What games did you play in study hall?
January 15, 2013 9:04 AM   Subscribe

Some friends and I are planning to spend a Saturday holding what we are calling the Study Hall Olympics: a competition planned around the stupid games kids play in study hall or on the bus or wherever they have time to kill but have to stay put (paper football, thumb wrestling, paper-rock-scissors, &c.) We've come up with a handful but I'm looking for more. When you were in school, what were the best games of this sort?
posted by gauche to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (23 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Heads Up Seven Up
posted by tamitang at 9:05 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Dots and Boxes
posted by Adridne at 9:07 AM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]

We played card games in study hall. Probably not all that useful, but I remember Bullshit and Rummy being particularly popular.
posted by zizzle at 9:11 AM on January 15, 2013

So much Pass the Pigs.
posted by amelioration at 9:18 AM on January 15, 2013

Games I played included unskilled chess and unsubtle flirting. :)
posted by lemoncakeisalie at 9:21 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wheely Chair Rally (1 v 1 racing around desks on wheely chairs, full contact, throwing (regular) chairs in front of each other encouraged).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:24 AM on January 15, 2013

Cootie Catchers
Slam Books
Finger Hockey (but in my day, that was carving or erasing enough away to get a pearl eraser to fit on the end of a pencil to make the hockey stick (damn kids these days can buy them pre-made), and the net was your fingers making the sign of the horns flat on the edge of the table and the puck was a tinfoil ball from someone's lunch.)
And then there's Three Coin Hockey
posted by peagood at 9:25 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

In High School we played endless games of Finger Football.

When we were younger we played MASH. I remember that I was supposed to marry Donnie Wahlberg, live in a condo, have three children and drive a Vespa.
posted by Elly Vortex at 9:31 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

What do you call that game where you hold your thumb and forefinger in a circle, and then if you get someone unsuspecting to look at your hand, you get to punch them in the arm?
posted by Rock Steady at 9:31 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

We created and invented our own statistical simulation games. For football, we had a grid, offensive plays down one side, defensive plays across the top, result of the play at the intersection, with some randomness factor built in that I don't remember the details on. We did baseball too. Then we did horse racing, selling ownership rights for the imaginary horses for real cash, and taking real bets on the races, while we split the winnings with the horse owners.

Then we got in trouble :)
posted by COD at 9:37 AM on January 15, 2013

Response by poster: COD, probably not for this event but I'd love to learn the details of your football simulation game if you ever remember them.
posted by gauche at 9:40 AM on January 15, 2013

Paper football, dots and boxes. We also had an enormous list of abbreviations that we added to continuously. Here are a few that I remember:

MB-Manly Bulge

PWT-Poor White Trash

NLSATF-Nice Legs, Shame About the Face (This was actually a song, but we adopted it for guys with hunky bods, but tragic faces.)

TT-Ta Ta!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:04 AM on January 15, 2013

Paper War:
The concept of the game was simple:

1) Take a piece of paper and fold it an half 2) Each person sketches a number of little tank icons on his side 3) To play your turn, draw a dot on your side of the paper 4) Fold the paper an half again so that the two drawn sides are touching 5) Rub the other side of the dot you drew so that it transfers to your enemy's side 6) If the dot touches a unit on your enemy's side, it is destroyed 7) Person to destroy all of enemy's units wins.
(though we called it Tank War, I think). Note that it requires pencils, not pens. Anyway, that page describes it exactly as I remember it.
posted by namewithoutwords at 10:05 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Rock Steady: What do you call that game where you hold your thumb and forefinger in a circle, and then if you get someone unsuspecting to look at your hand, you get to punch them in the arm?

Now that I am not on a mobile device, I can tell you that it appears to be called The Circle Game, and it is played exactly like the definition on Urban Dictionary... the first definition. Please ignore the second definition.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:16 AM on January 15, 2013

Endless games of three-coin hockey, though we called it quarter football. We further allowed "field goals" by flicking a quarter held between both thumbs into "goal posts" of fists on the table with thumbs pointing up.

When we could sneak in cards, Euchre.
posted by bonehead at 10:19 AM on January 15, 2013

Card games: Egyptian Rat Screw/Rat Fuck was popular, but here in Wisconsin euchre was huuuuuge. Endless tournaments on the bus. Which did not bode well for those of us who could never seem to learn it.
posted by Madamina at 10:21 AM on January 15, 2013

More on the football simulation...

Once you had your grid with your play results, each person used a sheet of notebook paper and play by play wrote their play number (offense or defense), one play per line. Then you checked the grid and noted the results of the play. Some plays had variable results. For example, a screen pass against a blitz may result in 5, 15, or 24 yards. The way we resolved that was the offensive player wrote down a number 1-3, the defensive player wrote down a modifier (+1,-1, 0)and then you did the math to determine if result 1, 2 or 3 applied.

Field goals we also resolved on the semi-random number idea. So a 25 yard field goal might be good on a result of 2-10 while a 50 yard field goal was only good on 9-10.

When you got to the bottom of your sheet of notebook paper (roughly 25 plays) that was the end of the quarter. Timeouts let you reuse a line.

There were maybe 5 or 6 of us that were into it, and we each constantly were tinkering with our grids trying to maximize the realism of the simulation. This was 80-82 (8th and 9th grade), so had any of us had the foresight to take our rudimentary BASIC skills and computerize the game who knows what where we could have taken it.
posted by COD at 10:25 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

We played a lot of Egyptian Rat Screw/Slap/Fuck and Hearts.
posted by stoneandstar at 10:43 AM on January 15, 2013

Pencil Crack.
posted by sleepingcbw at 11:10 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

At my day camp we always had an hour or so of downtime. We sat on the floor played so much Spit that my back was constantly aching but damnit I was not going to give up!
posted by radioamy at 3:23 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

My kids learned a bastardized version of Go at school that they play with graph paper and pencil. Since Go pieces don't move once they're down, it works perfectly well.
posted by BinGregory at 6:25 PM on January 15, 2013

Similar to Paper War/Tank War above: Tanks.
posted by fings at 6:59 PM on January 15, 2013

Back in my time you were supposed to not talk during study hall. Maybe the meaning of study hall has changed. So perhaps the following is no longer relevant. We would play 3 dimensional tic tack toe across the classroom using fingers to transmit the coordinates of each move. I don't think the history teacher noticed.
posted by Kevin S at 3:22 AM on January 16, 2013

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