National Marbles Tournament

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Marbles Tournament, National

Late June
The annual National Marbles Tournament began in 1922, when Macy's Department Store in Philadelphia sponsored a promotional tournament. The Scripps-Howard Newspapers sponsored the event until 1955, when the city of Wildwood, New Jersey, and a group of volunteers interested in preserving the game decided to sponsor the event jointly. Traditionally held for five days near the end of June in this New Jersey seaside resort town, the tournament features a competition among champions selected in elimination contests throughout the country. The national boy and girl champions each receive a trophy and a plaque as well as a $2,000 scholarship.
Although there are many games that can be played with marbles—such as Potsies, Poison, Passout, Chassies, Puggy, Black Snake, and Old Boiler (reportedly a favorite with Abraham Lincoln)—the game played in the national tournament is called Ringer. It is played by placing 13 marbles in the form of a cross in a 10-foot circle. The marbles inside the circle are called "migs" or "miggles." Players alternate shots using a "shooter" or "taw," and the winner is the first one to shoot seven miggles out of the ring.
Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce
3306 Pacific Ave.
Wildwood, NJ 08260
609-729-4000; fax: 609-729-4003
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
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