Calvinball theme song

Other kids’ games are all such a bore!
They’ve gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
Calvinball is better by far!
It’s never the same! It’s always bizarre!
You don’t need a team or a referee!
You know that it’s great, ’cause it’s named after me!
Calvinball - Volleyball NetCalvinball was invented by Calvin and Hobbes in the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes”.  The rules of the game are made up as they play.  “No sport is less organized than Calvinball.”  Calvinball is a self-modifying game, a contest of wits, and creativity rather than stamina or athletic skill.  It is not be confused with Calvin and Hobbes Golf.

Calvinball is anarchy without a scoreboard.  Everything goes, and you can’t lose.  It is a response to the sporting universe where winners have a combination of skill, and a desire to dominate through sport.




Standard Rules

  1. No two Calvinball games are alike:  You cannot make any plays you made in a previous game. The game can involve; wickets, croquet, polo, badminton, flags, bags, signs, a hobby horse, mallets, volleyballs, bucket of ice-cold water, a water balloon, songs, and poetry.  Calvinball allows you to use any object in the game.  This rule requires new imaginative ideas from the players.
  2. You have to wear a mask: A rule not explicitly stated is you have to wear a mask. “Sorry, no one’s allowed to question the masks.”  Calvin and Hobbes, and occasionally Robyn, would always wear a mask while playing.
  3. All rules must be accepted: New rules made up by any player are accepted by all players.
  4. Self-referencing rule: The exception to the rule that “no rule can be used twice” is the rule that “no rule can be used twice”.  This rule only makes sense if you’re a Calvinball enthusiast.


Equipment can vary, based on what is available.  Seen in Calvin and Hobbes are the following pieces of equipment:

  • Croquet set including wickets, balls, and mallets
  • Badminton rackets, birdies, and net
  • Flags
  • Volleyballs
  • Polo ball
  • Bags
  • Signs
  • Hobby horse
  • Bucket of ice-cold water
  • Water balloon
  • Songs
  • Poetry

This is the starting point for what is possible in a game of Calvinball.


Scoring is arbitrary.  There are instances of scores consisting of “Q to 12” and “oogy to boogy”.  With scoring being so arbitrary, it is not possible to determine a winner.  Thus, the nature of Calvinball that rings true for Frolf is that the intention of the game is to play the game, not to win.


Sources: Wikia, Wikipedia, Bartel.orgCalvin and Hobbes golf

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