Elijahball was created at the Camp Albemarle pavilion in 2004 and became such a favorite game at Field Camp that we held our first tourney in that summer. We put all the campers in a big draw, made up very specific rules, and the winner at the end of the day was crowned–Drew. Since then, the enthusiasm for the game has grown, though no one has yet managed to score a college scholarship for their finely honed craft. Listed below are both the winners of each year’s tournaments (first divided into age brackets in 2005) as well as the official rules and the always-fun FAQ’s (which here means, “frequently asked questions”).
Official Elijahball Rules
Created by Rules Committee (Elijah Kirsch, Michael Beirne, Bart McIntosh), 2004
1. Game is played to 5 points.
2. Server must serve from behind the boundary.
3. One pivot foot is allowed, but no steps when returning.
4. Before the ball is released, leaning on the table is an automatic point for the opposite player.
5. No forward jumps.
6. For a point to count:
a. Ball must hit table, and then hit opponent’s square.
b. Ball must hit table, player, and land.
c. Opponent must miss table, or ball must land out of bounds.
7. All disputes resolve by counselors (Elijah if present or another counselor appointed by the Director in his absence).
8. Excessive display of bad sportsmanship will result in loss of point(s) or disqualification.
9. You can play the ball off of either the table top or the opponent’s bench.
10. If ball lands horizontal to table, point for opponent.
11. No excessive holding (added 2005).
12. “NFL Catch” Rule (added 2005).
Common Questions about Elijahball
Who’s the game named after? It’s named after Elijah Kirsch, who, with his freakishly long arms, pinpoint bouncing accuracy, and confusing facial expressions, was so dominant in the first few days of play, that the game took on his name.
Do other counselors have games named after them? Yes, there is a game called Bartball that is very popular, though it has not yet inspired a full-fledged tournament. There is another game called Toddball, although Todd is the only person who likes to play Toddball and the games usually end after a few minutes due to mass camper protest. And though the name was a natural, there never was a game called Darren Ball.
What happens when Tupelo, who has a penchant for chewing on playground balls, pops all the Elijahballs? We all panic.
2023 – Young Boys – Rohan, Young Girls Epi, Mid Boys Gundy, Mid Girls Aggie, Old Boys Emmett, Old Girls Marian, Sibs Masris, School Peabody, Counselors Duncan and Caroline, HS CHS, Best Dressed Etta.
2022 – 6-7 Boys Connor, 6-7 Girls Lottie, 8-9 Boys Joseph, 8-9 Girls Veronica, 10-11 Boys Iggy, 10-11 Girls Marian, 12+ Boys Emmitt, 12+ Girls Louisa, Same Name Henrys, Family Moores, Schools Henley and WAHS, Best Dressed Maggie, Good Sports Marian and Nora, Girl Counselors Kathryn, Boy Counselors Todd. (Andy Goodstein made a film about this year’s tourney which, assuming YouTube still exists whenever you read this, you can maybe find at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYu6RHn_YJA)
2021 – 6-7 Boys Connor, 6-7 Girls Lottie, 8-9 Boys Joseph, 8-9 Girls Veronica, 10-11 Boys Iggy, 10-11 Girls Marian, 12+ Boys Emmitt, 12+ Girls Louisa, Same Name Henrys, Family Moores, Schools Henley and WAHS, Best Dressed Maggie, Good Sports Marian and Nora, Girl Counselors Kathryn, Boy Counselors Stewart
2020 – The 18th Annual Elijahball Tournament (Masked and Distanced Spectator Version) Winners: Youngs: Ben and Betty; Middles: Iggy and Marion; Olds: Kayvon and Louisa; Sibs: Dreschers; Counselor/Kid Sibs: Healys; Counselors: Annika and Henry. Sportsmanship to Parker, Vitto, and Matteo.
2019 – E-ball winners for 2019: younger girls Marian, older girls Caroline, youngest boys Henry W., middle boys Shep, old boys Beckett, sibs Healys, same names Sams, school Stab, girl counselors Catherine (!), boys counselor Henry S, good sports Daniel and Amy, unis Flora and Evangeline.
