American Toy Marble Museum

                                                                                           Lock 3 Park, Downtown Akron, Ohio

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    Marble Games

    Ringer Game Rules

    RINGER is played in a ring ten (10) feet in diameter, with thirteen (13) marbles arranged in the center of a cross. The object is to shoot these marbles out of the ring. The player shooting the largest number of marbles out of the ring in any game is the winner of that game. No less than two and no more than six can play in one game, except that in the final championship matches only two play. In preliminary eliminations as many as six may play in one game. All play is for fair and marbles must be returned to the referee after each game.  


    Section 1. The playing surface shall be a smooth, level area of ground, hard clay, or other suitable substance. The ring is inscribed upon this area, 10 feet in diameter, and all play is within this ring: (Note: The outline of this ring shall not be so deep or so wide as to check the roll of a marble.) 

    Section 2. With the center of the ring as a point of intersection, mark two lines at right angles to each other to form a cross, which shall be a guide for placing the playing marbles. Place one marble at the center and three each on the four branches of the cross, each marble three inches away from the next one. 

    Section 3. The lag line is a straight line drawn tangent to the ring, and touching it at one point. The pitch line is a straight line drawn tangent to the ring and parallel to the lag line. 

    Section 4. Playing marbles, called mibs, shall be round and made of clay or glass. All marbles in any one playing ring must be of uniform size. The standard is five-eighths inch in diameter. Slight variation may be allowed by the referee for manufacturing fault. 

    Section 5. Shooters shall be round made of any substance, except steel or any other metal, and shall be not less than ONE-HALF INCH ( ½”) nor more than SIX-EIGHTHS INCH ( ¾”) in diameter, by exact measurement. 


    Section 1. The lag is the first operation in Ringer. This determines the order of play. To lag, the players stand toeing the pitch line, or knuckling down upon it, and toss or shoot their shooters to the lag line across the ring. The player whose shooter comes nearest the lag line, on either side, wins the lag.  

    Section 2. Players must lag before each game. The player who wins the lag shoots first, and the others follow in order as their shooters were next nearest the lag line. Players whose shooter hits the wooden frame of the marbles court are disqualified and go last in the order of play. The same shooter that is used in the lag must be used fit the game following the lag. 

    Section 3 On all shots, except the lag, all players shall knuckle down so that at least one knuckle is in contact with the ground, and they shall maintain this position until the shooter has left his hand. Knuckling down is permitted, but not required in lagging. 

    Section 4. Starting the game, each player in turn shall knuckle down just outside the ring line, at any point he chooses, and shoot into the ring to knock one or more marbles out or the ring, or to hit or knock out of the ring the shooter of an opposing player, or players, if any remain inside the ring. 

    Section 5. If a player knocks one or more marbles out of the ring, or hits the shooter of an opponent, or knocks an opponent's shooter out of the ring, he continues to shoot. He ceases to shoot after his first miss, and then is credited with the marbles he has scored.  

    Section 6. If, after a miss, a player's shooter remains inside the ring, he must leave it there and his opponents are permitted to shoot at it. 

    RULE.  I I I 


    Section 1. Marbles knocked out of the ring shall be picked up by the player who knocks them out. 

    Section 2. Whenever a marble or shooter comes to rest on the ring line, if its center is outside the ring line, if its center is outside the ring or exactly on the ring line, it shall be considered out of the ring. If its center is inside the ring, it shall be considered inside the ring. 

    Section 3. A player hitting an opponent's shooter inside the ring but not knocking it out, shall pick up any marble he chooses and shall proceed to shoot again. However, he shall not hit the same opponent's shooter again until after he hits another shooter, or knocks a marble out of the ring, or he comes around to his next turn to shoot.  

    Section 4. A player knocking an opponent's shooter out of the ring shall be entitled to pick up any marble from the ring as their point. 

    Section 5. If a shooter knocks out two or more marbles, or hits an opponent's shooter and a marble, or hits two opponents' shooters, or completes any other combination play, he shall be entitled to all the points scored on that shot. 

    Section 6. When a shooter slips from a player's hand, if the player calls "slips" and the referee is convinced it is ,a slip, and If the shooter did not travel more than 10 inches the referee may order "no play" and permit the player to shoot again. The referee's decision is final. 

