The Greasers and Socs are longtime rival gangs and decide to have a rumble in the vacant lot following Bob Sheldon's death. Earlier in the novel, Johnny and Ponyboy were blowing off steam in a local park late at night when several Socs surrounded them and attempted to drown Ponyboy in the park's fountain. Johnny ended up killing a prominent Soc member, Bob Sheldon, in self-defense, which made the situation worse between the rival gangs. Essentially, the Socs feel a need to avenge Bob Sheldon's death by fighting the Greasers in the vacant lot. Bragging rights are at stake and possibly some territorial disputes will be settled but nothing will dramatically change for the winner or loser of the rumble. Both Randy Adderson and Ponyboy recognize that violence solves nothing and the animosity between both gangs will remain following the rumble.