Kerby Ball Game
The History Of Kerby Ball Game
Kerby, also called curby, kerbie or kirby, is a simple ball game for two players which just involves a good bouncy football or basketball sized ball, a road and two pavements.
I am not sure of its origins, but it is a game I used to play in Aberdeen, Scotland in the 1970s and I'm sure it was played throughout the UK and also Worldwide.
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How To Play Kerby
The aim of kerby is throw the ball across the road to try and hit the opposite side of the pavement kerb. The ball should bounce back to the thrower to gain a point. If the player manages to catch the ball during the bounce back he or she can be awarded an additional point. The game ends when a pre set score is reached.
Some players would create a mini game during a bounce back catch which involved the bounce back catcher being permitted to stand in the middle of the road and throwing the ball against the kerb and catching each bounce back to gain extra points. The extra game ends when the player misses a catch.
In my childhood there were few car owners in the area and little traffic. So playing kerby was relatively safe, though a third friend would keep watch and alert us of any passing vehicles. In modern days there are many more cars parked on the street, driving around and sadly speeding. I would not advocate playing kerby on any public road. However that doesn't mean our modern kids should miss out on this great game:
Where To Buy Kerby
Postman Ronnie Mothersole from Dunfermline has invented a kerby game that can be safely played in gardens, parks, etc - safely away from passing traffic. Each kerb is made from plastic and the set includes a ball. This would make a great Birthday or Christmas gift for any child.
His game is called Bounce Back 21 because the winner is the first to reach twenty one points. It has been manufactured by a firm in Livingstone.
Bounce Back21 is only available at the moment by mail order, though hopefully it will be sold in shops soon. To order or for more information please contact:
PO Box 29119
At the time of writing Bounce Back 21 costs £72.99 but I would suggest contacting them before ordering for an up to date price and delivery details.
More Aberdonian games
Bill Bailey brings his act, Larks in Transit, a compendium of travellersí tales and a reflection upon his 20 years as a travelling comedian to Aberdeen at the AECC on Saturday 1st June 2019
It is not often that the innocent game of kerbie is in the news but in July 2007 two young boys from South Dumbreck Road in Kilsyth in North Lanarkshire were threatened with an Asbo by the police for playing kerbie outside their family home. A neighbour had reported them to the police because of the noise of the bouncing ball and because the kerbie ball was rolling into the garden and annoying the neighbours. Police officers attended the family home and the youngsters, aged 5 and 9 years were told that they could receive an anti social behaviour order though no further police action was taken.