Ready to play the Knockout Game?

The St. Louis version is the most popular, so let’s start there: Begin with a bunch of black people. Anywhere from five to 50.

Find a white person, but an Asian will do. Alone is important. Older is better. Weak and defenseless even more so.

Without warning, punch that person in the face as hard as you can. You win if you Knockoutscore a Knockout.

If not, keep punching until your arms and legs get too tired to continue. Or the person dies.

You can play anywhere, but “vibrant and culturally mixed” South Grand District is probably best. That is where the victims are: Asians, “gay” people, artists, yuppies – people who won’t fight back.

The league does not have official standings. Not yet. But over the last two years, the number of attacks has ranged from 20, if you believe the police, to 100, if you believe people actually playing and watching the game.

And that is just in St. Louis.

It is so popular even the St. Louis mayor, Francis Slay, played. Slay and his bodyguard had just left a Pink Floyd tribute show and were riding by a city library in October 2011 when they saw a man in the gutter, unconscious.

That man was 51-year-old Matt Quain, who had been on his way home from a local grocery story, ready to celebrate a Cardinals’ victory in the World Series. The Post-Dispatch reports some of the details:

“Eighteen teenagers jumped on him and started hitting him with bricks for no apparent reason,” said Charlie Quain, the victim’s nephew. Quain’s uncle was walking home with a neighbor when he was attacked in front of a public library. Nothing was taken from him, and he was able to escape before things escalated.

The game has caused deaths in the past.

“You can just see the lines and the bruising where the edge of the bricks were hitting him,” Quain said. “His jaw is wired shut. It has to be for at least six weeks.”

Quain was left in a neck brace, with a broken jaw, black eye and stitches in his face.

The mayor saw the attackers “saunter” away.

Soon, seven black people were in custody.

A few days after the assault, Quain’s family pleaded for an end to the “sickening attacks.”

Police held a meeting at the school where most of the suspects attended. Please stop the Knockout Game, they begged.

Two weeks later, a 54-year old man was another victim. Two of the people arrested were at the meeting.

The Quain trial was supposed to begin in January. Instead, the district attorney dropped charges, because a 13-year-old witness did not show up for the trial.

Slay said it was a case of witness tampering.

“My strong guess is that she was intimidated, threatened not to testify which is why she did not show up,” Slay said to the Post Dispatch. “The case fell apart and the second-degree assault charges were dropped, followed by cheers and high-fives among the defendants.”