All these youth groups meet up on Shabbat afternoons, and its always a challenge to find interesting activities. The "Our Shiputzim" blog mentions the game “Ein Zahp” (which I admit, I've never heard of) and that got me thinking about the games we used to play back then.
I recalled this one from when I was growing up, which I have successfully conveyed to my kids:
Zoom, Schwartz, Mafigliano, No Dice.
At first, I wondered if this would appear anywhere on the internet, and I wasn't disappointed. While Wikipedia has an entry for a slightly corrupted, similar name with "Profigliano" instead of "Mafigliano"...I was thrilled to see the following sub-entry on the same page:
Those counterpoint volunteers who went to Australia in the 70's, were considered the best of the best in Jewish Outreach. Back then, it was revolutionary -- which paved the way for today's Counterpoint programs which are all around the world.
Counterpoint Melbourne Variant (Zoom-Schwartz-Mefigliano-No Dice)
This was orally transmitted to the Melbourne Australia Modern Orthodox Jewish Community in 1974, by an Jewish Educational Outreach Team from Yeshiva University who ran a programm known as Counterpoint.
The calls are as follows:
Zoom – Can only be done to one of the 2 players immediately adjacent on either side. When a player is Zoomed, the Itness (ie the concept of being It) passes to them.
Schwartz – Can also only be done to one of the 2 players immediately adjacent on either side. But when a person is Schwartzed, the Itness passes to the player to the other side of the caller.
Mefigliano – Can be done to any player, including those adjacent. (A common misconception is that adjacent players can’t be Mefiglianoed)
In contrast to some of the other variants, the player making these calls must simultaneously call, look and point at the intended receiver. (When a player makes the call, but only points after some delay, this is known as the delayed finger reaction, and causes that player to go out.)
No Dice – A player who is Mefiglianoed (but not one who is Zoomed or Schwartzed) has a fourth response option, ie by saying No Dice, in which case the Itness remains with the previous player. One does not have to look, or point while saying No Dice, because it is essentially a blocking move. (Some have the practice of crossing their forearms in front of them to illustrate the blocking nature of the move - this was observed at a game in Caulfield in December 2008- but it is not essential).
A player can No Dice successive Mefliglianos only twice – if they are Mefiglianoed a third time, a full transfer of the Itness is deemed to have then taken place, and they now must respond with one of the 3 other calls.
Players very commonly respond to a Mefigliano with No Dice – so that it is virtually expected. Hence making one of the other 3 responses instead is a strategic move because it can catch other players off guard.
Apart from that restriction, in contrast to some other versions, there are no other restrictions on how many times a person can make the same call in succession. This can also be used strategically eg repeating Zoom many times in succession allows you to catch other players off guard when you unexpectedly change the call. There are also no restrictions in the order of calls including the starting call (though Zoom does tend to be the most commonly used starting call).
Play continues until all but 2 are out, who are then declared the joint winners.
Of course, today's kids can get by with more than just circle games. While Trivial Pursuit and Risk were around the in late 70's and 80's...today's kids also have options including Killer Bunnies and the quest for the Magic Carrot and The Settlers of
Of course other games included Clue, Mille Bornes, Stratego, Monopoly, Life, and Othello.
Scrabble? Feh :-)
What games did you play on Shabbat afternoon....?
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד