The Ga-Ga Master Speaks
This is what you call a partially recycled post. Hard to believe that it has been three years since I first wrote I Am Still A Ga-Ga Master.
The game is tied into a family trip that is a hell of a lot of fun. This was Little Jack’s fourth time around and you could see that the years have been good to him.
The little boy isn’t quite so little anymor and has learned numerous tricks. He spent quite a bit of time trying to beat me, but only managed to do so once.
Unlike some of the fathers I don’t just let him win. I want him earn it, but that is a topic for a different post altogether.
I recently had the opportunity to play Ga-ga for the first time in many years and was pleased to see that I am still a Ga-ga master.For those of you who are unfamilar with it here is a short description.
“Ga-ga or GaGa is a form of dodgeball that is thought to have originated in Israel. “Ga” (גע) means “hit” in Hebrew. The game is popular at Jewish, American summer camps, many of which have special ga-ga arenas or so called “pits” in which to play.
Ga-ga is played within an octagonal enclosure when available, or in any other space that is completely enclosed by surrounding walls. The objective of the game is to eliminate your opponents by hitting a ball with either an open hand or closed fist into the region at or below his or her knees. That player is then out and must leave the playing area. A player can also be eliminated by having his or her ball caught in the air.”
Some of my favorite memories are of massive Ga-ga games in which there were just tons of people in the court. Those were fast paced and somewhat physical games but ever so much fun.I always enjoyed playing a very physical game.
I loved going after the people who would tap the ball off of the wall and try and stalk the other gameplayers across the court. I’d slide over to them and try to slap the ball away. Sometimes it would work and sometimes it led to an early demise, but no guts, no glory.
During this most recent edition of Jack’s Ga-ga experience I was able to teach my son how play and tried to teach him some of the finer points of the game. He loved it and I loved watching him play. He still needs to work on learning how to lose gracefully, but at 5.5 that is not always an easy thing to do.
He was also fortunate not to suffer a bad case of Ga-ga knuckles but if he is anything like me they are coming.
In any case, it was nice to have a chance to play with him and watch him learn to enjoy something that I have had so much fun playing.