|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2012)|
Cubbies (or Cuppies) also known as a Wembley, Wembo (1 man wembo) or knock-outs is an informal variant on football originating spontaneously in different parts of the world. One goalkeeper, who also acts as referee as required, stands in the goal to stop the football getting in, as in normal FA rules football. The rest of the players try to score in the goal. Often the players play in pairs or occasionally larger teams. Each player or team competes against each other and must score a predetermined amount (usually one) of goals to progress to the next round. Once a player/team has qualified they normally sit out until the end of the round. The round continues until only one player or team have failed to score the requisite number of goals and are therefore eliminated. The rest of the players start a next round which progresses in the same way. The last player/team left wins.
The knockout nature of the game leads to it being referred to in some parts of Britain as FA, after the FA Cup, or Knockout Wembley, after Wembley Stadium, the traditional home of the FA Cup final. Other names include Knockout, World Cup, World Cup Willie and Tackle and Shoot. KnockoutWembley.com organise 1-day football singles tournaments throughout the UK with the aim of making this traditional game available in all major towns and cities. 'Knockout Wembley' encompasses all common rules of 'world cup' with the added bonus of sudden-death penalty shoot-outs. [Knockout Wembley]: One goalkeeper, who also acts as referee as required, stands in the goal to stop the football getting in, as in normal FA rules football. The rest of the players try to score in the goal. Each player competes against each other and must score a goal to progress to the next ten-minute round. Once a player has qualified they sit out until the end of the ten-minute round. After ten minutes, those not scored will take one sudden-death penalty (score = next round, miss=out). Each round continues for ten minutes or until only one player has failed to score a goal and are therefore eliminated. The rest of the players start a next round which progresses in the same way. The last player left wins. After each round, the next round commences immediately until the tournament is won. If you wish to rest then you can wait until the end of the round and gamble on scoring a penalty. The final will consist of the last three standing.
This derivation is often more physically demanding than the original game and encourages dribbling with the ball and keeping possession. For these reasons, Cubbies is a popular training game with amateur football clubs in England.
Cubbies is popular with school boys as the number of players is not important. The game has never been seen as a serious competitive sport. Attempts were made in the early nineties in Liverpool and mid nineties in the East Midlands to create tournaments for school children but the game's sometimes anarchic nature made adjudicating too difficult and plans were promptly dropped.
A popular variation of Cubbies is Heads & Volleys. The rules of this game can vary. The main rule is that, within a certain distance of the goal, shots that are taken while the ball is in the air either earn more points or are obligatory for a goal. It is also common that the ball must not be kicked into the air for a volley by the same player that shoots and that there is a limit of how many times the ball bounces.
Another, equally popular variation, extremely similar to Cubbies, is Three-and-in. In this game, players play individually rather than in pairs or groups, and the aim is to score three goals. Upon doing so, the winning player becomes the goalkeeper, and the scores are reset.
A popular version of this game is played in Portugal, called "Vira-Costas" (literally, Turn-Back), as the round begins with the player in the position of goalkeeper turning around towards the goal and throwing the ball up and over his head. Then, as each player scores, they leave the field, and the last person to stay in the field loses, and is eliminated, which is followed by the start of the next round, without the eliminated player. Play progresses until there are only two players (or teams), and the first to two goals is deemed the winner.