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Play Iron Hoop Rolling/Trundling With a Stick Game in China


General Introduction to Hoop Rolling in China

Rolling hoops, traditional children's game, prevailed all around China in the 1960s and 1970s. Players pinch the head of a "U" shaped iron stick and push an iron ring about 66 cm in diameter to run forward. Some players put two or three rings on the large hoop to make louder sounds when rolling.

Hoop Rolling
Hoop Rolling

The Current Situation of Hoop Rolling Game

With the gradual enrichment of the modern life of children, especially the increasing number of motor vehicles, pushing the iron hoop activities have been greatly restricted. Also, living at a fast pace, no one is willing to find materials to weld an iron hoop. Therefore, the hoop rolling game, which once has a long history and once had extensive masses of people, have been gradually lost its popularity. 

From the perspective of broadening the extension of physical education, promoting national and traditional sports culture, recommending sports with regional characteristics and training students' physical fitness, children can be encouraged to participate in hoop trundling on campus. Or, under the premise of strengthening safety education, advocate children in mountainous areas to trundle a hoop along a field road.

Hoop Trundling
Hoop Trundling

Because the push of a hoop is a national and traditional sports that is beneficial to physical and mental health, it has been retained in the race programs of the National Sports Association.

How to Make a Rolling Hoop?

As a kind of toy, the hoop is made up of two parts: one is a circle made of iron wire, and the other is a long handle that pushes the hoop forward. 

The production of the hoop is very simple. Use clipper to bend the iron or copper wire into a circle with similar size of a barrel mouth. For the convenience of control, the circle must not be too big or too small and the more round the better. Children were surprised to find that the iron ring at the bottom of the abandoned iron drum was a very ideal iron hoop. 

The long handle can be acted on by a small stick or bamboo whip about one meter long and with a U-shaped iron hook on the top, or, a handle made of a wire that is bent into a hook.

Make Rolling Hoop
Make Rolling Hoop

How to Play With a Hoop?

General game

The hoops should preferably be on a flat surface or a slightly sloped slope. For a master of hoop rolling, even on a rugged mountain road or a rugged village lane, he can handle freely. Hold the long handle in the right hand and put it on the hoo iron hoop. The power of the hand will be transferred to the hoop rolling hoop through the long handle hook, which push the iron ring to roll quickly. You can not only go straight and turn, but also use iron hook to smash at the bottom of the iron ring and let the iron ring return, or make the iron ring jump without falling. Children should ran quickly after the hoops. Only in this way, can he keep up with the hoops. Increases the power of hand, and the hook acts like a bearing, pushing the hoop forward. Due to the inertia of the running hoop, the long handle also makes a circular motion with the rolling of the hoop. Some children can not only make the iron hoop rolling at high speed, just like flying, but also push hoop backwards without any block.

The key point of the hoop trundling lies in mastering the balance. Otherwise, the hoop will “click” and fall to the ground. The long handle in the child’s hand controls the direction of the hoop like a steering wheel. He can also control the speed of the hoop through his hands. In short, the iron ring controlled by the child's hand is like the fingers controlled by arm, moves freely. 

This game fully shows the children's love of machinery. A hoop-rolling can be a simple simulation of a vehicle riding. Hoop not only has the shape of a wheel, but also mimics the operation of the wheel. Yet, as the most basic feature of the vehicle, the wheel is a symbol of the vehicle. The fun of rolling hoops is equal to vehicle driving. 

The fun of rolling a hoop alone is like driving alone, but when a group of people come to race hoops, it is just as fierce as racing cars. The children set a destination and then set off together to see who can reach the finish line as quickly as possible. On the court, everywhere is dust, the hoops are rolling quickly, the children yell and rush, and the scene is bustling. The hoops in the children's hands may also collide with each other. The hoop roller loses when the hoop fells to the ground.

Race game

The game requires to use iron hooks to push the hoop forward. The hoop rolling races are in different kinds including individual activities, group competitions, 50 meters or 100 meters race, 100 meters obstacle race (such as roll around the trees and trundle over a single wood bridge), 4 x 100 meters relay and other competitions. Usually, the distance and speed are the race aims. 

