Monday, June 23, 2008

Orange Crush

I used to play a ball game with my friends in fourth grade called "Orange Crush". It involved:
  • one rubber ball,
  • a wall for bouncing the ball against,
  • the reciting of a four-worded song: "Orange, crush, pepsi, cola" and
  • as many players as you'd like.

Each player was his/her own team. There were four main steps and each step had a corresponding move and "lyric" from the song:

  1. Orange: throwing a ball up against a wall and catching it before it hits the ground
  2. Crush: throwing the ball up against a wall and letting it bounce once on the ground
  3. Pepsi: throwing a ball so that it would first hit the ground, then bounce up onto the wall whereby the player would than catch it before it hit the ground again
  4. Cola: bounce the ball once on the ground
That was just the first round. All succeeding rounds involved adding new features to each established move, ie: clapping (Clapsies), silence, not laughing while someone else tried hard to make you laugh (Laughsies), hopping on one foot etc. There were many rounds and it got quite complicated as the game went on (ie. the doubling of added features: clapping without laughing etc.).

Does anyone remember playing this game? I have researched this in the past but have come up empty. It brings back many happy memories and I'd like to remember the rules as they exactly were.


  1. Anonymous6/29/2008

    I just came online to find the rules to this game and only found this post. I LOVED this game as a kid and am now trying to teach it to my son but don't remember all the variations other than one hand, one foot.

  2. Hello :) Very disappointing that there's barely any info about Orange Crush online. My friends and I had serious matches of this game.

    Hopefully someone remembers the finer details and posts about it somewhere!

  3. Anonymous8/08/2008

    Thanks for posting this! You remember the rules much better than I did - had been thinking about that game recently for some reason.

  4. Hi there! It's funny how these memories pop up all of a sudden. And somehow, you can remember things from years ago.

    Good times! :)

  5. Anonymous3/23/2009

    OMG I wonder if you are from the London Ontario area, NO ONE remembers this game but me, until now! We called it "Plainsies Billy Baloo" though, each of the actions you describe had a different name though! Then we would try with one hand. We had 2 balls as well! Red, white and Blue stripes!!

    1. London Ontario Here and I remember it as Plainsies Billy Baloo as well....too funny....maybe we played together?! Lol

    2. That would be so cool if you had played together! Love that there's a unique underground of players devoted to this game.

    3. OMG!!!! Im from London Ontario and was just looking online for billy baloo because i bought my son 2 of the red white and blue balls to play and cannot remember how. All i remember is over under hope someone knows how to play this!!!!

    4. Hi Magdalene, based on the comments here, Billy Baloo and Orange Crush are variations of the same game (or closely related); in which case there are lots of detailed and informative techniques listed in this thread.

  6. Hello, hello! So glad you remember this game. :) I grew up in the Toronto area and it seems bewildering to me that so few people remember playing this game. I wonder how it came to have different names. Maybe it's evolved over various regions? Man, I loved those rubber balls. :)

  7. Anonymous5/29/2012

    I was also searching for this song to teach my daughter . I grew up in London On.
    This is what I can remember so far.
    Plainseys Billy Baloo
    Plainseys Billy Baloo
    1 2 3 4 5 Blly Baloo


    I was stuck after that. I was thinking it needed to be doubles, or one handed.

    Loved that game!

    1. Thank you so much for the comment. It's great that we can add to our repository of memories here—especially since there aren't many other places online or even people who actually remember this game! I totally forgot about "Overs" and "Upsies". The Plainseys Billy Baloo was a variation to the version of the game I played as a kid in my Toronto neighbourhood. I love learning about all these differences to the game. Cheers :)

    2. LynnHeffernan9@gmail.com12/17/2015

      My sister and I spent HOURS playing "Billy Baloo". We grew up in London Ontario. What I remember:

      Two "Indian Rubber" balls, and a good stretch of wall... usually against the outside of the house on the driveway. (Eventually we were told "Stop banging the damn balls on the house!!!"}

      1. Plainsies: "Plainsies Billy Baloo
      Plainsies Billy Baloo
      Plainsies, Plainsies, Plainsies, Plainsies
      Plainsies Billy Balloo

      2. Over.....
      3. Upsies
      4. Dropsies
      5. Downsies
      6. Under
      7. Againsty
      8. Throughsies
      (I think there were a couple more)

      You had to run through the entire song without dropping the balls in your turn.

