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Baseball

Baseball: The Exhibition Sport That Stole The Show!

When the game of baseball was played as an exhibition sport in the 1904 Summer Olympics, nobody had imagined that it would become far bigger than that. Today, more commonly known by the Americans as the ‘national pastime’, it has a fanbase of over 500 million around the globe. This brings it in the list of the top ten sports in the world. In terms of popularity, it is just behind basketball and table tennis which have a fanbase of over 800 million each. The origins The origins of the game of baseball are still debated. But one thing is clear that there were several types of traditional bat-and-ball games played around the 17th century. According to records, such a game which closely resembles today’s baseball was first played in England in the 18th century. It required the batter to hit the ball and run through the bases to secure runs. It is said that the British colonists took this game to America and the game became popular there. There were different versions of the game played then. It underwent changes on a regular basis. These were about the way of pitching, the shape of the bat, rights of the batters, making of the ball, position of the umpires and many other aspects of the game. Modern baseball is a greatly altered version of the old game. Gradual popularity In the initial days, baseball was more for socializing and pastime. The local clubs allowed only members to play the game. However, entrepreneurs noticed that the game was a crowd puller when teams from different clubs played against each other. This probably led to the development of the professional game of baseball. And later when the game was exhibited a few times in the Summer Olympics, it became clear that it held a lot more promise. The bat, the ball and the field In the current format of the game, the bat can be up to 2.75 inches in diameter at the thickest part and up to 42 inches in length. It is a single piece of wood and doesn’t have a separate handle. Other than these, there are several other rules about the weight, material and other aspects of the bat. Since the bats are made of wood, they do require proper protection from weather and other elements. They also require proper care in handling and maintenance from time to time. Bats are generally lightweight and weigh under 1 kg (36 ounces). The diameter of the leather ball is between 7.3 cm and 7.5 cm. Two pieces of peanut shaped leather material are hand-stitched around a cork wrapped yarn. The stitching interacts with the air when the ball is pitched. The field looks diamond shaped though it is actually a square. It has four bases – one at each of the corners. The batter stands at the home plate which is 18.30 meter away from the pitcher’s plate. The field looks diamond shaped because the batter faces the pitcher on …

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Basketball

The Inventor Didn’t Know Basketball Would Go So Far!

Basketball, a sport which was started as a means of staying fit in the off-season or unfavourable weather conditions, has come a long way since its invention. With a fan-base of over 400 million around the globe, it is no surprise that basketball is among the top ten popular sports. It also happens to be among the handful of games which have been introduced in the recent past and have become so popular. In the American schools and colleges, basketball is almost an inseparable part of the sports. The only other sport that gives competition to basketball in America is football. The governing body The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) promotes the game and governs its rules and regulations for both men and women. It comprises about 213 national associations and organizes the FIBA World Cup every four years. Until 1989, the full form of FIBA was a bit different. The member nations have their own authority to control and regulate the sports in their countries. Early days James Naismith, a Canadian-American, is credited with the invention of basketball. He was just trying to make good use of time in unfavourable weather conditions by training indoors. He would have never imagined that the game would go so far. He did not even think of a proper name for the game until others started asking about it. The name basketball is said to have been suggested by Frank Mahan, one of the first players of the game. He suggested this name to Naismith. They both agreed that the name resonated with the spirit of the game and would be largely acceptable to the people. In the initial days, the basket used to be a proper basket with a solid bottom. Each time a ball went in, it had to be manually recovered. That is, somebody had to climb up and take the ball out from there. It was obviously an inefficient way and thus, the bottom of the basket was made hollow to let the ball drop on the ground. A proper ball for the game was manufactured late in the twentieth century. Why it became so popular! It was a convenient sport that did not need many resources. It could be played indoors in a small area within a small group of players. For example, a football team could play it for their fitness when they could not go outside due to snow or other reasons. Football teams in those days had 10 members and it was convenient for them to split into two teams of five members each. If there were more members, they took turns in the game. The games were intense and required high stamina, energy and skill, thus giving the players a good exercise. YMCA played a crucial role in the spreading of the game across the USA. However, they soon noticed that the unruly crowd and rough play was defeating the initial objective of the game. But by then, youngsters looking for an alternative to the …

