Sports

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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Mountain Climbing

Reasons Why Mountain Climbing Is Good For Your Objective Goals

Whether you are after developing huge muscles or just keeping fit, mountain climbing is one activity you should never overlook. Most people who have had hiking and mountain climbing experience indicated that they had a lot of things to celebrate about once the exercise was complete. Therefore, it is correct to say that mountain climbing is packed with numerous health benefits that can enrich your life in several ways. Keep reading this article to understand why mountain climbing should be one of your best exercises. Muscular Endurance Muscular endurance is good for those who want to keep fit and also for ordinary people. If you do not have strong muscles, it will be hard for you to go into the gym and stay fit. Similarly, people need strong muscles for them to go about their daily activities with much ease. Simultaneously, mountain climbing is not the only activity that can help you develop the endurance you need to perform well in the gym; the truth is that it is among the best. You will have to climb at your own pace means that your muscles will have all the time needed for proper development. Improve your Cardiovascular Fitness If you are looking for improved cardiovascular fitness, then mountain climbing is the sport that you need to embrace by both hands. It won’t take long before you start feeling the effect. However, you will need to make the whole process explosive to benefit from the entire activity. One of the best ways to ensure that you get the best is to make the climbing process fast and then take a 30 seconds rest. If you keep repeating the same, there is a high possibility that you will experience strong muscles at the end of it. Increased Flexibility Some people may think that flexibility and agility are best left to hockey and football players. The truth is that in anything that you do, for you to do it perfectly, you need to be flexible. Mountain climbing can help you attain the highest level of flexibility you may need to lead a comfortable life. As your legs move back and forth in the efforts to climb, you are loosening the joints, improving mobility. It is hard to find mountain climbers who are not flexible. However, you may want to do it several times for you to achieve the desired results. Additionally, it is worth noting that mountain climbers are excellent runners. Shake off the Excess Weight Being overweight is a nightmare that many people are willing to do anything at their disposal to ensure that it does not happen to them. This can be attributed to the fact that numerous health problems are associated with the condition. For instance, it is not indisputable that people suffering from obesity may experience health problems such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, and many others. If you do not want to experience such issues, you may want to consider looking for better …

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Everything You Wanted To Know About Swimming

Swimming is fun. You get to splash around in a large pool of deliciously cool water and end up losing weight, getting in pretty good shape and have a lot of fun as well. However, learning to swim is completely another story. Trying to float your 70-odd kg of body weight that is used to sitting firmly on the ground is tough, but the effort does pay off in the long run. If you are a novice interested in swimming, here are a few things you should know. The science behind trying to float It’s not surprising that human babies can manage rudimentary locomotive swimming within a few weeks of birth. Swimming itself relies on using neutral buoyancy. As the human body is almost 90% water, floating naturally is completely possible. However, floating also depends on water content and body density. For example, increased water salinity and higher levels of body fat can increase buoyancy. The human body is moderately less dense than water and this makes exercising in water a ‘low-impact’ activity. Normal people usually float in different ways and there are factors that impact buoyancy in water. For example, fatty tissue is lighter; however, the distribution of fatty tissue can affect flotation. For example, pear-shaped women who have a higher density of fat around their thighs will need far less effect to streamline their shape and reduce wave resistance while swimming. Lung volume also impact swimming. For example, inhalation will pull in air and floating becomes easier as the lungs and chest expand. Hydrodynamics can also influence swimming and impact a swimmer’s speed. Competitive swimmers can learn to reduce water resistance and learn efficient swimming techniques to increase their speed. Learning the technique Several different swimming techniques are used all over the world. Swim strokes are also different and competitive swimming uses different strokes to create swimming classes. There are four main strokes used all over the world; front crawl, breaststroke, butterfly, and the backstroke. Untrained swimmers usually use a doggy paddle or combination of arm and leg movements to propel themselves through the water. Other strokes are also used depending on specific uses. Competitive swimming Competitive swimming is managed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA). Competitive swimming competitions are held all through the year. During the season, swimmers train several times a week to compete in events. Swimming has also been a part of Olympics since 1896 and several events are part of the competition. Athletes may need to invest in safety clothing and equipment for competitive swimming. For example, men’s swimsuits are briefs or shorts while women usually have skintight suits from neck to thigh. Competitive swimwear is also designed to make the swimmer as sleek as possible in the water while being as light as possible. Accessories like ear plugs, eye shields, noseclips and swimcaps are required as well. For training, pull buoys, kickboards, swimfuns, finger paddles, pool noodles, and snorkels may also be used. Be a water baby; be healthy Swimming is wonderful …

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