      Next rounds were done with one hand, like juggling.

    3. Thanks so much for your comment Lynn and for adding to our well of knowledge on this game. The details you remember are awesome. Another London, Ontario player! Cheers

    4. Anonymous6/29/2016

      OMG.. i too lived in London ON as a kid and played these games.. I am 45.. Went to Lester b Pearson.. :) Was known as Susan Pritchard then..

    5. I grew up in London, ON also went to Princess Elizabeth Public School. I was showing my children how to play.

    6. I love that we're all passing this game onto the next generation!

  8. Anonymous9/25/2012

    I have been trying to remember all the rules of this game too and no one has even heard of it! I do remember one of the actions was to clap under your leg. Keep the memories coming because I'm trying to teach it to my kids.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I remember the clapping under the leg move. There was also a clapping behind your back move too. I wish I had written down all the sequences back then. It seemed so simple then—only now do I realize how a bit more involved it was. I'll update this post whenever I discover more. :)

  9. Anonymous6/12/2013

    I grew up playing this game and loved it. I was jsut thinking of it today and it is funny that you all tak about it being a London Ontario thing, I grew up in Brantford and Missisauga and no one out in the west even knows what I am talking about

    1. Anonymous3/28/2015

      WHo would have thought this game "Billy Baloo" would have been so hard to find. I remember spending countless hours playing this game with my friends. I am from Windsor, Ontario and I was search for the rules but surprised to see almost nothing online. I remember....
      Plainsy billy baloo (under hand ball at wall)
      Plainsy billy baloo
      1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 Billy baloo
      ..........Then.........overs, over-under, upsies, dropsies, bouncies, gainsties. Then do it all with one hand.
      If you drop the ball or mis-throw it is the next persons turn.
      Now all I have to do is find the balls and teach my kids.
      Thanks for refreshing my memory.

  10. Thanks so much for sharing your memories! :) I posted this entry in 2008 and just love that comments keep on coming. I hope more folks out there share their memories of playing Orange Crush and hopefully we can all then properly recall and define the game. I wonder if this is just an Ontario thing.

    Cheers! :)

  11. Anonymous7/27/2013

    Hi, this is so funny! I was trying to remember the game to teach my daughter too and so far, no one I've asked has heard about it, so I thought I'd try online. I learned Orange Crush, but also a variation called, Seven-Sixies (for obvious reasons). I learned the increasing levels were clapping, right hand, left hand, under right leg, under left, through legs from behind, spinning in a circle.
    I also found this...

    Oh - and I grew up in Scarborough. Maybe I'll try asking on FB as I have some high school connections. Maybe one of them will remember playing in elementary school.

    Allison :)

    1. Thanks so much for adding to this comment thread Allison! Some valuable move descriptions here. I forgot about the through the legs from behind and spinning in a circle moves! Those were tricky but lots of fun. :)

      Love that via all the comments we're all compiling an ever growing set of guidelines for this game.

      Thanks for the link to the 7-Up game which seems like a cousin of our Orange Crush game. Let us know if you find out anymore rules/info about this game via your searches. Cheers :)

    2. Anonymous8/14/2013

      I have fond memories of orange crush too. I want to teach it to my 9 yr old daughter but couldn't remember all the moves. I grew up in Scarborough and Meadowvale, Mississauga. I'm in Australia now and no one here has any idea what I'm talking about. Funny and a bit sad how these games just got phased out. I just taught my daughter cats cradle and would like to teach her double dutch but I need to be able to find a long skipping rope first.

      Thanks for the moves Allison.

      Tasha :)

    3. Yay, another orange crush fan! Based on the comments I've received Orange Crush definitely seems like an Ontario phenomenon. I do wonder when and how the game started and how it evolved over time. Yes it truly is sad how these games got phased out. It was a huge part of my elementary school years.

      Cat's Cradle, I forgot about that one! And Double Dutch was lots of fun. :)

  12. Anonymous3/14/2014

    Another Mississauga person here! I'm so glad I found this, I had been trying to remember all the increasing 'levels'.

