Ninja (playground game)

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This article is about the playground game. For other uses, see Ninja (disambiguation).

Ninja is a common playground game, where the objective is to take turns swiping at the opponent's hands to eliminate them. The name originates from the feudal Japanese assassin. It is commonly played at meet-ups and conventions.

Rules and gameplay[edit]

The rules of ninja are simple, and have only a few pivotal rules for play. In a game, players will stand in a circle, and place their hands together, the player leading the game will say "Bow to your sensei". There, the countdown begins, and each player must strike a pose. Players take turns attacking their opponents by swiping at their hands , and must freeze in place once their attack is finished. Defending players may dodge if they think they will be hit, and must also freeze once the attack is finished. If a player is hit, the hand that is hit is out but the other hand is still in. If a player misses, they must stop moving immediately. When both hands have been hit the player is out and must stand back until there is one player left. The only player left is the winner. However there have been variations to how children play the game, some exercise optional rules such as, the area that is hit, timed attacks or how ever the players want to change the game.

Variations[edit]

A common "Circle Ninja" variant requires players to move in a clockwise motion rather than any direction they please.

In "Ultimate Ninja", players position themselves in a circle and take turns in a clockwise motion. This variant however, adds the objective of slapping either the hands or the feet. The players are also able to dodge multiple attacks before their turn. Typically, ultimate ninja has players completing more complex maneuvers such as cartwheels, slide kicks, jump kicks and so on.

Another variation specifies that players have only one life, that is, when one hand is hit, the player is considered out.

Some games have a "lightning round" where two players attack each other and try to not stop until one is hit in the hand. The game is over when a player gets hit in the hand, stops the motion, or becomes confused during his or her turn. Many people play a rapid one-on-one variant where players must stand toe-to-toe throughout the game.

In "Ninja Balance", players can only use one hand and the other is placed behind the back and can not touch anything. The right hands are bound together and the players can not move one foot which is planted outer ankle bone to toe. The players score a hit by touching any part of the opponent with their finger of the bound hand or when they cause the other player to lose balance and move their planted foot. Three hits is a win. Players are disqualified for causing injury or using the dead hand for anything but balance.

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