A New Games Timeline

by John O’Connell with input from Todd Strong and the Friends Of New Games.


  • The first New Games Tournament is held at the Marin Headlands’ Gerbode Preserve, then managed by the Trust For Public Land. The Gerbode Preserve will later become a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Stewart Brand and Pat Farrington are credited as organizers with Wavy Gravy, George Leonard, and Nolan Bushnell (among many others) attending.


  • The second New Games Tournament held at the Gerbode Preserve, organized by Pat Farrington in the spring. John O’Connell acts as referee, Burton Naiditch works in the arts area.
  • The New Games Foundation is incorporated with Pat Farrington as first director and with funding from Stewart Brand’s Point Foundation. Initial Foundation HQ was in Farrington’s San Francisco loft.


  • The third New Games Tournament is held in Golden Gate Park with an estimated 10,000 in attendance.
  • Burton Naiditch and Dale Le Fevre begin working at the New Games Foundation with Pat Farrington.
  • When Farrington moves to Australia, Naiditch and John O’Connell become co-directors.
  • Work on the New Games Book begins, with Andrew Fluegelman and John O’Connell as New Games Foundation editor.
  • The New Games Foundation office is in The Ecology Center in San Francisco.
  • Barbara Naiditch and Trina Merriman are hired by the New Games Foundation.
  • John O’Connell begins developing the New Games Training Program.


  • The New Games Book is published by Headland Press/Doubleday-Dolphin, with Andrew Fluegelman as editor. The first printing of 10,000 copies is quickly followed by another 40,000.
  • Dale Le Fevre is hired as Associate Director of the New Games Foundation, which moves to a storefront in Glen Park, San Francisco.
  • Pam Cleland joins the staff of the New Games Foundation.
  • The fourth New Games Tournament and Bicentennial Celebration is held at the rifle range, across the road from the Gerbode Preserve, in what is now the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
  • The New Games Training Program begins with four programs nationally: at The Games Preserve in Eastern Pennsylvania with Bernie De Koven; at Cal Poly Pomona with Bill Michaelis; in Oakland with Marcelle Weed; and in New York/Long Island.


  • Burton Naiditch secures a three-year Mott Foundation grant to support the New Games Foundation.
  • The New Games Training Program blossoms into major activity. In the fall of 1977, the Foundation offers 30 trainings in ten weeks: three trainings given each weekend, one each in the East, the Midwest, and the West of the United States.
  • The Training Program is fine-tuned with input from Bernie De Koven, Bill Michaelis, Todd Strong (who joins the staff), and others.
  • Burton Naiditch develops the New Games Slide Show, which becomes an element of the Training Program.
  • The Training Program begins recruiting player-teachers from around the country as members of the New Games Trainers Cadre.


  • The New Games Foundation moves to a house on Arguello St. in the Inner Richmond, San Francisco.
  • Barbara Naiditch develops the New Games News Letter and the Trainer’s newsletter Tundra Topics.
  • Burton Naiditch starts the New Games Sales Program, offering books, t-shirts, and games equipment. The Foundation holds the trademark to the “Earthball.”
  • New Games begins its international spread, with Dale Lefevre as the New Games Field Representative.


  • New Games Trainings and Festivals held in Europe, Canada and Australia as well as the United States.
  • Deutsche-Sportbund Program trainings and a festival led by John O’Connell are held at Der Grugapark, a municipal park in Essen, Germany.
  • The first New Games Camp, a form of advanced training, is held at Fellowship Farm in Pennsylvania.
  • Contract, group and open trainings continue to grow – to around 50 per year.


  • Pam Cleland takes over as director of the New Games Foundation. Burton Naiditch leaves the Foundation and John O’Connell shifts to become head trainer.
  • The ‘Earthball Lawsuit’ begins, stemming from an accidental back injury at Denison University, Ohio.


  • More New Games! is published by Main Street Books, with Pam Cleland, Bill Michaelis, and Ray Murray on the editorial board and Andrew Fluegelman as editor. The first printing is 65,000 copies.
  • The New Games Book goes into its 7th printing (750,000 copies). Combined book sales eventually exceed 1 million copies.
  • Hundreds of New Games Festivals are conducted around the United States.
  • The New Games Book and More New Games! are translated into German by Ahorn Verlag and published in Germany.
  • Nancy Kretz takes over as director of the New Games Foundation.
  • The Earthball Lawsuit is settled.


  • Helen Meier is hired as director of the New Games Foundation.


  • Nancy Kretz resumes her role as part-time Foundation director as the Board of Directors begins the process to dissolve the New Games Foundation due to institutional instability.
  • Final training programs are conducted.
  • Todd Strong and John O’Connnell put in proposals to reinvent the Foundation, but the Board of Directors moves forward with the plan to shut it down.


  • The New Games Foundation is officially dissolved by the Board of Directors.
  • The assets of the New Games Foundation are turned over to the national YMCA.