Follow us as we sweep through the pages of memory together.

Many of us have at one point played football in the neighbourhood and enjoyed it. While some got beaten frequently for playing it. Some actually scaled through.

Where I came from, football is not just a game but a way of life. It was so deep into us that we were was inseparable. 80% of us were tagged stubborn because we wouldn’t just stop playing football.

We named each other after players of our choice and match each other against the other. What is perplexing about this is that no matter the occasion, boys would play ball.

In a lawless society, there is nothing like crime. This prompted us to have our own stipulations guiding the conducts. Lol! Get a seat and enjoy your time reading as I take you through memory lane. If you missed this while you were young, sorry o!

The rules of the game are:

  • The owner of the ball decides who plays
  • The fat kid was always the goalkeeper
  • When the owner of the ball got annoyed, game over
  • When you hit your toes against a stone and you notice blood, you quickly cover the area of injury with sand as a form of first aid and play continues
  • You can’t dribble the owner too much, this may lead him to stop the game by taking away his ball.
  • To distinguish the teams, one of the teams pulls off their shirts.
  • 3 or 5 corner kicks in a row equal to a penalty.
  • There is always a house where when the ball fell there, we knew that the game was over. So be careful!!
  • Game over when its dark and we can barely see the ball, we all disperse in groups teasing one another until we get home to face another punishment from our parents.
  • If you didn’t participate in repairing the ball you were given a match ban
  • The guy who’s never picked was to fetch the ball from the trees or bush when it got stuck, under the car or tunnel to play in the next game
  • No matter how many goals you scored, the winner would be determined by the last team to score
  • No offside.
  • There is no referee.
  • There is fault only if the fault is serious.
  • The 2 best players cannot play in the same team so everyone chooses their players.
  • If you are chosen last it is a humiliation and you will remain in defence.
  • If there is a penalty the goalkeeper is replaced by the best player of the team.
  • The best player on the field is always in the same team as the owner of the ball.

Special Rules:

a. Head or tail when we toss d coin for which team would skin

b. Punctured “felele ball” is repaired with hot cutlass and rubber.

c. Later we started contributing money to buy balls to stop personal ownership.

c. 2 stones represent d goalposts.

d. It’s always referred to as rough when d goal is not clean

e. If d ball goes to hit an elderly person d ball is seized and all players must beg prostrating.

In addition, you must never forget that 11th commandment that says ‘if you miss the ball, don’t miss the damn leg’.

By Babatunde Adesokan

Pen Wizard 🖋️😉

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