2018 – Young Boys Shep, Middle Girls Lucy, Middle Boys Camden, Old Girls Eliza, Old Boys Elliott, Names Bens, Sibs Healys, Sportsmanship Dylan S. and Caroline J., Boy Counselors Todd, Girl Counselors Taylor, Unis Ginsbergs
2017 – Young boys – Shep, Middle Boys – Matthias., Old Boys – Rowan, Girls – , Girl Counselor – Kate, Boy Counselor – Henry, Siblings – Morrises, Same Names – Henrys, Elementary School – Stone Robinson (Sam L. by himself!), Sportsmanship – Greta
2016 – Young Boys – Sam T., Middle Boys – Noah G., Old Boys – Tye, Middle Girls – Sonia, Old Girls – Kierra, Sibs – Bekiranovs, Counselor Sibs – Sourses, Same Names – Henrys, Girl Counselors – Kate, Guy Counselors – Dustin, Sportsmanship – Thatcher, Duncan and Audrey, Best E-Ball Uniform – Ginsbergs
2015 -Same Names – Henrys, Older Boys – Henry S., Counselor Sibs – Cohns, Girls – Julia S., Boys Counselor – Dustin, Girls Counselor – Eliza, Middle Boys – Gio, Little Boys – Ben G., Sibs – Bekiranovs, Uniform – Ginsbergs, Sportsmanship to Ivan, Laurel, Zack, and Zoe (all the way from Philly!).
2014 – Younger Boys: Noah Ginsberg, Middle Boys: Tye Daniel, Older Boys: Henry Sours, Siblings: the Sourses, Girls: Julia Smith, Women Counselors: Amy, Guy Counselors: Dustin.
2013 – Younger Boys – Max G., Middle Boys – Lucas M., Older Boys – Lucas C., Girls – Stacy C., Same Names – the Bens, Siblings – Alex and Dustin, Girl Counselors – Lucy, Boy Counselors – Todd Barnett
2012 Champs – Young Girls CV, Young Boys Max, Middle Boys Henry S., Old Girls Fifi, Old Boys Jackson, Young Sibs Morrises, Old Sibs Sours, Women Counselors Katie, Men Counselors Michael Santulli (whatever)
2011 Champs – Little girls – Julia S.-, Old girls – Katie K., Young Boys – Pablo C, Middle Boys – Steven T, Old Boys – Evan O., Girl Counselors – Catherine!, Boy Counselors – Michael, Counselor Doubles – Taylor and Cole, Sib Doubles – Coloms, Sib triples – Kellers
July 16, 2010 – Old Girls – Sarah S., Young Girls – Ellie, Old Boys – Ethan S., Middle Boys – Lucas, Young Boys – John John, Siblings – Sours, Girl Counselors – Emily Dean-McKinney, Boy Counselors – Michael, Sportsmanship to the Graingers, James K. and the Owens.
July 17, 2009 – Girls – Eve, Young Boys – Eli, Middle Boys – Jackson S., Old Boys – Niko, Girl Counselors – Lucy, Boy Counselors – Todd, Siblings – Badillas, Counselor Doubles – Santulli and Emily Hornsby, Sportsmanship to Daniel, Eljah, Walker, Pablo, Kate C.
July 4, 2008 – Girls – Sarah, Young Boys – Eli, Middle Boys – Chase, Old Boys – Daniel, Girls Counselor – Catherine, Boys’ Counselor – Todd, sportsmanship to Pablo, Theo, Nathan, Bevin
July 6, 2007 – Girls – Emily, Old Boys – Sam C., Middle Boys – Daniel P., Young Boys – Ben M., Boys Counselor – Todd, Girls Counselor – Emily, sportsmanship awards to Pablo, Eve, Kate, and Andrew.
July 28, 2006 – Old Girls – Emily, Old Boys – Daniel, Middle Boys – Pablo, Young Boys – Patrick, Young Girls – Juliet, Boys Counselor – Elijah, Girls Counselor – Meredyth, multiple sportsmanship awards including Jemma, James, and Jack.
July 15, 2005 – Old Boys – James, Old Girls – Logan, Young Boys – Jack, Young Girls – Katie, Boys Counselor – Elijah Kirsch, Girls Counselor – Charlotte Hornsby. Sportsmanship Award to James.
July 23, 2004 – Campers – Drew, Counselors – Robert Mosolgo-Clark.
Field Camp Day (Hogs and Frogs)
Field Camp Day used to happen two weeks before Pirates Day, every summer, but then we moved it to the week before Pirates Day because Marian and Betty never got to come.
2022 – The Frogs won the Games again. The highlights included Roman somewhat singlehandedly winning the Tug o’ Peace after having the worst egg toss throw ever, and a toss from Brynn to Carter to win the CTF game. The Hogs won the penny find (in a remarkably clear shallow end) and the clothes relay, but struggled otherwise (like when Otis said that one of last year’s counselors was someone named Erica). It was a great week at camp, and we all had a blast! Frogs are ahead now 9-8-2.
