If you reside in the United Kingdom, chances are, you’ve heard about the Kerby ball game. A ball, a quiet road and two curbs are all you need to have hours of fun with friends and family.
The game is also known to promote hand-eye coordination, provide mental and physical stimulation and burn calories.
And if you’ve never heard of the Kerby game in the UK, we have all the details you need to learn how to play the right way.
Kerby UK Fun Facts
- Also known as the Curby game, the Kerby ball game is said to date back to the late 1900s.
- Even though the game is the most popular in the UK, a Kerby Championship, organised by Jantje Beton, also takes place in the Netherlands every year.
- The Kerby Championship sees around 20,000 participants annually.
- The Kerby street game is also available as an app for those who don’t want to venture outside.
The Basics of the Kerby Game
If you’ve heard about the Kirby football game, know that it’s exactly the same as the traditional Kerby game.
When you play the Kerby game in the UK, the aim is to hit your opponent’s curb. You earn points any time your ball hits the curb and the ball rolls or bounces back to your half of the street.
Players have 8 minutes to try and score 15 points with a 2-point difference. If neither of the players gets to 15 points, the player with the most points wins.
There is also the option to purchase a portable Kerby set, which allows you to play anywhere, including indoors. It still works exactly the same, except your “curbs” are portable.
If you will be playing the traditional way, pick a street with as little traffic as possible and have someone there to keep an eye out for cars.
How Do You Play Kerby?
The Kerby ball game starts with a coin toss. The player who wins the toss starts.
Players should stand on opposite sides of the street or room with a distance of at least 4m between them. Players cannot stand in front of their curb or portable curb.
The first player throws the ball towards their opponent’s side of the street, aiming at their curb. Players can keep taking turns, provided their ball doesn’t roll or bounce back to their opponent’s side of the street. If a throw is definitely a miss, the second player has the option to catch the ball.
Once the thrower hits their opponent’s side of the curb and the ball rolls or bounces back to their side of the street, 1 point is earned and they get a second chance to throw.
Should the thrower hit their opponent’s curb and the ball returns in the air and is caught, this results in 2 points and an additional throw. A player cannot throw their ball more than three times in a row – then it is the second player’s turn.
Players are also allowed to try and hit each other with the ball. Should the ball connect with your opponent, they lose all of their points.
When a player doesn’t hit the curb, their opponent is allowed to retrieve the ball and attempt to hit the other player should they be standing on the street. No throws to the head are permitted and won’t count towards points.
Keep in mind that aiming at your opponent counts as a missed throw because you’re not hitting the curb. So if you miss, it’s your opponent’s turn right away. Also, if you catch the ball when your opponent is trying to hit you, you lose all of your points since you’ve technically been hit.
Kerby Rules: How to Count Points
Players can earn 0, 1, or 2 points.
- The thrower doesn’t hit their opponent’s curb
- The thrower hits the curb but doesn’t return to their side of the street
- The thrower doesn’t hit their opponent’s curb and the opponent catches the ball
- The thrower hits their opponent’s curb and their ball rolls or bounces back to their side of the street. Or the ball returns through the air but is not caught.
- The thrower hits their opponent’s curb and the ball returns through the air and is caught.
A player that is hit by their opponent loses all of their points.
The first player to achieve 15 points with a 2-point difference, wins. However, this must be achieved within the 8-minute time limit. If 15 points are not achieved during that time, the player with the most points wins.
If both players have the same number of points after 8 minutes, they can both take three more turns. Once there is a one-point difference, there is a winner.
Kerby Street Game in Action
To give you a better idea of how the Kerby street game looks in real life, watch the below video.
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