Stickball is a street game related to baseball, usually formed as a pick-up game played in large cities in the Northeastern United States, especially New York City and Philadelphia. The equipment consists of a broom handle and a rubber ball, typically a spaldeen, pensy pinky, high bouncer or tennis ball. The rules come from baseball and are modified to fit the situation. For example, a manhole cover may be used as a base, or buildings for foul lines. The game is a variation of stick and ball games dating back to at least the 1750s. This game was widely popular among youths during the 20th century until the 1980s.
Many Native American cultures in what is now the eastern United States played a stickball-like game that is the ancestor of modern-day lacrosse, using hickory sticks and a ball made of deer hair or hide. In fungo, the batter tosses the ball into the air and hits it on the way down or after one or more bounces. Another variant is Vitilla, a popular variation of stickball played primarily in the Dominican Republic and areas in the United States with large Dominican populations.
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