I remember watching the boys in elementary school play “wall ball.” They used a racket ball and threw it at the wall and when it bounced back they tried to catch it. I always thought the point was to catch the ball because if you tried and missed then you had to stand against the wall, facing the wall, while all the other players took a turn throwing the ball at you, trying to hit you as hard as they could, of course avoiding the head if at all possible.
Watching highschoolers play while I’ve been substituting though, I changed my mind about what the point of the game is.
The point of the game is to get pegged with the ball!
The boys I watched were bragging about the welts they had from having missed and getting pegged by everyone throwing the ball at them. The bigger the welt the bigger the brag. Everything else in the game is just an excuse to throw balls at each other as hard as possible. The boys who normally wouldn’t be the first picked when dividing up teams because of their lack of athletic coordination were kings of the wall ball game because an enthusiastic eagerness to display their lack of coordination meant they were dropping the ball more in their efforts to catch it and thus getting pegged more.
There are no teams in wall ball. Nobody is keeping score. Sure some of the boys were real good at catching and liked to show off. But the biggest winners of the game were those who could brag the most about getting hit.
Talk about a lack of pre-frontal cortex!