Skeeball 101: The New American Pastime

Recently, I had one of my little “writing thingys” named Freshly Pressed by WordPress. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it means WordPress put this on the front page of the website, causing people who may or may not like (most likely not) to swarm my page.

In said post, I referenced the greatest American sport of all time: skeeball. I assumed that the mere mention of skeeball would play on prior knowledge that everyone held. Apparently, I was incredibly wrong. I had many comments asking me to explain what skeeball was.

The following is my attempt to capture the joy of skeeball in words. Also, hopefully the NSAOAS (National Skeeball Association of American Skeeballers, and no I don’t know if that is a real thing) would name me an ambassador for the game, eventually inducting me into the Skeeball of Fame (wordplay!).

I remember, as a child, hearing people refer to baseball as “The American Pastime ©.” I also remember three quarters of my friends complaining about how slow baseball was and how they were bored.

Now, granted, these children were whiny. They also complained about the cafeteria food we were served because it “didn’t taste like meat” or because there was “mold on my hamburger bun.”

Clearly, though, there is no pleasing some people.

That is why I would like to nominate a new game as The American Pastime ©. A game that captures the hearts and imganiations of children and adults alike. A game so great that the mere mention of it can incite a riot, at least at Chuck E. Cheese.

I’m talking about skeeball.

Skeeball began in Philadelphia. The year was 1909. The Spanish American war was coming to a close, Karl Landsteiner was busy at work developing a system of blood grouping, and an earthquake in the Zagreb area lead Andrija Mohorovičić to identifying the Mohorovičić discontinuity. Not to be outdone, and most likely confused by the preceding events, J. Dickinson Este set to work creating a new game.

The game was to be played as follows: First, the player picks up a ball. This ball is to be small enough to fit into your palm, but heavy enough to be able to hurt your toe if dropped on it. The player than rolls this dense ball down a wooden lane that ends with a ramp, causing the ball to fly at a series of holes and scoring points for whichever hole the ball manages to go into.

After the game has ended, the player recieves tickets according to how they scored. These tickets can be traded in for great prizes, but most likely will be traded in for a pencil eraser or plastic bracelet.

This has been the way it has been played for the last 100 years. It is the purest game known to mankind, so pure that it can be played by children and drunk adults.

That is why skeeball should be the new The American Pastime ©. There has never been a reason to be worried about steroids in skeeball. No one has ever had to sit through a skeeball strike, probably because of the lack of leagues, but I like to think it is because skeeballers are content with their pencil erasers and plastic toys. Also, it helps that most of the players are under ten.

Yes, skeeball is as American as apple pie and the childhood obesity it causes. I think we can all agree that skeeball is the new American Pasttime ©.

There. I feel that adequately explains skeeball. If there are still questions, there is no reason to be ashamed. You were probably busy learning important things as a kid and not trying to get a wooden ball in a hole. I, clearly, was not.


20 thoughts on “Skeeball 101: The New American Pastime

  1. Nate,
    I was shocked when I saw people posting comments on your page asking what Skeeball was. I played skeeball at every arcade I ever went to. It was one of things I looked forward to the most every summer when we would visit Ocean City, MD and the boardwalk. Thanks for the clarification for those unaware of this magical game.


  2. You should be afraid of anyone who does not know what skeeball is. They are probably an alien…or a robot…or a robot alien and not to be trusted.


    • Now, that’s hardly fair. Just because you don’t know about the greatest game ever doesn’t necesarrily mean you’re an alien or robot. It means that you’re parents didn’t teach you the important things in life. Plus, some robots and aliens probably know about the game. I hear that Area 51 is just loaded with skeeball lanes.


  3. I love skeeball!
    My 7 year old is dangerous with the balls. When he was 5, we had to ask people next to us to move…as often the hard cannon ball would be launched and into their ‘gutter’ area! It would go backward and onto mommy’s foot! Going with him required wearing full umpire gear! Strike…try again, honey.



  4. I too was surprised that people did not know what Skeeball was. Then, I paused to contemplate how I knew what it was. Turns out, the only reason I knew about Skeeball, is that I have kids, boys it turns out, who went to places like Chuck E. Cheese when they were younger. Had I not done this, being a girl and all, and growing up in a time when there were no places like that (and no childhood obesity either) I probably would not have known what Skeeball was.


  5. im not an alien nor a robot…i actually do know skeeball, is awesome by the way, i ve never been so good,but as i said, i do know it -.-, i just wasn´noticed that skeeball is the name of the thing:), thank you really for reply to our ignorance!, you made a really complete exposition of the topic, i told u once but you are terrific writting! im a fan of this blog!
    for the people that writtes how mad is with his life, or what did they had for breakfast (that´s me) this can be CERTAINLY … A real BLOG!


  6. People that don’t know what skeeball is should get out more often. The first time I played skeeball was at a carnival when I was a kid, somehow the first time I threw the ball it went up the wooden lane towards the ramp, got to the ramp, did a 180 in the air and came back down the neighboring ramp to try to hit the child that was standing there. This either happened because I was short and nervous or because my telekenetic powers had unlocked and I had it in for the other kid. Either way I love playing skeeball and think the whole idea behind skeeball leagues is brilliant!


  7. Thanks for the explanation. It amused me to read the though baseball is always equated to America’s past time, that many people (or your many friends anyway) thought it was boring!!


  8. Pingback: American Pastime Baseball

  9. Sir Nathan,

    Your blog post was recently brought to my attention and the board members of SkeeNation have agreed it would be fitting to name you as an official skeeball ambassador of SkeeNation. Please contact us at your earliest convenience to make the title official and arrange for the ceremony.




  10. Pingback: Say Hello To The First Ever Ambassador of Skeeball « The Life and Times of Nathan Badley…

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