Suicide (game)

Suicide (game)

Suicide (sometimes abbreviated to "suey") is a game typically played by children and teenagers. The rules vary widely from place to place; those given below are not necessarily a "standard" form of the rules.


Suicide requires at least two players, and can have as many as can be accommodated by the playing area. The playing area must have a hard surface, such as concrete, and a large, flat wall, and is usually outdoors. The game also requires a rubber ball or a tennis ball.

Suicide may be played in teams, but is mostly commonly played individually.


The object of the game is to be the last remaining player. In order to stay in the game, players have to avoid being "pegged" out.

When the game begins, a player throws the ball against the wall. If the ball bounces off the wall and then hits the ground, other players are free to grab the ball and re-throw. If the ball is caught by another player before it hits the ground, the player who threw the ball must run and touch the wall. Until he touches the wall, he is "open" to be "pegged" (i.e. struck hard with a thrown ball) by the player who caught it.

Note: for games featuring more sensitive players, it may be acceptable, instead of pegging a player who is open to get him out, to throw the ball at the wall before the player "tags up." The no-pegging rule must be stated before the game begins. If someone is pegged with the ball when the no-pegging rule is in effect then it would be the same as if the player had simply missed the wall on the return.

Becoming "open"

A player is considered open in the following situations:

* A player is open if he touches the ball without getting control of it.

* A player is open if his return throw is caught by another player on the fly. The exception is if he catches his own volley.

* If the no-headhunting rule is in effect, then players who peg someone above the neck do not have their peg counted and therefore are open.

* A player is open if his return throw touches another object, be it the floor, another wall, or another player, before it hits the wall.

* If the last-man-back rule is in effect, then all players are considered open (except the last man back) if the ball passes by everyone.

Any number of players can be considered open at any given time. In order to become "safe," and thus get out of being open, a player has to touch the wall before he is pegged (or if the no-pegging rule is in effect, before the ball hits the wall again).


Roughhousing is acceptable in most games, including setting picks and tripping up players attempting to go for the ball or go for the wall. It is not permissible, however, to physically interfere with a player who is throwing the ball, nor is it permissible to stand against the wall and prevent other players from touching it when they need to. Doing either of those constitutes a penalty. Also, fighting and overly rough play may also draw a penalty.The no-pegging rule may be waived for penalties, but if it's not, then a player who receives a penalty gets an automatic out.

Another penalty is called "wall-hugging." Wall-hugging, in its purest form, means a player who positions himself so that he is in constant contact with the wall. Therefore, in theory, if the ball hits him, he's automatically safe since he's already touching the wall. This is considered unfair and is dealt with accordingly.

A player who wall-hugs, which is officially called if a player stands against the wall when the ball hits it (unless he is touching the wall to save himself), is considered open. In order to save himself, he has to run to the other side of the court (usually to the opposite wall if it's there, else an arbitrary marker can be set up) and then run back and touch the wall.

Wall-hugging can be modified to some arbitrary point before the wall (usually at a foot) where if a player stands too close to the wall, even without touching, he may still be called for wall-hugging.


Suicide games are usually won by those who have expert dexterity and the ability to run and throw the ball fast. There are a number of offensive and defensive strategies that players can employ.

* Some players deliberately avoid the ball at all costs. While this is looked down upon, it is a legal strategy. The goal for these players is to simply stay out of trouble. The problem usually arises when others notice their behavior (made blatant by allowing ball to roll through their legs without any attempt to stop it) and begin to target them specifically. The best way to avoid the ball is to stand as far back from the wall as possible, behind all the other players if possible. Not only is this technically the safest place to be but it also allows them to be the last man back, who may peg anyone he wishes if the ball trickles back far enough.

* Cunning players may rely on "striking," which is deliberately pegging another player with the ball even when they aren't open. Although the player who strikes is putting themselves in the open, the goal is to catch another player unawares and, in the confusion, touch the wall before the victim can. The victim hopefully will be the target of whoever catches the ball.

* Wall-huggers are players who stand as close as possible to the wall without actually committing wall-hugging. The goal for them is to try to grab the ball whenever convenient and quickly send it back into play. If they are open, they rely on their close proximity to the wall to become safe immediately. A method which is usually employed by wall-huggers is to "sky" the ball, meaning they throw the ball very hard against the wall in an upward direction so that it will balloon in the air over the other players. Though this makes it easier for other players to catch the ball, it allows adequate time for the wall-hugger to race to the wall to become safe; usually they reach the wall before the ball is even caught. The downside to the wall-hugger strategy is that it is less effective if the no-pegging rule is in effect. Also, wall-huggers have a greater tendency to double-touch or be "struck" by strikers.

In general, players should avoid throwing the ball so that it comes off the wall either as a roller or a line drive. The harder the ball is to catch, the better the throw. Balls that fly high in the air are dangerous for they may be caught on the fly.


One variant allows "lives" as a means to lengthen each player's turn and by extension overall game-play time. The number of lives that constitute an "out" must be decided at the start of each game.


If the game is played with a fence behind the court watermelon can be used. If the ball is going to go over the fence any player can call watermelon. If the ball goes over the fence those players gain a life. If it doesn't they lose one. Watermelon must be called before the ball is within five feet of the fence.

There is also a "reach" rule in some occasions, when a person catches the ball and is far away, any other player may call "reach" meaning the person who has caught the ball must stop where they stand throw the ball and "reach" the wall. This rule originated in New york.

ee also

*Wall ball

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