Date: Thu, 27 Jul 1995 09:10:59 -0400

From: Jesse T Sheidlower jester[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PANIX.COM

Subject: Re: off-the-point

Another term from New York City is "off-the-

point," for a sidewalk ball game that involves throwing a spaldeen at the

corner edge of a building. Does anyone remember that? If so, when? Where?

How was/is it played?

An informant who was a notable fan of spaldeen-based games was familiar

with the term, but not in the sense you describe. He says that "off-

the-point" was a term used in various games to describe a throw that bounced

directly off the corner (of a building, step, etc.), thus rocketing

away unexpectedly. He says it was unquestionably a real term, but that

it was never used as the name of a game. "Off-the-wall," on the

other hand, was a real game, and involved throwing the ball at a

wall and trying to catch it on the fly, with bases being earned based

on the number of bounces, as Larry has described.

Said informant grew up in Brooklyn in the 1940s-50s.

Jesse Sheidlower

Random House Reference