    I remember for the hard ones, like clapping and spinning and touching the ground all in succession, meant we'd throw the ball higher and higher on the wall to give us more time to catch it and at that point the ball would end up on the school roof lol.

    I remember playing this in Mississauga in the 70s and 80s. From the comments it sounds like an Ontario thing, maybe just Southern Ontario?

    Thanks to everyone who commented, this is awesome nostalgia.

    1. I'm getting back to some of the comments I've missed. Thank you for your wonderful comment and for adding to our collection of nostalgia! :)

  13. Anonymous5/15/2014

    I'm from peterborough, not far from TO and I played this game allot as a kid. I literally just googled it because I found a stress ball and started throwing it up against my cubicle wall trying to remember the game! I'll be teaching this to my daughter. It's a fun game for them to keep them busy!!

    1. Thank you for your comment. Once you pick up a ball, the game just comes back to you, even decades later. Ontario's well represented in this comment board. :)

  14. Anonymous5/17/2014

    Also from Mississauga and have been playing with my kids. Here's what I remember:

    *regular (2 hands)
    *feet frozen in one place
    *standing on right foot
    *standing on left foot
    *right hand only
    *left hand only
    *right hand only and standing on right foot
    *left hand only and standing on left foot
    *single clap
    *double clap
    *triple clap
    *quadruple clap
    and there's more... beyond this I can't recall!

    1. Another Ontarian! Welcome and thank you for your comment and contribution to our compilation here. :)

  15. I come from Manitoba and we called it 7-up. We played it with a red, blue and white ball. Basically, there were 7 sequences of everything you did.
    You started with throwing the ball against the wall with 2 hands, and catching it, without letting it hit the ground. You did that 7 times. Then 6, then 5, all the way down to one. Then you threw the ball with your 2 hands against the wall and let it hit the ground and caught it. Then you'd add clapping once, clapping twice, twirling around. The sequences would be more and more complicated. Then you'd do the same sequences with your right hand only, and then with your left hand. If you managed to get through all of the sequences without dropping the ball, then you could try and do it turned around with your back to the wall. That required real skill and dexterity and didn't usually last very long. It was very competitive and fun!

    1. Hello Fannie, yay a Manitoban! Thank you for your awesome comment. Love the detail. The variations in this game from region to region are really intriguing. They all have slight differences but so much fun nonetheless.

  16. Also "ordinary, dictionary, stationary, moving, talking, laughing, clap front, clap back, front to back, back to front, tweedles, twaddles, curtsies, bowsies, salutes, 1-2-3, touch my knee, touch my toe, touch my heel, touch the ground, turn around."
    I think a few of the first ones are mixed up a bit.. But each word has as motion you need to do by the time the ball bounces back to you.

    1. Thank you for adding to our database of knowledge!

    2. This is closest to the one remember. Ordinary, dictionary, stationary, etc. We ended with right salute, left salute, double salute and away-she-goes (360 degree turn). Ontario had a lot of brick buildings so it was perfect for these games. The dark India Rubber ball was also the only "real" ball for these games. Sometimes we'd end up with one of those red-white-blue squishy balls that hardly bounced. Safer, I know, but not great for wall bouncing.

    3. There was nothing better than playing against a brick building! :)

  17. I am also from Windsor - LOVED Billy Baloo! We played for hours! Does anyone know where similar balls can be purchased? Love this thread!

    1. Sorry, I missed responding to this. I'm not sure where those old balls can be purchased. Loved them so much as a kid.

    2. Anonymous7/20/2017

      I've seen them at dollarama and Wal Mart

    3. Anonymous7/20/2017

      Seems like London Ontario is the Billy baloo town ������

  18. April Wootten8/12/2017

    Ordinary, Dictionary, Stationary,Moving,Laughing, Talking, One Hand , The Other Hand, One Foot, The Other Foot, Clap front,Clap Back,Front to back, Back to Front, Tweedles, Twidles, Curtsy, Bow, 1-2-3, Touch my knee, Touch my toe, Touch my Heel, Touch the ground, Merry-go-round....

    This is what we played in Sudbury, Ontario. I'm 57 now.