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American Football

American Football Comprehensive Review

American football is undeniably one of the highly held sports in North America. The sport is known as ‘tackle football’ or ‘gridiron’ in English speaking countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland. It is quite a thrilling sport to watch and play since it involves both physical and mental brilliance. American football is mainly played in the United States and Canada. However, other parts of the world have started embracing the sport and advancing very well. The game is played in the form of professional and college football. Other popular forms of American football are played in high school and youth football levels. The sport was given the name “football” in the 1876 college league tournament season. It was the first time the game’s style of play was changed from soccer to rugby-inspired style. While it could have been named “rugby,” Harvard, which was the leading proponent of the rugby-inspired style, did not recommend the name. American Football involves two teams with eleven players playing against each other on a rectangular field with goalposts at both ends. The team’s offense with the oval-shaped ball attempts to run past the opponents by passing to teammates. The defending team will also try to stop them and regain possession to outrun and earn points. Usually, the offense attempts to advance at least 10 yards in 4 downs or plays. Read on to understand more about how the game is played and how one can benefit from participating. History of American Football American football was born in the United States of America. The creators of this game got their inspiration from soccer and rugby games. The first game of this sport was played in November of 1869. Rutgers and Princeton were the very first college teams to play American Football while observing soccer-style rules. Walter Camp is regarded as the “Founding father of American Football.” He came up with a written set of rules to guide the game in 1880. Among the rules were the snap, the number of players, the line of scrimmage, and the idea of downs. Later on, the forward pass was legalized, among other guidelines like the neutral zone and the size and shape of the ball being used. American Football is also similar to Canadian football. The two games evolved almost at the same though Canadian Football’s Rules were created independently. Professional Era There are currently more than a million athletes who are actively involved in the game annually at different levels in the United States. The National Football League or NFL is the highest level of playing American football. NFL witnesses the highest attendance than any other professional sports at the highest level in the world. The super bowl is among the most viewed sporting events. Several different professional leagues exist worldwide, but the game is not the primary sport outside Canada and the United States. The first professional player to play this game was Pudge Heffelfinger. He was paid around $500 to play for …

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Golf

A Brief History Of Golf

Almost 30 million people play golf regularly in the US and the game is enjoyed by millions more around the world. One appeal of golf is that it can be enjoyed at just about any age; another is that with the right handicap or connections, it’s possible for anyone to play on many of the world’s great courses including Pebble Beach and St. Andrew’s. Golf has evolved over the centuries and today’s sophisticated equipment, low scores and designer courses are very different from the stick and ball games that were the origins of golf. Most of us assume that golf originated in Scotland; the country is known as the home of golf and is home to some of the great courses. However, primitive versions of the game were played in ancient China, and by the Romans who hit a stuffed leather ball with a stick. Various versions of the game spread to Medieval Europe and it was especially popular in France and the Netherlands. But there’s no doubt that the game as we know it today originated in Scotland around the 15th century. King James II banned the sport as it was becoming more popular than archery, although later became an avid golfer himself. The next 200 years saw golf increase in popularity, along with refinements to the rules and the establishment of some of most prestigious clubs. Musselburgh Links is often said to be the world’s oldest purpose designed golf course, and matches were being played there sometime before the middle of the 17th century; a regular player there was Mary, Queen of Scots. The first official golf rules were drawn up in 1744, and the 18th century also saw the game start to spread all over the world, largely due to Scottish expatriates and soldiers. Some of the oldest courses outside Scotland are located in France, including Pau, established in 1856. It was during the mid 17th century that golf spread to America. Dutch settlers in what is today Albany, NY, played two versions of the game. During the warmer months it was played in area fields, while a version was developed to play on ice during winter. 1873 saw the opening of the first golf club in North America, in Montreal, Canada and the first club in the US opened a few years later in Yonkers, NY. However, golf clubs in Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC also claim to be the oldest in the country. Most early American golf courses weren’t at all sophisticated, often just a couple of holes laid out in a farmer’s field, and it wasn’t until the late 19th century that golf courses were actually designed and laid out. Golf became more acceptable in the US after a 20 year old amateur player, Francis Ouimet, scored a victory in the 1913 US Open; it’s been said that his surprise win helped to persuade 2 million people to take up the game. Ouimet’s win also suggested that golf could be played by anyone, and …

