In today's world, probably the most typical neighborhood game played in teams by boys in most countries is football (soccer).

I would like to ask what were the team Games played by boys (let's say aged 8 to 14) of the Balkans (then Ottoman Empire) during early 20th century or late 19th century.

The important aspect is the game to have a team spirit, and played in the neighborhood (streets etc). Even though teams are not official, boys typically make teams of their own neighborhood, or schools, or ethnic groups etc.

  • 1
    Searching suggests "Bulgarian ball" game. Although it is referred as "volleyball"-kind, but from longer description it seems to be practically the same as Russian "Вышибала" game (a close counterpart to American(?) "Dodgeball").
    – Matt
    Mar 20, 2016 at 9:27
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    I think this is an awesome "outside the norm" question with an equally terrific answer, sourced and all.
    – CGCampbell
    Mar 21, 2016 at 12:59

1 Answer 1


You must remember that (in example of Serbia) during Ottoman Empire, late 19th century country was mostly dotted with villages, town population were small.

Here is one example of game played in villages:


Game looks somehow like modern football game, but rules were different from football game as we know it today.

Use google.com translate to get some information from text:


Text mentions this book from 1868 "Srpske narodne igre, koje se zabave radi po sastancima igraju" use google search too.

Title of book can be roughly translated as "Serbian Folk Games Played For Fun"

  • Here is link for the book: books.google.dk/books/about/…
    – user3450
    Mar 20, 2016 at 10:11
  • Word of warning, text is written in Serbian cyrillic - dominant alphabet at that time in Serbia, fortunately translate.google.com accepts that alphabet too (say Serbian cyrillic --> English latin) and you can get from text some useful hints for your research.
    – user3450
    Mar 20, 2016 at 10:23

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