Game - Mi'kmaq Eel River Band Marbles Tournament

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Contents

Introduction

I've been organizing Mi'kmaq Eel River Band Marble tournaments for my colony since 2010. The kids love it as they go home with marbles, and the parents love it as it servers as a connection to their youth, who generally live a very different childhood than we did.

I have made some observations which I feel can make it much better, and thought I'd share how I would run the activity.

Beavers

Activity Leader Instructions

  1. Buy themed bags of marbles that look distinct from each other, such as those sold by FS-USA where they have some with animal or planet themes. The more themes the merrier. There should be 24 marbles and a shooter in every bag. If so, buy 1 bag per player.
  2. E-mail parents before the meeting requesting that the child bring a labeled (on the side), plastic container. Suggest that they leave their marbles home unless they have some special ones they want to show the colony.
  3. You will need a referee (leader or parent volunteer) for every 3 players.
  4. For the meeting bring:
    • Marbles
    • Extra plastic containers for the kids that don't have any.
    • Permanent marker
    • Medium sized bath towels, 1 for every 3 players.
    • Boxes if you need to make your own wall, 1 for every 3 players.
    • Game instructions, 1 copy for every 3 players.
    • Novice Referee instructions (below), 1 for every 4 players.
    • Shooter Referee instructions, 1 for every 16 players.
    • Referees (leader or parent volunteer) for every 3 players.
    • Some light marble trivia. marblesgalore.com has some really great information and pictures of marbles. You can use the right hand navigation bar to view different types of marbles, such as clay, onion skin, or modern marbles. I imagine showing them on a laptop (if possible) would be the best way to show the pictures.

At the Meeting

  1. Create a Novice arena for every 4 players.
    • Towel and possible box
    • Novice Referee instructions
    • Game instructions
    • 2 bags of marbles
  2. Create a Shooter arena for every 16 players. These arenas should ideally have some sort of bling to make it seem like a big deal to be playing here.
    • Towel and possible box
    • Shooter Referee instructions
    • Game instructions
    • 1 bag of marbles
  3. Explain the game to the colony, a demonstration helps. Declare that all novice games are keepsies! Also tell them that the referee will tell them when it is time to move on to another game.
  4. Ask the referees to select an arena to go to and read the Referee Instructions there (the sheet with no pictures). You can ask them to stand while reading, and sit when finished.
  5. To give the referees time to read the instructions, have a little discussion of light marble trivia, or current events. Find out if any beavers brought any special marbles with them. If they have, try to help make sure they end the meeting with them, some marbles are important to kids, and some marbles are valued by collectors for hundreds of dollars).
  6. Once all the referees are sitting, divide the colony among the Novice arenas.

Referee Instructions

There are 2 types of arenas, Novice and Shooter (or Knocker).

Novice

Only hand out the regular, smaller marbles to the players as they need them (have none to play). Only use 1 bag at a time. To increase participation and make the event fair, do not give a player a marble if they have some they refuse to play (tell them they have to play it, or that they will just loose their turn and will be given another chance next round).

We want to have the colony share the wealth. If a player wins 2 matches in a row AND has more than 12 marbles, send them over to the Shooter arena. Their ticket to the Shooter arena is a Shooter, give it to them as a parting trophy, and tell them to show it to the Shooter referee.

A player may return from the Shooter arena, and they may have Shooters. Make them wait until a new match begins (again to share the wealth, give the other players a chance to win). Allow them to play their shooters, they deserve to. They may have just played a non-keepsies game, so remind them that this is a keepsies tournament.

If you need more marbles ask the Activity Leader for more.

Shooter (or Knocker)

You may have to wait for awhile before the Novice arenas start to send players over. To make sure that they haven't just wandered over, ask to see their Shooter, every player joining should have one.

Make a new player wait until a match starts (to be fair to the current players, and to slow down the good players).

These players have something to loose now, so ask them if they want to play keepsies or not. It may only be practical to play non-keepsies if the players have marbles that look distinct from each other. If this is not the case, you will have to divide the marbles after the game.

Only hand out the regular, smaller marbles to the players as they need them (have none to play). Only use 1 bag at a time. To increase participation and make the event fair, do not give a player a marble if they have some they refuse to play (tell them they have to play it, or that they will just loose their turn and will be given another chance next round).

If you judge that a player would be better off at a Novice arena, give them a shooter as a parting trophy. If you have a marble run, you may alternatively invite the best or less lucky players to play with it. Alternatively you can assign them to do paperwork (coloring).

If you need more marbles ask the Activity Leader for more.

Wrap Up

Take the containers with the marbles from the players. Check for containers with less marbles, and divide the remaining members among them so that no one goes home empty handed.

Cubs

Activity Leader Instructions

Same as for Beavers, but with less volunteers. Matches can be with larger groups, and leaders can just circulate between games as Cubs should be able to play more independantly.

At the Meeting

Same as for Beavers, but each arena should have both signs and both sets of instructions. Once there are enough Cubs that have earned their shooter, change 1 arena over to a shooter arena, and move the players still trying to get their shooter over to the other arenas. Continue until only 2-3 players haven't earned shooters, and then top them up to 12 marbles and a shooter each.

Referee Instructions

There are 2 types of arenas, Novice and Shooter (or Knocker).

Novice

Only hand out the regular, smaller marbles to the players as they need them (have none to play). Only use 1 bag at a time. To increase participation and make the event fair, do not give a player a marble if they have some they refuse to play (tell them they have to play it, or that they will just loose their turn and will be given another chance next round).

We want to have the Pack share the wealth. If a player wins collects 12 marbles send them over to a Shooter arena. Their ticket to a Shooter arena is a Shooter, give it to them as a parting trophy, and tell them to show it to the Shooter referee. Record everyone who gets a shooter. This will help ensure everyone gets one at the end of the meeting when the remaining shooters are divided up.

If you need more marbles ask the Activity Leader for more.

Shooter (or Knocker)

The Novice arenas will turn in to shooter arenas as needed. Every player joining a shooter arena needs to display their shooter.

Make a new player wait until a match starts (to be fair to the current players, and to slow down the good players).

Shooters can only be played in Shooter arenas. Suggest that the players wait until the arena has a lot of marbles to hit.

Everything else is like the Novice arenas.

Wrap Up

Same as for Beavers.