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Cricket

Understanding Cricket: History, Development, And Basic Play

Cricket is a type of club ball game that uses a handheld tool to hit a ball. It belongs in the same family of games like baseball, golf, hockey, and squash, to name a few. The key element in cricket is its use of wickets that batsmen defend. Although cricket is most popular in England, Australia, Pakistan, and India, it is gradually gaining enthusiasts in the United States. It also enjoys high viewmanship and participation in many parts of Asia and the Middle East. History Cricket likely evolved from a children’s game played in England. The first historical reference to the game played by adults appeared in 1611. It was also during this time when the term cricket appeared in a dictionary, defining it as a type of boys’ ball game. Cricket may also have evolved from a type of bowling, except that it utilizes a batsman who attempts to strike back the ball to prevent it from hitting its target. The first cricket teams in England were founded in the 17th century. County teams were formed and competitive games were played starting in 1709. The first known women’s cricket match occurred in 1745 in Surrey. Over the years, the popularity of the game increased and cricket became a dominant sport in many regions in England during the 18th century. The rules of the game were established and amended in 1774. Changes in the design of the stump (such as the addition of the middle stump for better stability) and the regulation of the width of the bat were also established. Members of the Star and Garter Club, who later founded the Marylebone Cricket Club in 1787. From then on, the Laws of Cricket has been kept and revised by the MCC. Certain changes were implemented in how the game was played. In early games, for example, the ball was rolled on the ground and batsmen used bats shaped like hockey sticks to hit them. In 1760, pitching was allowed, which also helped change the shape and design of the bat. Because of the higher position or projectile of the ball, the use of a straight, wide bat became necessary. Cricket later spread to other parts of the world via the British, who introduced it to North America, India, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. A Closer Look at Cricket Cricket is a competitive game played by two teams with 11 players for each team. It is similar to baseball in certain aspects. Players, for example, take turns batting and defending wickets, similar to defending bases in baseball. Wickets are arranged on the playing field, with each wicket containing a bail on top. The object of the offensive team is to knock down the bail to dismiss the batsman guarding it. The object of the defensive team is to prevent this from happening by striking the ball. To play, batsmen are assigned to guard the wickets on two opposite sides of the field. These batsmen are called the striker (the …

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Tennis

Playing Tennis: Ultimate Playing Guide For Beginners

Whether you are a professional tennis player or a beginner, tennis is a physically demanding sport. Muscles and joints must work in tandem to make an impact in the game. In addition, tennis is also a mentally taxing game; it needs players to be a quick thinker to make the best shots. Therefore, the more you practice tennis basics, the more you will establish your skills, and your game will exponentially improve. Why should you play tennis? Tennis has so many benefits to the body and mind. It boasts one’s agility, eye coordination, and also balance. Like any other rigorous physical activity, the upper body and the footwork helps one’s health and physical shape. The game’s techniques require requisite thinking and strategies. This also boosts the player’s overall critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Besides the benefits, a tennis match minimally needs two players. Meaning, it also enhances one’s social skills, and if it’s a double team, teamwork skills are boosted. Equipment one needs to play tennis Like any other game, tennis has its tools. They include a tennis court, tennis racket, tennis ball, and tennis shoes. Both the racket grip and head are supposed to be at the right weight and size for the player’s skill level. Your shoes should also provide you with enough base support to prevent your ankles from rolling during side-to-side movements. Some tennis clubs have got a particular dress code. Rules for playing tennis Whether you warmed up or geared up, you still need some tennis basics to make it in the courtyard. You can use various moves such as backhand volleys, lobs, drop shots, forehand strokes, and even a superior tennis grip combination to try to win. Still, without the fundamentals of tennis, winning can be a big mountain. So, what are the basics? • Ensure you are inside the lines When it comes to single lines, they serve should always be over the net to the opponent’s opposite service box. If, for instance, the ball strikes the net and lands in the proper’s service box, it is called “let” and in that situation, the server should start again. The other rule regarding the landing of the ball is that if technically the ball hits outside the box, and some of its parts touch the line, it is still called an in-play. Also, it should be noted that during the match, the ball should always stay within the court’s boundaries. • Scoring criteria It should be noted that tennis has a unique system when it comes to scores. Therefore, it’s so crucial to be updated with your points to know the winner. The scoring criteria is that the servers always state their score even if they are less than the competitor. • Never should you touch the net One thing that you should be cautious about is the net. The net is the primary separator of the opponents, any touch on the net position is regarded as an offense, and it’s punishable, whether the …