    Section 7. Players are not allowed to walk across the ring to retrieve their points, but instead must walk around the ring. 

    Section 8. A game shall end when one player knocks out 7 marbles. 


    Section 1. For each marble knocked out by a player, he shall be credited with the score of one. 

    Section 2. For each time of players hits a shooter of an opponent and does not knock it out of the ring, he shall be credited with the score of one.

    Section 3. For each time a player knocks an opponent’s shooter out of the ring, he shall be credited with the score of one. 

    Section 4. The player having credited to him the largest number of marbles at the completion of the game, shall be the winner of that game.  

    Section 5. In games where more than two players are engaged, if two or more players lead with the same score, those in the tie shall play a new game to break the tie.

    Section 6. A player refusing to continue a game, once it is started, shall be disqualified, and if only two players are engaged, the game shall be forfeited to the offended player. 

    Section 7. The score of a forfeited game shall be 7-0. 


    Section 1. The officials shall be a referee and a scorer, if a scorer is unavailable. He shall interpret these rules and have power to make decisions on any points not specifically covered by these rules. He shall have authority to disqualify players for un-sportsmanlike conduct. He shall have authority to order from the playing field, or its vicinity, the coach or other representative of player, who conducts himself improperly. 

    Section 2. The decision of the referee is final. 

    Section 3. The scorer shall keep a record of the game, marking the score of each player shot by shot and at the termination of each game shall notify the referee of the score, and the referee shall announce the winner. The scorer may assist the referee in enforcing the rule against coaching, and call to the attention of the referee any infraction of the rules.


    A player shall not -- 

    Section 1. Lift his hand until the shooter has left his hand. This violation is known as "histing." 

    Section 2. Move his hand forward until the shooter has left his hand. This violation is known as "hunching."   

    Section 3. Smooth or otherwise rearrange the ground, or remove any obstacles. He may request the referee to clear obstructions. 

    Penalty: If any marbles were knocked out or dislocated on the shot, they shall be restored to their place, and the player shall lose his shot. 

    Section 4. Change shooters during the course of any game, except that he may choose a new shooter on each lag, provided he uses that shooter in the subsequent game. 

    Penalty: The player shall be disqualified from the game. 

    Section 5. Communicate in any way with his coach during the course of the game. 

    Penalty: Forfeiture of all marbles he has knocked out of the ring, said marbles to be returned to the game, and placed on the cross. 

    Section 6. A coach shall not give instructions to either his own or any other player engaged in the game. 

    Penalty: Coach shall be ordered from the playing field, if, after being warned once, he continues his violation. 

    Section 7. Players must not walk thru the marble ring. 

    Penalty: The referee may require the forfeiture of one marble to be returned to the ring and placed on the cross. 


    Section 1. The tournament is open to boys or girls of 14 years or under. 

    Section 7. A boy or girl who turns 15 on or after June, 10 2006 is eligible to play, and one who comes 15 any time before June 10, 2006 is not eligible to play. 


    The term "marbles" in these rules is used to denote the object or target marble only, variously known as a mib, miggs, commies, hoodles, ducks, etc.  

    The term "shooter" is used to denote the offensive marble, variously known as the taw, aggie, moonie, glassie, etc. 

    "Knuckling down" is the act of resting a knuckle or knuckles ground when shooting. 

    "Shooting" is the act of holding the shooter between the thumb and first finger and releasing it by forceof the thumb.  

    "Hunching" is the act of moving the hand forward across the ring line when shooting from the line, or forward from the point at which the shooter came to rest, when shooting inside the ring. (FORBIDDEN) 

    "Histing" is the act of raising the hand from the ground in shooting. (FORBIDDEN) 

    "Roundsters" is the privilege taking a different position on the ring line for shooting and is permitted only at the start of the game or on a turn after a shooter has passed out of the ring. 

    "For fair" is playing for sportsmanship only, when marbles are returned at thee end of each game their owners. All Marbles Tournament games are FOR FAIR 

    "Lofting" is the act of shooting in an arch thru the air to hit a marble. This is the most skillful shot in Ringer. 

    "Bowling" is the act of rolling a shot on the ground to hit a marble with topspin. 

    “English” is the act of shooting with backspin and a very advantageous means of shooting. 

    A match may be decided in one, three or five games.



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