2021 – It was another masked version, and because we had 3 groups there (camp, Adventure and Leadership), it was easily the biggest field of competitors we’d ever had. We decided to spread the games out through the week again, and as so many counselors wanted to go back to pool basketball instead of croquet (Catherine especially), we ran that and the egg toss simultaneously. Sam Bowers couldn’t display his facial egg-catching prowess, but the Frogs protected their eggs and then Sam drained a flurry of shots to give the Frogs 2 wins to start the games, and they never looked back. They won the Tug-O-Peace in lopsided fashion, and then won the CTF game (Camdent to Kayvon) in minutes. Minutes! The Hogs won the two relays, thank God, but it was really an easy Frogs victory. We’ll get ’em next year!
2020 – The Olympics may have been cancelled in 2020, but not Hogs v. Frogs! Of course, it was different than usual. Imagine Michael Phelps competing against other international swimmers in Four Square. On Zoom. Actually, it was a lot closer to the real thing than that. It started with the distanced counselor croquet games. It came down to the last of three games which pitted Frogs Toby and Henry, neither of whom had ever before played a game, against Hogs Crabby and Catherine, regular players. Crabby and Catherine played well and Catherine was poised to close out the contest with a short, maybe 3-foot shot to hit the post. After 3 or four misses from that distance (some say 5 or 6), Tobey caught up to win it for the Frogs. Catherine was not pleased. Other contests were also modified. Our Tug-o’-Peace game may have qualified for a Guinness book record after Crabby tied three ropes together that he found in the guardhouse (and he has yet to untie them!). The Clothes Relay just didn’t happen, not many of the few coins Eliza could find (google the Pandemic coin shortage) at her house were recovered from the grassy field, and the results of the trivia game were disappointing as campers had clearly forgotten how to study during the lockdown. The important thing is that the Hogs won, so, Roscoe, repeat after me, “Hogs Rule and Frogs Drool.”
2019 – It was a tie. Frogs won egg toss, capture the flag, and tug o’ peace. Hogs won basketball and clothes relay. Shoe relay? Pretty sure it was a tie. So the series record is 7-7-2.
2018 – It looked good for the Hogs on Wednesday, after an in-pool hoops victory, despite the Frogs packing their team with Henry (football) and Pablo (flown in from CR). But then it was almost all Frogs. This was the summer of rain, and the river ran so high that we had our first-ever penny find in the field. Of 500 coins “hidden,” only 86 were found, so there’s a fortune in pennies in the CTF field. The Hogs did just barely win the clothes relay as Annika nosed out Etta on the last leg, easily the closest such contest in our history. So it’s Frogs up 7-6-2. Oh, and Johnny Cash visited (he’s a Hog). [And though it happened the following week, Jack H. set the new tube roll record of 33, seemingly stopped only because he veered into the thorny field’s edge.]
2017 – The Frogs won a convincing victory on Thursday, bringing the series back into a tie at 6-6-2. The Frogs won the Pool hoops game, bolstered by the last-second appearance of Henry Sours who walked over from his house. Then, the Frogs had quick victories in the Tug-o-Peace as well as the clothes relay. The tide turned for a moment when the Hogs won the 34-leg shoe relay by about five strides. But then the Frogs bested the Hogs in the penny find and CTF. They even won the trivia game, though the Hogs pulled out a last victory in the balloon toss. Nothing much has changed about the games, except that the balloons are easier to fill these days.
2016 – Perhaps inspired by Eliza’s 2015 film or maybe by the fact that the IOC decided to schedule their games during ours, the intensity and competitiveness of the 2016 Games was through the roof. Hogs victory.
2015 – This film (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_2Ff-uAJxQ) serves as our summary for Field Camp Day, 2015. The Frogs won the hoops game played at FS (5 on 5 for the first time), and then the first two Friday morning events, so it looked like it would be a runaway. But then the Hogs won the pennies, the shoes, and, improbably, the CTF game. Then with a victory in the Trivia contest, the Hogs had made a huge comeback. At the Pool, Matilda and Sarah were the only campers to have their balloon after the second throw, sealing a tie. It was a great day, all captured on film by Eliza Cohn.
