Everyone is familiar with the classic, mainstream sports. Take football, soccer, hockey; great sports in their own right, but why not try something new? I’m sure if you look back long enough, to your P.E studies at school, you will remember engaging in numerous sports. Sure the British kids only remember (and care) about soccer; and American kids will either remember football or trying to get out of gym. However, maybe you will remember one time that you played a particular sport and really enjoyed it, but due to not being a typical popular sport, it may have slipped through the cracks. Read on further to see if any of the sports mentioned trigger a memory of a time that you played a non-mainstream sport and enjoyed it. If not… read on anyway to discover a new sport that you might just end up enjoying.
Badminton. Yes, the name may not make you jump out of your seat with excitement, but maybe that’s only because you haven’t gotten the buzz of what makes badminton such a great sport just yet. Similarly to tennis, opponents are situated on opposite sides of a court with a (high) net. Each player will have a racket; thinner and lighter than a tennis racket, and having a smaller surface area of strings. This ensures that the user can use optimum power in game. Instead of a ball, the players will hit back and forth a shuttlecock. This object is cone-like, actually quite resembling of a teepee. When hit in the correct area, you will achieve great accuracy and power. Like many court games, the aim is for the opposing player to miss the shuttlecock and for it to hit the ground on their side. A competitive and exciting game, badminton is surely one of the most underrated sports out there.
Ping Pong (Table Tennis)
This one may be more familiar to many; perhaps due to the college adapted version, ‘Beer-Pong’, but perhaps not. Traditional table tennis is actually one of the most fun sports out there. As competitive as tennis, and other sports within the same realm as it, table tennis requires skill and tenacity that with practice anyone can achieve. Similarly to its namesake, tennis, two players stand on opposite sides of a table, with a net in the middle to split them. Quite like a tennis court, merely on a table. Players use a table tennis bat, and its basically the same rules as tennis. The ball cannot hit the net from service, just instead of 15, 30, 45 and game, players play to 11 (requiring two clear points to win). A game suitable for all ages, ping pong is great exercise, great fun and learning all those cool spin serves, power responses is all part of the fun.
Cricket? What’s that you say? Something the British folk play during the intermission between their 3rd and 4th afternoon cup of tea. Not quite. Cricket is actually a super-popular sport that is played worldwide, from India to Pakistan, the U.K to South Africa. If you like baseball, this sport might actually be considered an upgrade. A team sport; each side traditionally requires 11 players (although if you’re playing casually with friends, just use however many people you have). There will be a batting team and a fielding team on a very large outdoor area. The batter will stand in front of a device called a wicket. The wicket is designed to have a heavy stick on top of it, so when the bowler (fielding team), throws the ball in attempt to hit the wicket (and strike the batter out), the batter will attempt to hit the ball, and during this time run between wickets to accumulate runs. Phew, bit of a mouthful that, but when the rules are fully grasped, very easy to play. A game fun with friends, or in a competitive atmosphere, give cricket a go.
Squash. Maybe its the game that your Dad plays, maybe its the game you’ve never heard of. Nonetheless, squash is a super fun game that is great exercise and ultra competitive. Situated in an indoor box area, each player has a bat and wears goggles. Due to the small area, and the close proximity to the wall, without goggles there is a very real chance the ball could strike you in the eye, so be careful. Each player will use the racket to hit the ball against the wall, without letting the ball bounce more than once. If it does, the other player will gain a point. Due to the small area, and often power involved in the shots, the game is super-fast paced, competitive and can actually be a great test against your fitness. Underrated by far, the game is a must-try. Improve your fitness while playing a world-class sport that you probably never thought twice about playing before.
So go on, put down that baseball bat, the desire to kick a football; try something new.