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Seven stones (ஏழு கல்லு)

Seven Stones is a traditional Indian game, boasting of a special place in the Indian Culture, spread over a wide region even today. It is also called as Lagori , saat-pathar (seven stones), pittu and several other names, is the most complex popular children’s game in India, and is rather like Dodge ball, but more aggressive.

Things Needed to play:
  1. A Ball: Tennis or the rubber kinds.
  2. 7 stones: If not, suitable substitutes.
  3. Minimum 2 players in each team. But it is much more fun with a lot more.

Procedure:

  1. Two teams with equal number of players needs to be formed
  2. A coin is tossed to select which team takes the attacking role first
  3. Seven stones should be on top of each other as a pile within a circle and the defending team takes positions. The position for the fielding team will be wicket keeper who will be behind the stones and other around the stones randomly as fielders stand in cricket. All the players of the attacking team take position behind a crease line in an appropriate distance away from the pile of stones.
  4. The attacking team gets three chances to hit the pile of stones with the ball (Underarm or Over arm) to knock the pile of stones.
  5. The attacking team has to hit the pile within three hit if they fail, then the defending and attacking team interchange places and continue to play, with one point for the formerly defending team in view of the worst aiming skills of the formerly attacking team.
  6. As soon as the ball knocks the pile of stones, the defenders catch hold of the ball and try to get the opposing players ‘out’ by hitting them with the ball in their leg below the knees.
  7. The aim of the attacking team is to rearrange the pile of stones and trace the circle three times with their fingers before the other team can make all the players out. If they succeed in doing that, their team gets 1 point and they get the chance to throw the ball again. However, if all the players are out, then the defending team now hit the stone and they gain one point.

Rules:

  1. The defending team player can only pivot with the ball and not move around. The maximum time he is permitted to have the ball in his hands is about 50 seconds. He has to pass the ball to other members of his team who will attempt the same – to make a player that they are marking ‘out’ by hitting their leg with a ball below the knee. People with the ball, however can dodge.
  2. The stones have to fall within the circle only. If they fall outside the circle, then its again 1 point for the defending team plus they get to throw the ball now.
  3. If any defending team player catches the ball after it has touched the pile of stones and before it has bounced, then they get 1 point and the teams interchange places.
  4. The player of the attacking team can shield himself from the ball, by hitting it away from the main area, so that time is wasted when the opposing team player fetches it from far away. However, the palm should not be used and only a closed fist can be used to push the ball away.

Tips:
The point to note about 7 stones strategy is that you should attempt to disrupt the stack of 7 as little as possible. Preferably, just the top stone being knocked relatively close by, with a glancing blow from the ball. That will mean your rebuilding will be trivial. Blast all 7 all over the place with a powerful direct hit, and you are in for trouble rebuilding.