a potato is another way to refer to a spud.  spud is not a potato, yet often upon hearing spud people think of potatoes.

    these are the rules to spud, which you will see is a game that helps to review for the regents exam, because it is all about history and diplomacy and politics and open covenants arrived at openly with some secrecy mixed in for national security.


    -everyone gets a number; these are confidential.  you know your number, and you take action when your number is called.  kind of like the commander of a nuclear submarine, or maybe a customer at a chinese restaurant.

    -the game is based upon throwing a ball at other people, running around, and trying to dodge or catch a ball.  it is illegal to throw the ball at a person's head.  that would be like committing a war crime or kicking a puppy.  it is acceptable to throw the ball in such a way that it hits another person in so that the other person cannot catch it.  this is sort of like international politics, or maybe politics in general, but different.  like when the us confronted the soviets at the u.n. concerning the construction of missile sites in cuba.

    -play begins when one person drops the ball over their shoulder and calls out a number.  as soon as the ball is dropped, everyone runs away from the ball as fast as they can, except for the person whose number is called.  that person grabs the ball as quickly as possible, and yells "spud!" really loud.  This is way different than politics because the one whose number is called actually takes responsibility instead of running away from it.

    -when spud is yelled, everyone running away must stop where they are.  now, we all know it is not really possible to come to a screaming halt and vibrate like the characters do in animated cartoons, but, you know, dont just keep running.  if you do, we will see and say things about what you did, and that might make us all feel bad after.

    -the spud yeller may take three steps, and throw the ball at one person.  if the ball hits the person, that person gets a letter (s).  once a person has been hit four times, he/she is out of the game (s-p-u-d).  and then they become neutral, like say luxembourg or belgium.  or maybe more like switzerland, because those other two got invaded in spite of being neutral.

    ***if the person thrown at catches the ball, the thrower gets the letter, not the throw-ee.  if the ball is thrown at one person, hits that person, then ricochets off and hits another, and no one catches the ball, both people get a letter.  If the thrower hits no one, then no one gets anything.  because nothing happened, so it makes sense that no one would get a letter.

    -the people who were running away can only move one foot when the ball is thrown at them; once a pivot foot has been established, it can not be changed.  remember, the object for those at whom the ball is being thrown is to either catch the ball, and to avoid being hit by the ball.  and if you ever watched the movie the matrix, you know that technology can not only solve problems, but also can cause them.  so we dont use anything but the ball and ourselves to play the game, and we try to move like neo or those guys in the suits with the black sunglasses.

    -we play to win.  alliances are forbidden.  those who enter into entangling alliances are destined to be drawn into european wars.  or they will be booted from the game.  it is better to encourage international trade than to encourage international military alliances, thats what I am saying.

    -you must dress appropriately.  This means proper footwear (shoes you could run for your life in), athletic apparel, and bring a water bottle if you would like, because like I said, you will be thinking about history the whole time, getting smarter and readier for the regents exam.  cleats are prohibited.  and if you play correctly, you will probably get sweaty.  thinking makes you perspire.  And this review activity will take place on a field where we are all equals, maybe not in ability, but in our access to the opportunity to better ourselves.  now, it is possible to trip and fall while doing this, but so long as we get up and try again, we cannot lose, regardless of how many times we are hit not with a potato, but with a ball.


Last Modified on May 15, 2009