Indigenous North American Stickball, another name for Cherokee stickball, is played on a field with two goalposts at either end.indigenous north american stickball

On January 11, users searched Google and observed that the website had modified the recognizable logo to honor the Indigenous North American stickball game. The striking design celebrates one of the oldest team games in North America. It features a Google logo drawing by Native American artist Marlena Myles, who lives and works in Saint Paul.

What is indigenous north american Stickball

indigenous north american stickball, frequently compared to lacrosse, was invented by several Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole, and Yuchi. One Cherokee story tells the first stickball game ever played between birds and land creatures.

The team of birds ultimately prevailed after outwitting the land creatures with speed and ingenuity. A bear, deer, and turtle were overconfident that they would win the game via sheer might.

Up to 1,000 men from opposing tribes participated in traditional stickball matches that lasted several days. The game was frequently organized instead of violent and contributed to keeping the peace. Along with resolving conflicts, it was also practiced to prepare young warriors for battle and served as an enjoyable adjunct to festivals and celebrations. Stickball is still played by various groups across North America today. Two poles or sticks are at each end of the field, and players take turns throwing the ball down it. Stickball sticks pitch the ball to teammates who hit or contact the pole to score points. Stickball sticks have a rounded end.

Each game begins with customary rites, which may involve smudging or tobacco burning. It is supposed to cleanse participants’ minds before the fun begins. Although stickball’s rules and customs have changed, the game’s fundamentals remain effective for communities to uphold Native traditions.

What’s with Google’s indigenous north american stickball Celebration?

President George H. W. Bush proclaimed November 1990 American Native American Heritage Month. President Joe Biden reiterated this declaration on October 31, 2022. As a result, Biden declared: “Now, Therefore, I, the President of the United States of America, Joseph R. Biden Jr, do at this moment proclaim National Native American Heritage Month will occur in November 2022. This authority is granted to me by the United States laws and Constitution.

I implore all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs, rituals, and events and to recognize November 25, 2022, as Native American Heritage Day at the Federal, State, and municipal levels. The Google Doodle for November 1 features a stickball artwork to commemorate the start of Native American Heritage Month.

According to Google’s interview with illustrator Marlena Myles, “I was very excited to create something enjoyable, significant, and that can educate many people about an ancient Native American sport that is still practised today,” the author said.

Myles watched movies and listened to interviews to obtain a deeper grasp of the game. He was working on the picture while currently prominently shown on the Google homepage across North America.

It’s a sport that helps the entire community heal, she said. People play for more reasons than merely winning, such as the well-being of their community. Our numerous tribes have actively participated in this sport for years and will do so in the future.

How the Indigenous North Americans Stickball Play

What Is Basic 

Indigenous North Americans Stickball, another name for Cherokee stickball, is played on a field with two goalposts at either end. In a game, two opposing teams are lined up against one another. The winning team is first to 12 points. Timeouts are not permitted. The game’s “drivers” are the officials; each group brings its drivers. Before the first ball is thrown up, drivers collaborate to establish the game’s rules. They carefully watch the competition to ensure the regulations they establish are followed. 

Equipment

Every player carries one or two sticks. The scoop on one end of the sticks, commonly made of hickory, is formed of leather or sinew webbing. (The drivers will decide whether players in a game will use one bar or two sticks.) The ball is composed of leather and sinew and has a diameter of around 3″. Each stickball team that enters a tournament supplies its balls, although often, the ball used in a game will be provided by a team not currently participating. 

Group Size

Each game has a different number of teams. A stickball team typically includes twelve players, but Patrick has seen teams with nine to 22 players on each side. The drivers decide how many people will be on each team and ensure an equal number of males. The driver of the other team chooses one of their players to leave the game if a player becomes hurt and has to go, keeping the score level. 

Scoring

The drivers decide precisely how points are scored before the race even begins. There may be further variations. Some teams were instructed to sprint past the goal with the ball to achieve, others to toss it past the plane, and others to circle the goalpost to score. The drivers decide on both sides’ scoring system before the game starts. 

Tackling

At any point, players can tackle (and do). A member of the opposing team is assigned to each player to guard.

Possessing the Ball

Players rush to pick up the ball with their sticks after it is thrown into play. Catching thrown balls or picking them up off the ground with your hands is prohibited. Typically, a player can move the ball to their hands after using the stick to lift it above their knees. (The drivers decide how and when the ball is accessible for pickup when the game first begins.) Afterward, the player with the ball attempts to score by running toward the goal without being tackled or giving the ball to an opponent. 

A “dead ball” has been unlawfully captured, touched, or moved outside the designated playing area. The drivers decide who can throw the ball back into play once a dead ball is declared. A team may stop using their sticks after scoring 11 points and continue playing with their hands until the game ends. 

Conclusion

Indigenous north american stickball was the subject of this article. Native American tribes created Stickball, including the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole, and Yuchi. It is frequently compared to lacrosse. One Cherokee myth describes the first-ever stickball match between birds and land animals. The team of birds ultimately won after outwitting the animals on land with cunning and speed. A bear, a deer, and a turtle were overconfident that their superior strength would allow them to win the game.

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