Marbles Terminology

This month I am focusing on classic outdoor games. One game which is fun for kids to learn is marbles. My sons have marbles and they play against each other. All you need is a shooter, some marbles, and a piece of chalk to draw the ring on the driveway.

To explain how to play marbles, you should know the terminology. I have defined some of the most basic terms below. Cub Scouts can earn the  Marbles belt loop or pin from the Cub Scout Academics and Sports program, and this information will also help with that.

Marbles Terminology

  • Marbles – Regular sized marbles
  • Shooter (or taw) – A larger marble used to shoot at the marbles.
  • Ring – The playing field
  • Shot – Using your thumb to launch the shooter from your hand.
  • Knuckling Down – The position of the hand during a shot. At least one knuckle must remain on the ground until the shooter leaves the hand.
  • A Hit – When a marble is shot out of the ring.
  • A Miss – When no marbles are shot out of the ring.
  • Circling – Moving around the ring to find the best position for the shot.
  • Bowling – When the shooter moves along the ground during a shot.
  • Lofting – When the shooter goes in the air during a shot.
  • Playing for Keeps – When the game is over, each player gets to keep the marbles he shot out of the ring.
  • Playing for Fair – When the game is over, the players get their marbles back. The game is just played for fun rather than to gain marbles.
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