Many of the contests were ridiculous, as for instance when there was a race between cripples, or a man on stilts raced with a runner, or when a jockey bearing a man on his shoulders contended against a fat man. Some accounts of records made in those days are absurd. For instance, a man is said to have walked 102 miles in twelve hours. But athletic sports did not become popular with all classes till the present century, during which they have been reduced to a system, especially in England and the United States.

There are now in the United States several thousand athletic societies, many of which have gymnasiums, some of them elegantly equipped. There are more than twenty such clubs in New York City alone. The New York Athletic Club, formed in 1868, has a large club-house containing bowling alleys, swimming tanks, and one of the largest and best gymnasiums in the country. Nearly every college in the United States has its athletic association and gymnasium. The college clubs are united in the Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and this, with most other athletic associations in the country, is governed by the rules of the Amateur Athletic Union, which regulates nearly all the athletic contests held in the United States.

The first association of the kind was the National Association of Amateur Athletes of America. A few years ago dissensions arose in this association, and in October, 1887, a large number of the clubs withdrew and united under a new organization known as the Amateur Athletic Union. The two associations continued thus for two years, but in the summer of 1889 they united, retaining the new name of the Amateur Athletic Union.

AUCTION, a game played by any number of people with counters, representing money, and cards, on each of which is a picture of some article to be sold by auction, with its de

scription and supposed money value. One of the players is chosen for auctioneer, and the counters are distributed equally among the others. The auctioneer then takes the cards and reads the description of the first article to be sold. The players bid for it, as in a real auction, and it is sold to the highest bidder, who puts the counters representing the price by themselves in front of him. The auctioneer then sells the next card and so on till all are sold. The player who has made the best bargains wins, and this is found out by counting the value of the articles he has bought, and that of the counters he has paid, which are in a pile in front of him. He wins, whose purchases exceed in value the price paid for them by the greatest amount. If a player bid more money than he has, it is a Bluff Bid. Unless he succeeds in getting the article, no notice is taken of it; but if, when he is called upon to pay, he is unable to do so, he must return one of his cards to the auctioneer. If he have none, he must return the first one he purchases.

AUCTIONEER, THE, a game played by any number of persons, one of whom acts as auctioneer. Each of the other players writes on a slip of paper the name of some article, and folds it once. The auctioneer then marks one of the slips, adds a blank one, and mixes them all in a hat. Each of the company draws a slip, and he who gets the blank slip is put up at auction by the auctioneer, each player bidding the article on his slip. The holder of the marked slip bids last, and the person bid for is sold to him. He may then require his purchase to perform some feat, and then the game is repeated. The auctioneer, instead of marking a slip, may simply open one and look at it, afterwards accepting the bid of the person who draws it whenever it may be offered. One slip always remains in the hat. The auctioneer should look at it, and if

[merged small][graphic]

in a given number of throws is the winner.

AUTHORS, a game played by any | number of persons with cards, on which are printed or written the name of an author and the titles of several of his works. The printed cards may be bought at toy stores, but much amusement may be had by writing them out, introducing recent books and new authors The same titles, including that of the author, are on as many cards as there are titles, but arranged in different order, and the name at the top, which is in larger letters than the others, is called the name of the card. All the cards with the same words on them, taken together, form a book. Thus two of the cards in one book may appear as follows:

Aunt Sally.

pole set into the ground, and decorated with an old woman's cap. A dress is then put upon the figure and a tobacco pipe is stuck into the mouth. Sometimes pipes are stuck into the ears also.

The players stand about twentyfive feet from the figure, and, in turn, throw sticks, twenty inches to two feet in length, at Aunt Sally's head, trying to break the tobacco pipes. The side pipes count, each, one point, and the front one, two points. He who scores most points

[blocks in formation]

In this book there would evidently be five cards. Sometimes there are six or more cards in a book, but all the books in the pack are of the same size, and there are usually twenty books in a pack. Sometimes the cards have numbers at the top, which are the same for all of the same book. The cards are distributed evenly by any one of the players, and then the one on the dealer's left calls by name for any card he wants from some one of the other players. I f the player asked has the card he must give it to him, and the first player then calls for another card, and continues thus to call for cards till he asks for one which the other player does not have; then the privilege of asking passes to the next player at his left, and so on. As soon as any one succeeds in getting into his hand all the cards in a book (which is the object of the calling], he lays them down together, near his place, and none of them can be called for any more. The calling goes on till all the pack is then distributed into books, and then he who has most books wins. When the cards are numbered, the winner is determined sometimes by adding the numbers on the books taken, the one who has the highest sum winning. of a checker board. The board is divided into two pairs of tables by a line through the middle called the bar (which is a raised partition when the game is played inside a checkerboard), and each player has a home, or inner table, and an outer table. In the cut, A is Black's home or inner table, and B his outer table ; and C is White's home, or inner table, and D his outer table. Each table has six points in it, of two colors placed alternately, generally black and white or black and red. The points in the inner table, beginning at the edge of the board, are sometimes given French names, as the ace, deuce, trois, quatre, cinq, and

By listening attentively to the calls of the other players, one can generally get a very good idea of how the cards lie, and ask accordingly. If a player has called successfully for a card and has not laid aside the book containing it, the others know he still has it, and the next player, if he has been watchful, will call for the card. Again, if a player asks another for a card and is refused, all the others know that neither of them has it. In general, after calling for cards he is sure he can get, a player should try to complete the books in his hand that are most nearly full.

History. Authors is possibly derived from an old English game called "Spade, the Gardener," played with a pack of ordinary cards, from which all cards below the tens have been thrown out.

