not be straight. The squares can wind across the ground in single squares (the player landing on one foot), paired squares (the player landing on two feet) or mismatched paired squares (the player landing on one foot, then the other). The player may have to do actions on squares like spin in place, hop several times in place before moving on, etc. Elaborate hop scotch courses may have branches that split from the main course and join again further along.

Origin

Hopscotch originated in Britain during the early Roman Empire. It was initially designed as a training regimen for Roman foot soldiers who ran the course in full armor and field packs, as it was thought this would improve their footwork. Roman children imitated the soldiers by drawing their own boards and creating a scoring system, and "Hopscotch" spread throughout Europe.

Etymology

The word "hopscotch" is a compound of "hop" and "scotch", meaning "scratched line". It dates back to at least 1801.
In Czech (and probably in other Slavonic languages), both "hop" and "scotch" are rather childish expressions for "make a jump". But the game itself is called panák in Czech.

Variants

There are many other forms of hopscotch played across the globe. In Russia and Russian--speaking countries it is known as классики (diminutive for the word meaning classrooms). In Poland, it is called 'klasy', meaning classes'. 'In Malaysia the most popular variant is called tengteng.

Escargot

A French variant of hopscotch is known as Escargot'' (snail) or "La Marelle Ronde" (round hopscotch). It is played on a spiral course. Players must hop on one foot to the center of the spiral and back out again. A player marks one square with his or her initials, and from then on may place two feet in that square, while all other players must hop over it. The game ends when all squares are marked or no one can reach the center, and the winner is the player who "owns" the most squares.

Chikki-Billa

In India, hopscotch is also called chikki-billa, chikki meaning the chalk borders and billa meaning the marker. It has similar principles in that players must hop on one foot and must throw the marker in the right square.

References

hopscotch in Official Aramaic (700-300 BCE): ܫܓܠܐ
hopscotch in Catalan: Xarranca
hopscotch in German: Hickelkasten
hopscotch in Spanish: Rayuela (juego)
hopscotch in French: Marelle
hopscotch in Galician: Mariola
hopscotch in Hebrew: קלאס
hopscotch in Dutch: Hinkelbaan
hopscotch in Portuguese: Amarelinha
hopscotch in Russian: Классики (игра)
hopscotch in Swedish: Hoppa hage
hopscotch in Turkish: Seksek
hopscotch in Contenese: 跳飛機
hopscotch in Chinese: 跳房子
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