When I was younger, I remember playing marbles (which, by the way, were invented in Germany around 1848)with my school mates during our breaks and at lunch time. Although I have seen a few kids at my school also play with marbles, the favorite pastime of most kids (I am mostly talking about boys) is table tennis aka Ping Pong! All the boys walk around with their paddle in their back pocket and can't wait for the bell to ring, so that they can challenge each other to a game.
There are table tennis tables in most parks here, and in the summer, people meet in parks for a friendly match or two.
In the winter, people don't give up this pass time, but simply bring it indoors. Every Wednesday night, the Kastanienkeller hosts a table tennis evening. Since there is only one table (!), the people there play what is called "Chinesisch Tischtennis"-Chinese table tennis. The advantage of this version of the game is that everyone can play, and when I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE, whether it be five or thirty five players! The game is simple: everyone tries to find a place around the table; one person begins the game and then moves along; the strike is returned by someone standing on the the other side of the table, who then moves along; this second strike is then returned by someone on the opposite side of the table, who also moves along afterwards; so on and so forth. If you miss your shot, you are out (which means you can drink your beer in peace!). The game really starts to get interesting when there are three or four people left, because then you really have to run to get to the other side of the table in time to hit the shot. The game goes on until there are only two players left. These two players play a game until one gets a point- once that is over, everyone can join back in. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that all of this takes place under black lights! Fun times!
I apologize for the quality of the pictures- it's not easy taking pictures when the only source of lighting is black lights!