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On the Wall and Sinning

I’m trying to remember the rules of Slam – the game of sinning and torture we used to play at Loughborough Grammar School. If you can remember a rule I’ve missed please comment.

The rules of slam

One and only one boy has the privilege of being on the wall, an interment which means staying within arms reach of the wall.

The walls are sections of the library or Victorian Gothic sixth form center, the individual wall sections representing one game and these being seprated by buttresses. The windows are covered in metal grids to protect the stained and other glasses from the ravages of slam.

The aims of the game are multiple – to punish fellow players and to not to be on the wall.


Sin or be sinned

A valid move is to throw the ball – an unforgiving and surprisingly hard tennis ball – so that it hits one or more of the wall and the boy on the wall before hitting the floor or being caught before hitting the floor. In the latter situation, the thrower goes on the wall.

A free sin occurs if the person on the wall throws the ball and it is caught before hitting the ground. During a free sin, the catcher is allowed to chose a place from which to make a valid move while the person on the wall is forbidden to move.

If during a move, a thrower hits the person on the wall in the face or nuts with the ball, he replaces the person on the wall. The former move is announced as “head height“, and the latter with a groan from the crowd.

There are no spectators in slam. If you are far away from the wall and the ball ends up near to you, you are obliged to pick it up and make a valid move – a feat of aim and skill that becomes different the more remote you are. So it pays to be close, unless you can anticipate a long throw and attempt to catch it.

Being on the wall means you have a group of bloodthirsty boys throwing a tennis ball at you as hard as they can from a variety of ranges. On the wall, you learn who your friends are, who can throw hard, and who is cruel.

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