A Rolley Hole Marble Yard
In a game of rolley hole there are two teams made up of two players, each using their own shooter (a home made flint marble). The idea of the game is for both players in a team to travel up and down the three-hole yard, three times, making each hole in turn. They must also stop the opponents from making each hole by shooting their marbles away. When both players on a team have made all 12 holes they win the game. Each hole is made in turn as follows
1. The first hole – middle hole
2. The second hole – top hole
3. Third hole or rover one – middle hole
4. Taylor or first round – bottom hole
5. First one up two’s – middle hole
6. Top hole two’s – top hole
7. Rover two’s – middle hole
8. Two rounds – bottom hole
9. First one up outs, or going up rover – middle hole
10. Top hole outs top hole
11. Rover hole, or rover out – middle hole
12. Out hole – bottom hole
A player makes a hole by rolling or spanning his marble into it. A span is measured by each player as the distance from his thumb to the end of his outstretched finger.
The marbles used are hand made of local ‘Flint’ which is a silica-based mineral like quartz and obsidian, is found in many colours, each shade has its special characteristics:
Yellow Flint - clearer yellow flint is the most highly prized by players and the toughest flint with the greatest density.
Red Flint – is the most highly prized for its beauty, but always too brittle for game use.
Brown Flint - is favoured by some players because it blends with the colour of the marble yard and is harder for opponents to see.
White Flint – is a lightweight flint, but favoured by some champions like Russell Collins because they can see it easily on the yard, or they just ‘like the looks of it’.
Grey & Black Flint – few play with marbles from this material, though it is fairly common and of a good density, but considered unattractive.
National Marbles Tournament USA
The game of marbles in the USA was purely a local affair until 1920’s. The first ever tournament was a promotion for Macys store in Philadelphia and was played by seven boys and one girl. Soon afterwards Scripps Howard Newspapers took over the sponsorship of the event and held elimination rounds, which took place all over the country. A. Harry Moore, Parks Commissioner for Atlantic City arranged for the 1st ever final of the ‘National Marbles Tournament’ to be held there. Some part of the New Jersey shore has hosted the final every year since. The final moved from Atlantic City to Ocean City onto Wildwood and Asbury Park, then in 1959 back to Wildwood where its been held ever since.