Sunday, October 16, 2011


Other kids' games are all such a bore!
They've gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
Calvinball is better by far!
It's never the same! It's always bizarre!
You don't need a team or a referee!
You know that it's great, 'cause it's named after me!

—The Calvinball theme song

I ran some Calvinball games last Friday night. The rules were developed by Mardaddy on The Miniatures Page.

For those of you that don't know what Calvinball is (shame on you), it's from the classic Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. It's a "sport" that Calvin and Hobbes played frequently which moshes all sports into one game with ever changing rules. Mardaddy's excellent rules imposed just enough order to create a playable game while incorporating the key concept of making up the rules as you go along.

All 4 players (Calvin, Hobbes, Susie Derkins & Moe the Bully) start at home base. Each player is assigned a "calvinball", one of many different types of sports balls (golf ball, soccer, basket, foot, etc) which are spread across the playing field. The players must then run to pick up their calvinball, & then touch the ball to 1st base.

Once the calvin ball is "based", they then throw their calvinball as far as they can away from themselves & pick a new type of calvinball. (Note that they throw their current ball before they pick a new ball which could be the same type of ball.) They also draw a "rules change card" which could be anything from being forced to all run backwards, gaining Spaceman Spiff's Zorgomatic Shield, or being required to climb a tree and recite a poem in praise of tigers (the players actually have to come up with a poem on the spot).

The play continues as the players each try to base their balls at 1st, 2nd, 3rd & home base, randomly picking a new calvin ball & rule change every time. Of course there's other things you can pick up along the way like hockey sticks, football helmets & water ballons that will help you "interact" with the other players.

The key conflict of the games was when Moe the Bully stole Calvin's Little Red Wagon from Hobbes. They continued to fight over the wagon for many turns, but finally Hobbes decided to one up Moe by just winning the game.

Here are a few pictures from the games. Not much to look at, I know. The game pieces are cut out clip art with the "figures" just tri-fold standee types.

I think Mardaddy lost his copy of the rules, & I only have hard copies. But if there's enough interest, I might be able to transcribe them to a Word file.

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