2014 – FC Day 2014 went to the Hogs, making the series tied up again. The Hogs won the Counselor Hoops game (Santulli really tried, and the rest of us were grateful the game was over in about 5 minutes). The Hogs won our best-ever Tug O’ Peace, which lasted maybe 3 minutes. Then the Frogs won the Clothes Relay, but the Hogs pulled ahead 3-1 finding shoes. The Hogs won CTF as Zack showed up just in time to play (I don’t think he’s lost a game of this yet), plus the penny drop. The Frogs won trivia, and the balloon toss was just for fun. The games were fun and well played. Some thought the Frog talent was younger, so that means it will likely swing back next year.
2013 – The Frogs won the basketball game despite Catherine’s triple double, and the Frogs won it all. Other games follow:
Tug O’ Peace: Frogs Clothes Relay: Hogs
Shoe Relay: Hogs
Capture the Flag: Frogs
Penny Find: Frogs
Camp Trivia: Hogs
Water Balloon Toss: Frogs
2012 – After a 100-degree day on Thursday that saw another Hog counselor hoops victory at the Field School gym, the weather moderated and the camper games were on at Camp Albemarle. For the first time, the Hogs sped to victory after only five games, losing only the shoe relay. Funny, but it seemed that every returning camper was a frog this year, and having Jackson on the tug-o’-peace rope made that contest a laugher. Still, the frogs eked out victories back at the pool in the penny dive (a legitimate dive this year) and balloon toss to make it close. The series is thus tied again at 4-4-2.
2011 – The Frogs won this year on the last game, the balloon toss, which happened for the first time at Blue Ridge Swim Club. It proved a pretty impossible task, throwing a water balloon across the pool, and only a set of frogs accomplished the challenge, sealing the win for the amphibians. The most memorable moment of the games, however, came on Thursday, when the Hogs demolished the Frogs in counselor basketball. Ralph’s strategy was to break as many Hog bones as possible in the ten-minute game, thus winning by forfeit. His headlong, head-down runs at his opponents were easily dodged, however, and the Hogs cruised to an early lead.
2010 – The Eighth Go-Round resulted in a tie. After Santulli told me that one of his favorite parts of camp back in the day was the counselor hoops game, we revived it. Santulli’s Hog team dominated the Frogs, 15-0. We pulled out the mercy rule. Ralph’s strategy of breaking Santulli’s legs early in the game failed, and Michael scored all but two of his team’s points (Go Taylor!). The next morning saw a Hog’s Tug Victory and Clothes Relay crown. Down 3-0, the Hogs mustered a comeback, winning the shoe relay, tying the never-ending CTF game, outfinding pennies, and then besting the Hogs in Trivia and the end-of-the-day balloon toss. It was incredibly silly and fun. I just hope that in this off-season, some of you campers practice! C’mon, work on speed dressing. Study the camp website. Toss a balloon against a wall. Drop some pennies into that creek. A little offseason practice can lead to triumph and eternal glory for your side, okay? Let’s do it. Historic score now at 3-3-2 (Thomas Jefferson was on hand for the opening ceremonies).
2009 – On the Seventh Field Camp Day, everyone rested. No, kidding. The Hogs tied it back up with victories in the Clothes Relay, Penny Dive, CTF Game and FC Trivia. The memorable moments included the gripping, rambling speech by Eva Peron, translated deftly by, well, some lady, into a comprehensible presentation. The CTF Game, one that could be recognized on the CTF page, went on for about 90 minutes, ending with counselors playing. It was all some big fun.
2008 – The Sixth Field Camp Day has been memorialized on film by Ralph Geilker. Having watched this in the presence of campers several times, I cheer for the Hogs as they celebrate a victory in a hard-won CTF Game, an upset really. And then the film ends, leading one to believe that the Hogs have won it all. In fact, the Hogs won only the Tug-of-War and the CTF Game, and managed a tie in the Trivia Contest. Otherwise, it was a Frog-wash this year. So the all-time records gives the Frogs a 3-2-1 lead. Oh, and by the way, Amelia Earhart showed up to do this year’s opening speech.