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Soccer

Ways In Which Technology And Internet Has Changed Soccer

Did you know that soccer is played in more than 200 countries by almost 250 million people? This makes soccer the most popular game in the world. The earliest form of soccer was the Chinese Cuju (Tsu-Chu) that started around 206BC — 220AD during the Han Dynasty. The name Cuju means kicking the ball. The official Cambridge Rules for soccer were founded in 1848. Then the sport developed into the contemporary form that is played today. There is a fascinating story behind the changes that have occurred over the years. There have been changes regarding how it is handled on and off the field. It is also interesting how fans associate themselves with popular players and major teams. All these changes can be attributed to technology, social media, and tactical development. While soccer may have started as a simple game, it has now transformed into a global phenomenon. The sport is more than just having 11 players competing with 11 players on a weekend. Changes in Soccer Rules Over time, the rules have been tweaked in the following ways: • Introduction of goal kicks in 1869 • Addition of crossbars to goalposts in 1875 • Introduction of penalty kicks in 1891 • Implementation of the offside rule in 1990 • Introduction of pass back rule in 1992 (goalkeepers cannot touch the ball with hands after a deliberate pass) • The inception of goal-line technology in 2013 • The debut of VAR in 2017 TV Broadcast Like any other industry, a lot of changes in soccer are thanks to technology. The in-game and external gameplay has been transformed tremendously. Before the TVs, no soccer game was broadcast. The first soccer was televised in 1937 by BBC. It is today the most-watched game in the world with over 3.5 billion fans having viewed the most recent 2018 World Cup that occurred in Russia. With almost half of the global population following the World Cup, TV and media corporations now air more matches as they happen. The Premier League has made revenue of $11.7 billion for selling its broadcasting rights. When it comes to Major League Soccer (MLS), the structure of broadcasting varies significantly from the European’s. Programs are more focused on local matches and differ from one franchise to the next. Video Assisted Referee (V.A.R) This is an external professional responsible for reviewing the decisions that the in-game referee makes. He uses a video and communicates to the in-game referee through live broadcast. Often, V.A.Rs are disputed by coaches, players, and pundits as their decisions are bound to spur debates. But V.A.R is an upgrade towards the right direction in terms of sports technology. In the future, it may help to eliminate the issue of human error. Sports Science The 21st Century soccer puts more emphasis on sports science. This is how players workout, recover, and diet. Every team goes through scrutiny and data-driven analysis is recorded. Players make use of wearable technology to track their distances, exercise rates, and movements during …

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Cycling

Cycling: Benefits And Tips

Biking is one of the most popular activities around the globe. Often, bicycling is perceived as socially-oriented fun; not many people are aware of biking benefits. Whether you want to boost your health, relationships, or happiness, biking is the way to go. The post is going to provide you with various established advantages of biking. So, what are they? 1. Boost bowels Biking, like any other physical exercise, decreases the time for food movement in the large intestines. This limits the amount of water absorbed back to the body hence leaving one with softer stools, which comes out easily. Besides, bicycling is an aerobic exercise. It accelerates heart rate and breathing; this stimulates intestinal muscles’ contraction hence preventing one from feeling bloated, this protects one from bowel cancer. 2. Promotes weight loss When it comes to weight-related issues, calories that come out must exceed those that come in. This implies that, for one to lose weight, more calories must be burnt. Is there another way round to cut weight? Cycling can burn many calories that are between 300 and 1100 an hour, depending on the rider’s weight and the riding intensity. Of course, other factors such as quality of sleep and the food will play a significant role in the weight loss expedition. 3. Enhances sex life Biking is one of the physical activities; therefore, it improves vascular health, which, according to health experts, boosts sex drive. According to cornel university research, male riders have sexual prowess that is three to four years younger, and also cycling delays menopause on female athletes. Also, it should be noted that all the muscles used in biking are also used in intercourse. Therefore, the more the muscles are developed, the longer the intercourse will last. 4. Improves brain power Do you want to sparkle your grey matter? If yes, then pedaling is the best remedy. University of Illinois researchers found that 6 percent of cycling cardio-respiratory fitness leads to a 15 percent improvement of mental health. This is because cycling builds new brain cells that are found in the hippocampus, an area in the brain that facilitates one’s memory, which often deteriorates from the age of 30. On the other hand, cycling boosts oxygen and blood flow to the brain; this regenerates and fires up the brain receptors, hence, warding off Alzheimer’s. 5. Improves one’s awareness Cycling is not all about getting you breathless and raising the rider’s heart rate. Cycling involves various terrains such as sharp corners, climbing mountains or hills, and also descending. The technical elements enable one to beware of the surroundings and react appropriately. Also, the practical aspects massively boost the riders’ confidence; this enhances self-esteem. 6. Strengthens the immune system Biking coordinates various body parts, joints, and muscles. Multiple organs are positively affected by the exercise in one way or the other. This means the organs become active in their functionality. That said, bicycling also cut down calories and facilitates cell metabolism. All these factors lead to one …

