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Cherokee Games Stickball Marbles

The Native American tribes have a rich history based on a community spirit.  It is no wonder that they have a variety of games that include social aspects.  The games that were played “way back when” can still be played today. 

One such game is Cherokee marbles.  According to Wikapedia, the game is not only still played today, but there is a tournament held every year on the Labor Day Weekend (also the Cherokee National Holiday).  The game is played on a field that is 100 feet long and has 5 holes.  The players’ marbles must pass each hole while knocking the other player’s marbles away from the holes.  In the past, the marbles were made of stone, but today’s players use billiard balls.  This game, played by several generations is even being introduced into the schools in order to keep children out of trouble.

There was one game that Cherokee children of the past would play in which a dart was thrown through a moving hoop.  Although popular in its time, this game is probably not played too often now, due to safety reasons.  The hoop had to move somehow, and Cherokee children did not use machinery to do it!

Cherokee stick ball was a large part of the tribal culture and came with its very own set of rules.  The game, similar to lacrosse, was played by teenagers and young adult men.  Most young people now have given it up for other, more modern games such as football and baseball.   There is still one game played, though, and it is played during an annual festival.  Keeping traditions alive is important to the Cherokee tribe, so the original rules are still followed. 

In Cherokee stick ball there are two sides of the field, and the ball must travel across the field to the goal.  The goal is made up of two stakes about two meters apart.  The ball can be picked up by the stick then transferred to a player’s hand to continue to be brought down the field.  An interesting aspect of this game is that the player holding the ball can be tackled at any time AND there is only one stick per team. 

The games played by the Cherokee tribe were simple and easy to play.  They were games that required little to no materials, and the materials that were needed could be made by hand. The children of the Cherokee tribe could interact with each other and get physical activity at the same time.