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Chinese Garter: The Line to Flexibility

Chinese Garter, a game requiring flexibility, balance and coordination, is a popular game for Filipino children, most specifically among girls during their elementary years. The game revolves around an ordinary garter, around two to three yards long, which be brought from sewing store at around twenty pesos or less.

This is how the game played. First, there should be two people holding both ends of the garter which is stretched horizontally while others are trying to transfer across the other side of the garter. The main goal of this game is to across over the garter without being tripped. In each round, the height of the garter increases. The garter generally starts from the ankle – level and then knee – level, and so on until the garter is positioned over head. Higher rounds demand agility since players leap with their feet first in the air and they cross over the garter and end up landing on the side. This means that players should be agile, mentally skilled and must have grace in order to finish the game. Moreover, doing cartwheels (to cross the garter) in higher levels is allowed.

Mechanics or Rules of the Games

Players are divided into two or more teams, with a minimum number of two members per team. During the game, two members of the “it” team shall serve as “game posts” as they stand opposite each other and hold each end of the garter. The objective of the game then is to be able to successfully jump over the garter as it is gradually held higher by the game posts. Just like in the game ten – twenty, each team also has its own team leader, more commonly known as the “Mother”. Once a team member either touches the garter or fails to jump at a certain level, the Mother can still save her team by taking her team member’s turn. Failure to do so will lead to the team’s elimination by making them the new game posts and will bring the game back to the first level.

The Chinese Garter game is usually subdivided into ten levels. Most of the time, however, the players may decide for their desired number of levels for their game. Here is an example of the levels being used to give you an idea of the game:

Level 1 – The garter is being held by the posts closer to the ground.

Level 2 – Knee high

Level 3 – Around the height of their hips

Level 4 – Waist high

Level 5 – Chest high

Level 6 – Shoulder high

Level 7 – Head high

Level 8 – At the tip of the head

Level 9 – A few inches above the head

Level 10 – Also known as the Father / Mother Jump, as high as a kid raising his arms high on tip toes.

So, after knowing the background and the Mechanics or Rules of the game, Let’s figure out How will this game end.

Well,  the game usually ends after the highest jump. However, some kids would continue playing the game backwards. Instead of raising the garter higher, the posts shall hold the garter back to its lower position. The game now has a new objective: to be able to reach the garter by bending backwards. The game continues this way until the player reaches back to the lowest level.

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