1. Competition project
  • 100 meters race
  • 100 meters obstacle 
  • 4x100 meters relay 
2. Game equipment
Iron ring is with inner diameter of 45 centimeters and made of 8 mm round steel bar. The length of the handle is 70 cm with a hook no more than 3 cm. There should be 3-5 small rings circle on the big iron ring.

Hoop Rolling Toy
Hoop Rolling Toy

3. Site and facility requirements:
1) Speed race: In order to ensure the safety of athletes, no more than 4 people in each group, i.e., athletes can be arranged to participate in 1, 3, 5 and 7 tracks while 2, 4, 6, and 8 tracks function as isolated roads.
2) Obstacles race: Start hoop snake rolling 20 meters after the start line. That is, plug a pole every 5 meters and totally plug five poles. The distance between the 5th pole and the single-plank bridge is 20 meters, and the distance between the bridge and the trail is 15 meters.

Hoop Rolling Pole Obstacle
Hoop Rolling Pole Obstacle
  • The building of the bridge: a total length of 2 meters, bridge height 30 cm, bridge width 30 cm, made of wood. 
Hoop Rolling Bridge Obstacle
Hoop Rolling Bridge Obstacle
  • Trails: Fixing the two hurdles into 15 cm wide trails.
3) Relay distance is 10 meters. Arranged as follows:
  • The first relay area is 95-105 meters 
  • The second relay area is 195-205 meters 
  • The third relay area is 295 - 305 meters 
4. Competition method:
The individual game requires that the hoops not run out of the runway, smoothly pass the obstacles, and do not affect others. Compete speed under the circumstance that the hoops are under control. As for group game, in addition to above conditions, ensure to complete relay mission while compete speed. 

5. Score calculation
Start the watch when hears the starting gun and stop the watch when both the hoop roller and the ring pass the finisher. 

6. Only among the following circumstances, can you continue the game.
1) The ring fell to the ground during the game, but it does not leave the runway and not affect others.
2) Fails to pass obstacles but the ring does not leave the runway; hoop roller can restart the obstacle running.
3) The ring leaves the runway and fails to the ground. Without affecting other players, hoop roller can restart on the exact point of his original runway. 

7. Once one of the following conditions appears, the hoop roller will be disqualification from the competition.
1) The ring breaks 2 and more times.
2) The ring leaves its original runway and affects others.
3) Fails to complete the prescribed obstacles.
4) The iron ring is out of control (i.e. the distance between the ring and the hook is more than 30 cm)
5) The relay mission is not completed in the relay area.
6) After the relay mission is completed in the relay zone, the pass-through athlete assists the next athlete move forward in the relay.
7) Fix the hook to the big hoop ring, or hook the small ring on the big hoop. 

Here is a video about a teacher teaching students how to roll hoop. 

The Significance of Hoop Rolling Game

Hoop trundling is a favorite sport for children and teenagers. It is highly entertaining and the Dutch sports experts pointed out in 1976 that the hoop pushing competition can help improve the balance of human body, coordination of the limbs and eyesight. Most importantly, it allows children to enjoy the sport and have a worry-free childhood.

With the proliferation of video games and the development of children’s intelligence, most parents ignore the physical training of children. At the same time, there are few toys on the market that allow children to exercise, and the only few toys are expensive, complicated to play and are not practical due to site restrictions. In contrast, hoop rolling with a stick is cheap, convenient, and playable everywhere. It requires large amounts of exercise and flexibility, allowing children to exercise in the game, grow in the exercise and give him a strong physique, dexterity body, tenacious will and extraordinary energy.

I had a strong hoop which was given by my grandpa when I was a child and I rolled it after school alone field roads together with my dog. We ran freely and happily in the fields; it was a big pleasure. Then, boys has more interest on iron-hoop rolling than girls. Yet, I was interested in iron ring pushing and was proud of mine been different.

Hoop Pushing Fields
Hoop Pushing Fields

OK, Helen’s share about hoop rolling is that all, thanks for reading! 

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