Stapoo is a popular outdoor game played widely by girls across regions. It is commonly played by girls in the age group of 6 to 12. The game can be played by any number of players taking turns in a pre defined sequence. Commonly 3 - 5 players are involved. If the number of people is large, more grids are drawn. This game is known by various names like Tikkar Billa in North, Chhipri in Maharashtra, Kith Kith in West Bengal, etc.
How to Play:
The players need a small flat stone and a flat ground on which the grid can be drawn. The grid is drawn on the ground either with chalk or using a stick on sand. Squares are drawn within the grid and are numbered in a sequence in which they are to be hopped. The pattern of the grid varies from place to place.
The player starts the game by throwing a stone inside the first square. The stone must land within the confines of the square. The player hops through the court, landing on one foot in single squares and both feet in double squares. At the end of the course, the player turns around and moves back to the beginning, stopping to pick up the stone on the way back. If the player successfully finishes the course, he or she throws the stone into the second square and repeats the exercise. The player loses a chance to play every time he or she is unable to throw the stone within the designated area of the square, or if they lose balance. She/he will start in their turn from where they had stopped in his last turn. The first player to move the stone through the entire grid wins the game.
This game is played in different regions with variations in the rules as well as the grid that is drawn.
In some regions, the game is extended by the players by trying to capture the squares to build 'houses' on the squares. After completing the entire course of the grid, the player stands with their back towards the rectangle and they throw the stone over their head. The square where the stone rests is declared to be their 'house.' They write their names which mean they own that number and they can hop in those boxes with both their feet. Whereas, the others have to skip that box and make long jumps to hop to the next one. Now, for this player the game is played from the other end so the player starts from number 8 till the number 1. The player, who captures maximum number of houses, wins.
This traditional game helps to improve balance, coordination, and strength in children. It also imparts social skill for dispute resolution, negotiations and coordination.