Each of the four kings is given a name, and the other cards of the

suit are regarded as his family. Thus, the King of Spades is called Spade, the Gardener; the Queen, Spade, the Gardener's Wife; the Knave, his son; the Ace, his servant, and the Ten, his dog. In like manner, the King of Clubs is called Club, the Constable; the Kingof Hearts, the Good Natured Man, and the King of Diamonds, Vicar Denn. Each of these has also his wife, son, servant, and dog. The object is to get all the cards into one hand, and when all a player's cards are gone he retires from the game.

The earliest similar game played with special cards seems to have been "Doctor Busby," where the cards had pictures representing numbers of various " famiiies,"each family constituting a book. The game of Doctor Busby is still sold at toy stores, but Authors, and similar forms of the game, are more popular. Among the similar games, all played in the same way, are " Famous Men" (where one book consists of Inventors, one of Soldiers, one of Artists, and so on), " Queens of Literature" (where all the authors named are women)," Poets," and "Gemsof Art" (where each book contains the names of pictures in some famous art gallery). There are similar games in French and German, devoted not only to Authors but to familiar things to aid in learning the languages.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][graphic]

six points, but in the United States they are more commonly called by the numbers from one to six. For convenience sake, the numbers in the illustration are continued across the board to 12. The point numbered 7 is sometimes called the bar point. The men are set as in the illustration, part of them being, it will be noticed, in the enemy's tables. The object of each player is to get his own men around into his own inner table, where he can play them off, as will be shown hereafter. 1 n doing this, the two move in opposite directions, Black from White's inner table into White's outer table, then across into his own outer table, and

finally into his own inner table, or following the course C D B A in the cut, while White moves in the direction A B D C into his home or inner table. The moves are decided by throwing DICE, of which each player has two. When a player makes his throw, he calls out the number of points on the top of the dice (as 42, 6-3, or double 4) and then plays any of his men a number of points on the board equal to the number thrown. He may play one man as many points as are on the two dice, or he may play each number with a different man. If he throws two like numbers (called doublets) he plays double what he throws. For instance, if he throws two 4's he has the right to play four 4's instead of two, and these moves may be made all together or separately. If the point at which any move ends is occupied by two or more hostile men, that move cannot be made, and if the player cannot move at all, he must wait till his next turn. If the point has only one hostile man on it, it is called a blot, and the move can then be made (which is sometimes called hitting the blot). The man so hit, or captured, is taken from the board, or placed on the bar. Its owner can make no move till he has entered his piece again in his opponent's inner table, by playing it as if it were on a point just before the ace point. If each point on this table has two or more hostile men on it the player whose man is up cannot play at all till his opponent has moved some of them. Generally, leaving a man uncovered, that is, leaving only one man on a point, should be avoided, and when doublets are thrown, the men are usually moved in pairs for this reason; but skillful players often make blots on purpose, either because they are willing to take the risk in order to move their men quicker, or in order that the men, when taken up, may enter anew, and gain the enemy's rear so as to be able to capture his men. When all a player's men have reached his inner table, he begins to play them off the board, which is called casting off, throwing off, or bearing off. In casting off, the pieces count according to the point they are on. For instance, throwing 5 and 2 entitles a player to cast off one man from his five point and one from his two point, or one or both the numbers may be played as moves. It is an advantage to keep the points in the table covered as evenly as possible, so that every throw of the dice may be of use. If there are no men on the proper point, and no move can be made, men from a lower point may be thrown off. The player who first throws off his men wins the game. If his opponent has thrown off any of his men, a victory counts as a single game, or hit; if he has not thrown off any, it counts as a double game, or gammon ; and if he has a man up, or one in either of the winner's tables it counts as a triple or quadruple game (as agreed on), or backgammon. Skillful players will often make different moves according as they wish to make a gammon or a hit.


1. The first move is decided by lot; each player throws a single die, and the one that gets the highest number plays first, having the privilege of moving from these throws, taken together, or of throwing as usual, as he pleases.

2. If a man is taken from any point, it must be played, and when it has been placed on a point and left, the move cannot be made over again.

3. If the owner of a man that has been taken up cast off another man before entering the one taken up, all the men so cast off must be treated as if they had been taken up.

4. If a player throw and play out of turn, and his opponent has thrown, the move can be changed only by consent of both players.

First Plays.
The following, which are usually

considered the best first moves in playing for a hit, will be understood by reference to the illustration at the beginning of the article. In all these, it will be seen that the object is, first to cover important points in the player's own tables, and then to get his men out of the enemy's tables.

1. If double aces are thrown (the best of all first throws), two men should be moved from the player's 6 to his S point, and two from his 8 to his 7 point, as it is desirable to prevent the enemy from gaining these points.

2. Double 6's; two men from 1 to 7 in the opposite tables and two from the opposite 12 to the player's 7.

3. Double 3's; two from 8 to 5, and two from 6 to 3, in the player's tables, thus protecting the 5 and 3 points.

4. Double 2's; two from 6 to 4 in the player's tables, protecting the 4 point, and two from 1 to 2 in the opposite tables, thus advancing one step toward getting out of the enemy's tables.

5. Double 4's; two from I to 5 in the opposite tables, and two from the opposite 12 to the player's 9.

6. Double 5's; two from the opposite 12 to the player's 8 and then to his 3.

7. 6 and ace ; one from opposite 12 to the player's 7, and one from 8 to 7, thus securing the bar point.

8. 6-2; one from the opposite 12 to the player's 5. (In this and similar plays, where two moves are made at once, it must be remembered that the two are distinct, and that if one is blocked it cannot be made. But either number may be played first, and thus a block may often be avoided or a hostile man taken.)

9. 6-3, 6-4, 6-5, and 5-4; in each case play one from the opposite ace point as far as it can go.

to. 5-3; one from 6 to 3, and one from 8 to 3 in the player's tables.

11. 5-2; two from the opposite 12; one to the player's 8, and one to his 11.

« ForrigeFortsett »