Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Norman on the Hill

By Lord Brian Goodheart

General type: Physical, Wrestling

Adult Involvement: Supervisory as a minimum. Direct involvement optional.

Props: A high spot. Even a one meter (three feet) rise is enough.

Premise: Variation on the “King of the Hill” games we have all played as children.

Number of Children: Three to ten.

The Norman King sits down on top of the “hill”. A small mound just one meter in height will do.  In outdoor events there are often sloped areas on the sides of buildings or on the edge of clearings. Do take care to avoid excessive drops.

The Norman King is required to always remain sitting. He can’t stand up. Even if yanked up by the others he needs to get his behind onto the ground. He can waddle around on the ground so long as he keeps down on the ground. In fact because the King is limited to sitting you don’t need a very tall hill to play on. The Saxon peasants are in a revolt and are trying to pull down the King. The Saxons can stand up. It takes a strong King to keep the rebellion under control. If the Saxons can pull the Norman King down to the bottom they have won the round.

Whatever Saxon player does the most to get the King down (like actually pulling him down single handily) gets something wonderful! He is promoted to being a Norman King! The new King goes to the top of the rise and sits down. The previous King is now among the Saxons and the rebellion starts up again.

In playing with lots of kids you will want to set up a game balance. Six kids pulling on one King will always pull him down. So to keep it fun if the Saxons are winning easily then the King gets to add “Guards”.  The job of a Guard is to protect the King. The Guards are allowed to stand. They can wrestle the Saxons as much as the want. Usually you only have one or two Guards so the Guard needs to keep running back to the King to get yet another Saxon off.

Play time is quite long. The kids can really get into this one. It can be done with adult involvement or just supervising. Being a rougher game it appeals mostly to boys. It does a wonderful job of using up their energy and it teaches about medieval politics too!

One further safety note for adults or larger children. When being wrestled by others try to watch out for how you may land. If you might fall onto someone if you resist it is a better practice to let yourself loose so that you can move around the possible “impact” point.

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