Elijahball was created at the Camp Albemarle pavilion in 2004 and became such a favorite game at Field Camp that we held our first tourney in that summer. We put all the campers in a big draw, made up very specific rules, and the winner at the end of the day was crowned–Drew. Since then, the enthusiasm for the game has grown, though no one has yet managed to score a college scholarship for their finely honed craft. Listed below are both the winners of each year’s tournaments (first divided into age brackets in 2005) as well as the official rules and the always-fun FAQ’s (which here means, “frequently asked questions”).

Official Elijahball Rules

Created by Rules Committee (Elijah Kirsch, Michael Beirne, Bart McIntosh), 2004

1. Game is played to 5 points.

2. Server must serve from behind the boundary.

3. One pivot foot is allowed, but no steps when returning.

4. Before the ball is released, leaning on the table is an automatic point for the opposite player.

5. No forward jumps.

6. For a point to count:

a. Ball must hit table, and then hit opponent’s square.

b. Ball must hit table, player, and land.

c. Opponent must miss table, or ball must land out of bounds.

7. All disputes resolve by counselors (Elijah if present or another counselor appointed by the Director in his absence).

8. Excessive display of bad sportsmanship will result in loss of point(s) or disqualification.

9. You can play the ball off of either the table top or the opponent’s bench.

10. If ball lands horizontal to table, point for opponent.

11. No excessive holding (added 2005).

12. “NFL Catch” Rule (added 2005).

Common Questions about Elijahball

Who’s the game named after? It’s named after Elijah Kirsch, who, with his freakishly long arms, pinpoint bouncing accuracy, and confusing facial expressions, was so dominant in the first few days of play, that the game took on his name.

Do other counselors have games named after them? Yes, there is a game called Bartball that is very popular, though it has not yet inspired a full-fledged tournament. There is another game called Toddball, although Todd is the only person who likes to play Toddball and the games usually end after a few minutes due to mass camper protest. And though the name was a natural, there never was a game called Darren Ball.

What happens when Tupelo, who has a penchant for chewing on playground balls, pops all the Elijahballs? We all panic.

Tournament Winners

2020 – The 18th Annual Elijahball Tournament (Masked and Distanced Spectator Version) Winners: Youngs: Ben and Betty; Middles: Iggy and Marion; Olds: Kayvon and Louisa; Sibs: Dreschers; Counselor/Kid Sibs: Healys; Counselors: Annika and Henry. Sportsmanship to Parker, Vitto, and Matteo.

2019 – E-ball winners for 2019: younger girls Marian, older girls Caroline, youngest boys Henry W., middle boys Shep, old boys Beckett, sibs Healys, same names Sams, school Stab, girl counselors Catherine (!), boys counselor Henry S, good sports Daniel and Amy, unis Flora and Evangeline.

2018 – Young Boys Shep, Middle Girls Lucy, Middle Boys Camden, Old Girls Eliza, Old Boys Elliott, Names Bens, Sibs Healys, Sportsmanship Dylan S. and Caroline J., Boy Counselors Todd, Girl Counselors Taylor, Unis Ginsbergs

2017 – Young boys – Shep, Middle Boys – Matthias., Old Boys – Rowan, Girls – , Girl Counselor – Kate, Boy Counselor – Henry, Siblings – Morrises, Same Names – Henrys, Elementary School – Stone Robinson (Sam L. by himself!), Sportsmanship – Greta

2016 – Young Boys – Sam T., Middle Boys – Noah G., Old Boys – Tye, Middle Girls – Sonia, Old Girls – Kierra, Sibs – Bekiranovs, Counselor Sibs – Sourses, Same Names – Henrys, Girl Counselors – Kate, Guy Counselors – Dustin, Sportsmanship – Thatcher, Duncan and Audrey, Best E-Ball Uniform – Ginsbergs

2015 -Same Names – Henrys, Older Boys – Henry S., Counselor Sibs – Cohns, Girls – Julia S., Boys Counselor – Dustin, Girls Counselor – Eliza, Middle Boys – Gio, Little Boys – Ben G., Sibs – Bekiranovs, Uniform – Ginsbergs, Sportsmanship to Ivan, Laurel, Zack, and Zoe (all the way from Philly!).

2014 – Younger Boys: Noah Ginsberg, Middle Boys: Tye Daniel, Older Boys: Henry Sours, Siblings: the Sourses, Girls: Julia Smith, Women Counselors: Amy, Guy Counselors: Dustin.

2013 – Younger Boys – Max G., Middle Boys – Lucas M., Older Boys – Lucas C., Girls – Stacy C., Same Names – the Bens, Siblings – Alex and Dustin, Girl Counselors – Lucy, Boy Counselors – Todd Barnett

2012 Champs – Young Girls CV, Young Boys Max, Middle Boys Henry S., Old Girls Fifi, Old Boys Jackson, Young Sibs Morrises, Old Sibs Sours, Women Counselors Katie, Men Counselors Michael Santulli (whatever)

2011 Champs – Little girls – Julia S.-, Old girls – Katie K., Young Boys – Pablo C, Middle Boys – Steven T, Old Boys – Evan O., Girl Counselors – Catherine!, Boy Counselors – Michael, Counselor Doubles – Taylor and Cole, Sib Doubles – Coloms, Sib triples – Kellers

July 16, 2010 – Old Girls – Sarah S., Young Girls – Ellie, Old Boys – Ethan S., Middle Boys – Lucas, Young Boys – John John, Siblings – Sours, Girl Counselors – Emily Dean-McKinney, Boy Counselors – Michael, Sportsmanship to the Graingers, James K. and the Owens.

July 17, 2009 – Girls – Eve, Young Boys – Eli, Middle Boys – Jackson S., Old Boys – Niko, Girl Counselors – Lucy, Boy Counselors – Todd, Siblings – Badillas, Counselor Doubles – Santulli and Emily Hornsby, Sportsmanship to Daniel, Eljah, Walker, Pablo, Kate C.

July 4, 2008 – Girls – Sarah, Young Boys – Eli, Middle Boys – Chase, Old Boys – Daniel, Girls Counselor – Catherine, Boys’ Counselor – Todd, sportsmanship to Pablo, Theo, Nathan, Bevin

July 6, 2007 – Girls – Emily, Old Boys – Sam C., Middle Boys – Daniel P., Young Boys – Ben M., Boys Counselor – Todd, Girls Counselor – Emily, sportsmanship awards to Pablo, Eve, Kate, and Andrew.

July 28, 2006 – Old Girls – Emily, Old Boys – Daniel, Middle Boys – Pablo, Young Boys – Patrick, Young Girls – Juliet, Boys Counselor – Elijah, Girls Counselor – Meredyth, multiple sportsmanship awards including Jemma, James, and Jack.

July 15, 2005 – Old Boys – James, Old Girls – Logan, Young Boys – Jack, Young Girls – Katie, Boys Counselor – Elijah Kirsch, Girls Counselor – Charlotte Hornsby. Sportsmanship Award to James.

July 23, 2004 – Campers – Drew, Counselors – Robert Mosolgo-Clark.