Do they still play ‘Kick the Can?’

By John Owen | Apr 26, 2012

The T-ball batters have been perfecting their swings at the Civic Field.

The soccer kiddies are chasing the ball and each other on the grass north of Anderson Center.

The summer recreation season is almost upon us.  By "us" I mean "us kids."

Age is not a limiting factor. Attitude and passion define our roles.

If you are intent upon teaching somebody to kick or catch a ball, you are an adult.

Your presence is not necessarily resented if you occasionally pop for a Big Mac and fries after the game.

But under no circumstance are you  allowed to include yourself in a game of Kick the Can.

Please.  Tell me that kids still play Kick the Can.

That's all that got me through the summer during my learning years.

The rules are simple.


Rule I.

Dads can't play.


Rule 2.

A coin flip decides who has to kick the can. Everybody else runs and hides.

If and when the can kicker spots hidden playmates  he or she races to the can, leaps over it and declares that all those revealed are in limbo.

They stay there until somebody still undiscovered races to the can and delivers a good kick, freeing everybody.


That's the equivalent of a Husky lineman blocking a punt and then running the length of the field to score a touchdown.

Only Kick the Can is a lot more exciting than football.

Equipment is minimal.   In our neighborhood a soup can was preferred.



It was of course thoroughly washed.  If you wanted to play Kick the Can in technicolor, you left the label on the soup can.

In any event,  equipment costs were minimal.

I recently scanned a web site devoted to games and learned that if a kid wants to play kick the can these days he would probably need an XBox 360 which costs more than a bad marriage.

I  learned that  one of the most popular XBox games is called "Kinect Star Wars" which invites participants to "become champions in the most dangerous sport in the galaxy and compete in six races across five planets in podracing mode… and to face off against the Dark Side in duels of fate mode with three speederbike levels, four space combat levels and six Jedi combat levels including boss duels and  a Jedi action Dance for Jabba the Hutt."

Hmmmm.  How much fresh air and healthy exercise do kids get dancing for Jabba the Hutt?"

Better they should be outside playing healthy games with neighborhood kids.  I'll even donate a can to the cause.

A soup can.





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