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Kids would form two teams. One team would form two lines facing each other. They had playground balls for ammunition (two balls is the norm.) The other team would scatter about between the lines of the first team.
The first team would then throw balls at team two. If a member of team two was hit below the shoulders, s/he was out and had to stand aside. If a player on team two caught the ball in the air (not after a bounce), s/he received a free "life" (ie-if s/he is hit again, s/he has used up a "life" and is not out.) A player may not receive more than three "lives." The fourth, fifth, etc. time a player catches the ball, s/he may bring players who were out, back into the game by calling a name. If and when all players of team two are out, the teams switch places.
VARIATION: If a player on the opposite team catches a ball you threw before it bounced, the thrower is 'out.'