    1. Oh I love this. Thanks so much for sharing and expanding our knowledge of this game. :)

  19. Anonymous8/28/2017

    Mississauga Now but grew up in Toronto East End. I remember the rhyme as Ordinary, Moving, Laughing, Talking, One Hand, The Other Hand, One Foot, The Other Foot, Clap In Front, Clap In Back, Front To Back, Back To Front, Tweedles, Twaddles,(Something), (Something), And Away She Goes. And Yep, with a Red White and Blue Ball. We could entertain ourselves endlessly with this game. Even good as a Solo game if no-one else around. I'm 62.

    1. This is precious. Thank you so much for sharing. I loved playing Orange Crush solo too.

  20. I went looking for Billy Baloo to see if I was remembering all the moves and came across this. I’ve been enjoying the comments too. I lived in Komoka and Mount Brydges as a child and we played that game endlessly. When we moved to BC no one had heard of it so I never played it again until I became a teacher and taught my students. I had forgotten a couple of the moves but have been reminded but other commenters so thank you. Once we got all the way through we did doubles, then with one hand, then we stood far from the wall, then moved really close to the wall th go through the sequence again. So we had plainsies, over, over-under, upsies, downsies, throughsies (under the leg), dropsies, and againsties. If there are more than that I don’t remember them. When we were t playing Billy Baloo we were skipping double dutch, another thing that kids didn’t do when we moved to BC but I did with my students.

    1. Anonymous3/31/2018

      I am in BC and everyone here looks at me if i was nuts . Never heard of it. I am originally from Ontario

    2. I had forgotten all about moving closer to the wall (and away from the wall)!! Wow, thank you so much for reminding me. The comments in this thread are just fantastic.

    3. Orange Crush definitely seems like an Ontario phenomenon.

      Skipping/jump rope was huge in my neighbourhood too. We did double dutch too.

  21. Barb (Bergmann) Heinrichs3/22/2018

    Wow. I just googled this ball game and now I’m taking a trip down memory lane. All these comments have jogged my memory and here’s the version I played growing up in Virgil, Ontario in the late 1960’s and 70’s. I don’t remember what we called it but we played for hours, at school and at home. Not once did my long-suffering mother complain about the terrific noise it must’ve made inside the house. We played on the outside of the kitchen wall too! But I guess with 5 children, she was just thankful we were playing nicely!

    Ball game:
    Throw ball against a wall and do the actions while the ball is in the air, catching it after you’ve completed each action. When you drop the ball, it’s the next girls turn.

    Stationary (slap thighs)
    Movesies (wiggle bum)
    Laughsies (index and middle finger on either side of mouth and no smiling)
    Talksies (fingers on mouth and be silent)
    One hand (catch ball with one hand)
    The other hand (catch with the other)
    One foot (stand on one foot)
    The other foot (now the other)
    Clap at the front
    Clap at the back
    Front to back (clap first front then back)
    Back to front (reverse)
    Tweedles (roll hands in a tumbling motion)
    Twaddles (rolls hands in a reverse motion)
    Curtsies (take curtsy)
    Bowsies (take a bow)
    Right salute (salute with right hand)
    Left salute (salute with left hand)
    Under she goes (throw ball under leg)
    And away she goes (spin around)

    If completed without dropping the ball, go through the sequence again in order, adding the next action in line before each other action.
    For example: the second time through, slap your thighs before each consecutive action. Third time through, wiggle your bum before each consecutive action.

    This definitely would’ve developed dexterity and coordination and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it now!

    Thanks for helping me piece together some childhood nostalgia!

    1. Thank you! Niagara Falls for me and what you have described is basically the version we did. I couldn't remember what we did to continue after the first round if we made it all the way through so thanks for filling that part in.

    2. Barb, wow, thank you so much for your comment and adding to our compendium! Lots of great information here. This is fantastic!

    3. Anonymous4/29/2018

      Hi I've been trying to search for this game so I can properly play with my daughter. I grew up in Toronto and we played for hours with the red/white/blue rubber ball.

      You all helped with the sequence. Here are a few more I remembered in our neighbourhood but steps very close. I missed some.

      one hand
      the other hand
      one foot
      the other foot
      under one leg
      under the other leg
      both legs (stand with feet apart and boune ball through legs)
      touch the ground (??)
      spin to the right
      spin to the left


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