2007 – The fifth Field Camp Day games were again marked by competitiveness and good sportsmanship, and for the second straight year, the Hogs won, thus tying the historic series at 2-2-1 for both teams. It looked as if the Hogs would walk away with things again after quick and decisive Tug O’ Peace victory (with mighty Jack at the front of their line) and Clothes Relay win, but the Frogs showed heart and came back in the Shoe Relay and the Capture-the-Flag game. The Hogs’ victories in the Trivia contest and the Penny Dive sealed the deal. The CTF game was especially memorable–read the recap on the CTF page. Speaker: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
2006 – Our fourth annual Field Camp Day was held on August 11th this year and marked by excellent sportsmanship and competition. We staged all the usual contests, and for the first time, we made team tie-dyes, with the Hogs wearing warm reds, yellows and oranges, and the Frogs wearing the cool blues, greens and purples (see photo). Furthermore, it was a very memorable day for all of us as Abraham Lincoln, our country’s 16th President, honored us by doing the opening speech. Despite the Frogs’ dominance in recent years, the Hogs pulled out their first victory in history, with wins in 6 of the 7 contests. The lone Frog victory came in the Trivia Contest, where Lucy’s captainship paid off. She knew, for example, the jersey numbers for all the players in the Counselor basketball game, which, by the way, was won handily this year by the All-City Frogs, with Elijah and Meredyth pulling through and leading the scoring. These storied contests will continue next year, on about the same date, and hopefully with some portion of the enthusiasm from this year.
2005- Our third annual Field Camp Day was marked by great sportsmanship, fair play, teamwork, and, in the end, another Frogs’ victory, their second in a row. Poor hogs. We cut out the counselor hoops game, giving that affair its own day. There the Hoops Hogs, with the help of ringer Emily Beirne (see just about any day’s Progress for accounts of her shooting exploits this winter), defeated the All-City Frogs on a rain-slickened Free Union Country School court. Field Camp Day started with a Frog Tug O’ Peace victory, a split of the shoe and pants relays, and then a lopsided Frog victory in the penny dive. After the Hogs made it a ballgame again with a stunning victory in Capture-the-flag (go, Liam), the Hogs put it away with a narrow win in the Trivia Contest, this despite a botched softball question involving airports given to the Hogs (and you know who would know that). So the saga continues. Perhaps next year the Hogs will finally get into the W column on FC Day. Not quite the Cubs yet, but who knows?
2004 – We had our second annual Field Camp Day on July 30, 2004. After the opening ceremonies, it was a day of excellent competition and sportsmanship between the Hogs and Frogs. It looked good for the Hogs early on after they posted wins in the Tug o’ Peace, the Clothes Relay and the Penny Dive, taking an early and seemingly insurmountable 3-1 lead. It looked as though the Hogs would certainly be the first team to win Field Camp Day outright after the tie of 2003. But then the Frogs bounced back with two quick wins, besting the Hogs by two crucial answers in the FC Trivia contest and then giving the Hogs a thorough trouncing in the Counselor 3 on 3 hoops game. The All-City Frogs made the Hoops Hogs look pretty bad, prompting Todd to speculate that he might have to hire a 7 footer next year in order to pad his team’s roster. After an unexciting o-o tie in the Capture the Flag game, it all came down to the balloon toss where, with all other balloons destroyed, Max managed to get a good throw off to Ben who cradled the yellow blob in his hands for the victory. With parents waiting to take the kids home, we finished just in time. Final Score: Frogs 4, Hogs 3. We shook hands and reflected back on what a good Field Camp Day it had been. Thanks to all who participated.
2003 – The second to last Friday of camp marked the first annual Field Camp Day. We began mid-morning after breakfast and cabin clean-up. The opening ceremony included a symbolic torch lighting, Meredith’s interpretive “flame dance”, and the division of the two teams: the “Chubby Ol’ Groundhogs” versus the “Croakin’ Bullfrogs.” Then both teams recited the sportman’s pledge. The day’s exciting competitions included the Tug-o-Peace, shoe relay, clothes relay, an egg toss, a game of capture-the-flag, a penny dive in the Moorman’s river, a counselor hoops game and Field Camp trivia. Highlights of these activities included nearly tied races in the shoe and clothes relays (see shoe relay photo above), the unexpectedly challenging search for $5 worth of coins that had been dumped in the river, and amusing responses to the trivia questions (for example, most campers believe that all overnight food and supplies are purchased at Maupin’s convenience store in Free Union). In the afternoon we loaded into the bus for a quick trek over to Free Union Country School for an intense game of 4-on-4 counselor hoops. By sheer luck, the Frog team of Bart, Elijah, Leah, and camper Daniel Lieb narrowly edged out the Hog team of Todd, Michael, Meredith, and Robert for the win. We finished off the day with several games of our favorite team sport, Capture the Flag. The final team scores for the day were tied, and since the teams will carry over from year to year, we look forward to the next match between the Hogs and the Frogs.