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Circle Marbles Games

From the The Great American Marble Book on circle games:


The circular game of Ringer, played in the national championships, is the most complicated of the circle games. A circle of 10 feet in diameter is marked off (in Wildwood where the tournament is held permanent circles are painted on concrete blocks, buried beneath the sandy beach most of the year and uncovered only at tournament time in June). Thirteen marbles are placed in the center of this circle in the shape of a cross. The winner is the player who is the first to shoot seven marbles out of the ring. The eliminations are held over a week with players competing against each other on a round-robin basis. The finalists are, of course, those who win the most games in the round robin.

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Ringer is merely a sophisticated derivative of Lag in which, according to Addy's Sheffield Diary, "A number of boys put marbles in a ring, and then they all bowl at the ring. The one who gets nearest has the first shot at the marbles. He has the option of either 'knuckling doon' and shooting at the ring from the prescribed mark, or 'ligging up' [lying up] -- that is, putting his taw [marble] so near the ring that if the others miss his taw, or miss the marbles in the ring, has the game all to himself next time. If, however, he is hit by the others, he is said to be 'killed.'" Much of the strategy lay in positioning the marbles.

Circle games abound. In England they are Taw as well as Lag and Ring Taw. In Australia they are called The Ring, Big Ring, Little Ring, Big Circle, Little Circle, as well as Jumbo, Poison Ring and Eye Drop. In the United States they are known as Ringer and Ring, as Potsies and Dubs, and in Italy as Pallina di Vetro. All of the games involve putting marbles in a ring and then shooting them out.

There are even half-circle games known as Half Moon, Townsey and Mooney Ted First.

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Song: "Dueling Banjos"