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Walking

A Guide To Walking For Better Health And Fitness

One of the easiest exercises to get in shape is walking. For one, walking is free. It is simple and doesn’t strain your bones, muscles, or joints. Everyone should purpose to walk well into old age. Not only does it help to increase your longevity but also keeps you happier, stronger, and fitter. How Much to Walk For Fitness If you are serious about walking for health, you need to set some mileage. The other thing that matters is your intensity. For good health, the minimum walking time is 30 minutes in moderate intensity. This should be at least 5 days a week. The more you do it the better. If your main goal is weight loss, dedicate 30-90 minutes of walking per day. The total walking time for a whole week should be at least 150 minutes. Be sure to walk fast enough to hit your heart’s moderate-intensity zone. That is 60% – 70% of the maximum heart rate. Breathe harder but ensure that you can speak well while walking. However, this intensity should not allow you to sing. If you want to measure the heart rate, make use of a heart rate monitor, fitness band, or a mobile app. Research indicates that people who walk the most have zero risk factors like high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. Purpose to accumulate 15,000 steps (at least 5 miles) and above every day. This will help you to reduce your waist, blood sugar level, and cholesterol. What is the Right Walking Technique? Forget the normal walk, turn your movements into fitness strides with proper posture. Here is the right way to walk for fitness. • Face forward and not the ground • Relax the shoulders and neck • Straighten the back without arching it forward or backward • Freely swig the arms ad slightly bend the elbows • Pump a little with the arms • Tighten the midsection • Roll the feet from heels to toes, walking smoothly How to Get the Most Out of Walking Increasing the number of steps in a day is good. But make sure you are increasing the pace. Don’t forget to take breaks throughout the day. Take brisk walking bouts of at least 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can do high interval training instead of walking for 30 minutes at the same intensity. Alternate 1-minute bursts of high intensity walking with 1-minute bursts of low intensity or recovery. Lastly, take your walking uphill. A steep hill allows you to increase the pace, giving you an equal advantage in less time. Meanwhile, here is what you ought to know: I. Keep in mind the aforementioned posture, feet, and arm movement. Make sure you have comfortable and flexible walking footwear. II. Weather should not be a hindrance. Neither should outdoor hazards prevent you from walking. This is where a treadmill comes in. III. Consider having some walking friends to make it more enjoyable. Walking with a dog is another great way to break from longer strolls. IV. …

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Running

Running And Jogging – Its Health Benefits And Fitness

Although many people are never into running, the truth is that numerous health benefits are associated with running. Regardless of the fitness objectives you intend to achieve, it is essential to understand that running is one of the exercises that will rarely disappoint you. Whether you are trying to lose weight or build strong muscles and resilience, running has what it takes to achieve your objectives. However, if you decide that you will fully immerse yourself in the running world, you need to ensure that you get the whole exercise right. Here are some of the essential tips that you need to keep at the back of your mind, especially if you are a beginner. Start with short distances before you extend — this is important because it will ensure that you do not overstretch your muscles, making the whole exercise a bit challenging. Start with slow speed — one of the mistakes that many new runners make is thinking that they can get into the game with the same speed that they see experienced runners take off. Sometimes, if you start with high speed, you can give up before achieving your objectives. Allow time for body recovery — Although it is good to train your body to withstand any pressure you may put into through, sometimes it is good to ensure that you put some time aside for both recoveries. Your cardiovascular system needs time to adapt to new demands, and bearing this at the back of your mind will be very necessary. Choose the right gear — before you set out for a running activity, it is important to make sure that you have the right gear. You will need running shoes, clothes, and a water bottle. A water bottle is particularly important because you will need to dehydrate yourself during the entire process. Choose the right Surface — lastly; make sure that you have the best grounds for running exercises. If you choose a rough surface, there is a possibility that you might end up hurting yourself in the process, and this is not a good thing. Health Benefits of Running People who set time aside for running experience numerous health benefits. You have probably heard about cases where a doctor prescribed walking to solve someone’s health problem. That should tell you how important walking, jogging, and running can be to one’s life. You do not have to wait until that time when a doctor recommends running to you, and that is when you start taking it seriously. Instead, it would be best if you made it your habit to run daily. Here are some of the health benefits that are associated with regular running. Get Quality Sleep The inability to sleep well at night is described as insomnia. Many people have insomnia because of several reasons. First, some have insomnia because they have life stress. Others found themselves in the same situation because of medical conditions. Regardless of the causes of a sleepless night, one important …

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