paahpitaawi myaamia paaskoontia! Let’s Play Miami Tossed Ball!

Youth gathered on a field with one child jumping up to catch the ball
Eewansaapita participants playing Myaamia Paaskoontia, ‘Miami Tossed Ball’. Photo by Karen L. Baldwin

Myaamia Paaskoontia, ‘Miami Tossed Ball’ is a fun outdoor game to play with a big group of friends. Now that summer and green grass have arrived, it’s finally time to play! 

What you will need:

All you will need for this game is the paaskoontia ‘the ball’ which is ovular and made of hide. If you don’t have a leather paaskoontia you can play with a size 2 soccer ball or small football. If you play with one of the alternate balls, it’s best if they’re partially deflated and a little squishy. There will also be goal posts on either end of the field.

Leather ball
The leather paaskoontia, ‘ball’. Photo by Karen L. Baldwin

Rules:

  • The objective of the game is to throw the ball through the frame of the goal to score a point.
  • All players can run, pass, or shoot the ball with their hands.
  • Before shooting the ball, a player has to stop, feet planted, toss the ball over their head at least a foot and catch it. Then they can shoot.
  • A dropped pass, a fumble, or missed shot on goal are turnovers to the other team.
  • To complete a tackle, a player can wrap their arms around an opponent with the ball and hold. This will result in a turnover.
  • Players can also try to pull the ball out of their opponent’s grasp. If they drop the ball, it results in a turnover.

How to play:

Each team is trying to score more points than the other by getting the paaskoontia through their opponent’s goalposts.

At the beginning of the game the players from both teams will meet in the center of the field for a face-off. Before play begins there will be a call and response, šaaye-nko kiilwa?, ‘Are you ready?’ and the players will respond, šaaye niiloona!, ‘We are ready!’.

The caller will count to three in Myaamiataweenki, ‘the Miami language’ – “nkoti, niišwi, nihswi!”, ‘one, two, three!’.

On three the caller will throw the ball in the air and the game will begin with each team trying to force the ball towards the goal they want to score on.

When a team scores the caller will ask, taaninhswi eehtooyiikwi?, ‘How many do you have?’, and the scoring team will answer with their current score by saying eehtwaanki …, ‘We have…’.

Teams can decide for how long they want to play and once the game has ended the caller will ask the teams for their total scores. Whichever team has scored the most points wins!


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Updated: August 5, 2022

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