Brian's recent Unverified Voracity described a basketball game of 1-on-1 between Jim Harbaugh and D. J. Durkin. It was like regular basketball, except no fouls were called. It sounds a little like tackle football mixed with basketball. When I was a kid, we called that game, "Jungle Ball."
Quite coincidentally, last night I was thinking about making an OT post about Jungle Ball. Reading about Harbaugh's game of 1-on-1 convinced me to write this post. The version of Jungle Ball I played developed from another basketball game called 21. Perhaps you played this as a kid. There were no teams. It was every man for himself. The first to 21 points was the winner. The way that game worked was someone started the game by shooting a free throw. They scored a point for a made FT. If you made 3 in a row, you had to take a big step back. If you missed, whoever got the rebound was on offense. Whoever was closest to that person was on defense. Everyone else gathered around the basket and waited for a rebound. If you made a basket, you'd start shooting free throws, and it continued like that until someone scored 21 points (hence, the name of the game.)
The interesting bit of strategy I enjoyed was the fact that if you didn't hit 21 exactly, you'd go back to 15 or 10 points. That varied from game to game. If you were a poor FT shooter like myself, you'd want to get to 19 so a made basket made you the winner. I never liked having to make that FT for the win when sitting at 20 points.
This game evolved into Jungle Ball in a similar manner as described by Brian. "That's a foul?!?" After spending so many hours getting upset about cheap calls and arguing back and forth, we just decided anything goes. Now, there was no punching or kicking, but you could grab a guy by the shoulders or wrap him up until he let go of the ball. We didn't play that game every day, it was just too brutal, but every now and then, someone would get that look in their eye and say, "how about some Jungle Ball."
Are there any other non-standard games (not football/basketball/baseball) that you played as a kid? Another one I can think of is the politically incorrectly named, "smear the queer," but we didn't worry about being PC in the 1970's. This was like Jungle Ball, only you played with a football, and there was no way to score points. It was basically another name for "keepaway." I think it was good for developing running back skills. Once a guy was tackled, he would throw the ball up in the air, whoever caught it would run around until he got tackled in a pile and you'd start over. I also spent many an afternoon playing kick the can.