Join the throngs of urban sportsmen transforming our alleys into blacktop battlefields.
There are myriad variations on the name of this schoolyard staple—Asses Up, Pegacide and Red Bum among them. Best enjoyed during recess, Butts-Up is essentially a more sadistic version of the more widely known Wall Ball.
Whichever your preferred moniker for this handball-baseball hybrid, all that’s required are a flat surface such as a garage door, a tennis or racquet ball and at least three players.
One player starts by throwing the ball so it hits the wall first and then bounces once on the ground. The other players compete to catch the ball and keep the volley going, but since it’s every man for himself, throwers typically try to get the ball to bounce at a weird angle so it’s tough for other players to handle. Here’s why: If anyone fumbles the ball, or if a bad throw makes the ball touch the ground before hitting the wall, the fumbler/thrower must sprint to the wall and “tag up” by touching it before another player picks up the ball and whips it at the wall. If the bad thrower gets there first, the game continues. It’s when the ball reaches the wall first that the sadism starts: Not only does the fouler receive an “out” (three outs and you’re gone), but he must stand facing the wall and have his butt used for target practice—hence the ass references.
Those who played the game as kids recall this “pegging” aspect came in handy when settling childhood grudges. “It was a great way to get back at somebody,” remembers TOC Sports editor Tim McCormick.