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Capball is the general term for any organized sport that uses the flicking (or 'finger-slinging') of plastic caps as a major component. These sports can take a number of different forms, usually depending on the type of cap and field of play available, as well as the number of participants.
History of Capball
Capball was brought to Williams by Jon O'Hanlon '06, and popularized by suitemates Seth Daniels '06, Daniel Fischler '06, Andrew Pocius '06, and Drew Raab '06. Hundreds of games have been played on the Williams campus, almost exclusively indoors. The Capball Hall of Fame is located in Morty's bedroom closet. If you don't believe us, ask him or just go look.
Capball is usually played with orange Gatorade or black Powerade caps, which fit well to the hand. Smaller plastic caps are nearly impossible to flick, and larger ones do not fly as far. The infamous blue NesQuik cap can be finger-slung, but with reduced arc, speed, and distance.
In Capball's first year at Williams (Sage Hall basement-style Capball), the sport often took on a hybrid baseball form, in which bamboo , broken crutch, and massive, erect penises were swung at the projectile cap. Pocius '06 tended to swivel--that is, swing--and miss a lot.
Mission Park-style Capball, or Extreme Elimination, involved stopping projectile caps with one's hands, and thus encouraged the use of Fischler '06's celebrated "Scooby Gloves." Gloves of this type allow for maximum comfort and control. In the specific case of Fischler's gloves (which have never been photographed), coolness of apparel played a signficant role in the game itself. O'Hanlon '06, in particular, found himself fearful of the Scooby emblem emblazoned on their backs, sometimes retreating to his room in response to the gloves' overwhelming sheen.
Rules of the Game
Flicking Technique: Tips and Tricks
Capball technique has evolved considerably over the past three years. The original flicking method involved trapping the cap, top facing up, between the middle finger and thumb, then snapping the middle finger outwards, imparting a counterclockwise spin and a strong forward motion. The cap is released from a moving hand, starting near the breastal area, and moving directly away from the slinger. This particular method is renowned for its high degree of accuracy, but relatively low velocity. Badly flicked caps tend to float slowly towards the hitter, allowing an almost perfect setup to batter the cap into oblivion.
Jon O'Hanlon '06 introduced a variation on this method, with a modified sidearm approach. To accomplish greater velocity with decent accuracy, sling the cap from the side of your waist, taking care to keep the cap reasonably level. Remember that once in the air, a cap moves much like a frisbee. (For instance: if tilted down to its right, the cap will dive in that direction.) Long-distance flicks should be attempted with the cap's flat top parallel to the ground.
A revolution in capball technique happened with the entrance of Ali Moiz '06 into the game during the Winter Study of 2003. In his first game of capball, Moiz rejected the outward flick technique, instead pioneering the now-popular Moiz sidearm motion, or "Karachi Kurve." Gripping the cap in the crook of his index finger, Moiz fired off a high velocity, forward-tumbling sidearm that rolled off the top of his finger and whizzed by batter Colin Yee '06. Yee would later report that he had never seen a cap move that fast before, attempting to excuse his poor batting average for the night. The 'Moiz sidearm' is more of a toss than a flick and as such is considerably less accurate than the traditional flick. However, that deficiency is often more than made up for by sheer velocity, making a skilled Moiz sidearmer a highly valuable capball commodity.
Some capballers have experimented with variations on the traditional flick, including the highly unorthodox "upside-down cap" method. Sources report that the method has met with some success, imparting a devastating twisting motion onto the cap. If fully parallel but upside-down, the cap should sink.