Scully was a street game we played in New York City during the seventies. The board (pictured here) varied greatly in dimensions but was roughly 5-6 feet by 5-6 feet. It was painted or chalked in on concrete and played with bottlecaps or other round items one could flick with their finger. The object of the game was simple. To go from the starting line (usually located outside of the box) to each of the numbered boxes sequentially (up to #13) and then back down to box #1 by moving your cap with a flick of your finger.
You or your opponent(s) could advance to each box by either shooting straight into the next box or by hitting the opposition's cap. The one thing you wanted to avoid was getting stuck in "scully" which was similar to limbo where you weren't allowed to leave until your opponent knocked you out (intentionally or not). This prison area was the maze located around the #13 box.
Over the years, the caps advanced from simple coke bottle tops to the plastic bottom cap found at the bottom of a frozen sherbet snack called a "Push-UP" that most ice cream truck vendors sold. These caps were then filled with either wax or clay (mainly clay) and players would have a wide assortment of caps for various strategies. Heavier caps were called "blasters" used to knock their opponent's cap several yards down the sidewalk or even down a dirt hill. The purpose of this was for your opponent to waste precious turns getting back to the "arena" while you waltzed through the board on your mission to get back to square #1.
Other caps had lighter clay which were used for long-distance strikes. My favorite cap, coined "the king checker," was made of gold clay and had a tiny crown-like ornament on top. This cap helped me to many victories and advance me to the third best record on my block. Yes, we kept records, stats; just like any other game.
Recently, a co-worker mentioned that he, too, played this game but it was in Philadelphia and they called it "bottlecaps," leading me to believe that there is a history to this game, somewhere, out there. A reference was made to it in one of Spike Lee's films, Crooklyn, in which the opening title sequence showed several children engaged in a game on the sidewalk.
By far, the best site I have visited on the web is over at Streetplay.com where you can find plenty of info: stories, rules, pictures, even a discussion forum. If you have some info about this game, please forward it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE JAN 99: Received an email the other day reminding me of another name used--"skellzies" (thanks Billy). I also uploaded a picture of my old scully board HERE. The picture was taken in the mid-90's but the board was the very one which I played on in the 70's.
UPDATE FEB 99: Charlie from "Brooklyn" sent me the rules to the game he played as a youth in the early 80's. Click here to read.
UPDATE MAR 99: Received an email from Thomas who played in the mid-70's. His father remembers the game being played back in the mid forties! Said they would push lemon and orange peels (as opposed to clay/wax) into the caps to give them more weight; even played with checkers. He also mentioned a term I had forgotten: *Killer Diller* ... Anyone else remember this?
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