Tag Archives: Sports & Games

Play Baseball

Gear Up

All ball players will need a ball, a bat, and a glove. All baseballs are pretty much the same, but bats can be either wooden or aluminum. These days, only the pros use wooden bats full time. Aluminum bats are lighter and easier to handle and don’t break as often. There are a couple of different types of gloves, depending on your field position.

Batter up! All batters should wear a helmet while at the plate and on base to protect the head. For better base running, try wearing baseball cleats instead of sneakers.

What a catch! Catchers have a special set of protective gear that includes a helmet, a mask, shin guards and a chest protector. All of these pieces are very important to protect you if you play behind the plate.

Play it Safe

Wear your protective gear during all practices and games, especially if you’re a catcher — those fast balls can pack a punch! Don’t forget to warm up and stretch before each practice or game. In the infield? Stay behind the base on any throw. You’ll avoid hurting yourself — and the base runner. In the outfield? Avoid bloopers with your teammates by calling every fly ball loudly, even if you think nobody else is close by. And in the batters’ box, wear a batting helmet and use a batting glove to protect your knuckles from those inside pitches. If you think a pitch is going to hit you, turn away from the ball and take it in the back.

Throwing those fastballs can really take a toll, so if you’re a pitcher, make sure to get plenty of rest between games, and don’t pitch more than 4-10 innings per week.

How to Play

Baseball is known as America’s favorite pastime. This sport uses many different skills from pitching, catching, and batting (which require lots of hand-eye coordination), to base running which means going from a standing start to a full sprint. To get started, you just need a bat and a ball!

How to hit the ball.
First, get hold of that bat by stacking your hands on the handle (right hand on top if you’re a righty, left hand on top if you’re a lefty), making sure the curve of the bat is in the middle of your fingers and that your knuckles are in a straight line. Balance on the balls of your feet, with your weight on your back foot, and bend your knees slightly. Your hands should be shoulder height, elbows in, and keep your head in line with your torso, turned toward your front shoulder. As the pitcher throws, step toward the pitch, and swivel toward the ball with your hips, keeping your arms steady as you move toward the ball. KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL, and complete your swing by pivoting forward and shifting your weight to your front foot, following through with the bat after you hit the ball.

How to throw the ball.
Did you know that throwing the ball accurately requires a little footwork? First, step toward the target with the glove side foot, making sure the toe of your shoe is pointing directly to where you want the ball to go. Aim the leading shoulder at the target. Aim the bill of your hat (the “duckbill”) at the target and throw.

How to catch the ball.
Keep your eye on the pitch and stay low with your feet apart and knees bent so you can move quickly in any direction. Have your glove ready at or below knee level, pocket side out. When scooping up a ground ball, bend down and use both hands to scoop it to the middle of your body so you have it securely.

Ology

How does Barry Bonds hit the ball so far? It’s science! When the bat hits the ball, the bat exchanges momentum with the ball and the ball takes off. The faster the bat is swung, the harder it hits the ball and the harder the bat hits the ball, the faster and further the ball goes. So if you want to hit like Barry, pump up those arm muscles and take some practice swings!

Fun Facts

There are exactly 108 stitches on a baseball.

In 1974, girls started playing on Little League teams.

A major league pitcher can throw a baseball up to 95 miles an hour — which takes less than 1/2 second for the ball to cross the plate.

Source: CDC; Baseball Activity Card

Dog Ball Game

Use your head and follow your nose to win.

This game is for 4 or more players and should be played in an open area on a soft surface.

To play, you need two balls and two teams. (Rubber playground balls work best.)

First, mark the end of your course, which should be about 15 feet long. (You could use empty soda bottles.)

Split into two even teams.

On the word “go,” the first player of each team has to bark, get on her hands and knees and use her nose or forehead to roll the ball to the end of the course, around the marker and back.

When players get back to their team, they tag the next person in line. Every player must bark before they set off.

The first team to finish wins.

Source: PBS Kids; Dog Ball

 

Play Frisbee

Gear Up
Of course the first thing you’ll need is a Frisbee! The most common kinds are made of plastic and come in all sorts of cool colors. If you are planning to play a serious game, or want to play an organized game of Ultimate, you’ll also need cleats or tennis shoes with good tread. Kneepads aren’t a bad idea and are a great way to avoid scratching up your knees.

Play it Safe
When playing a game of Frisbee, just make sure that you don’t throw too hard and always try and stay on your feet while playing. If you are playing a more intense game of Ultimate also make sure to avoid diving for the Frisbee.

It’s important to warm up and stretch before any game. Listen to your body! Don’t play through any pain. If you are injured, wait until you’ve healed before starting to play again. And if you have glasses or braces, wear protective eye or mouth guards.

Whether you’re just tossing the Frisbee with friends or playing a competitive game of Ultimate, make sure to drink plenty off water before, during and after your game. It’s also a good idea to wear sunscreen to keep from burning and bug repellent to keep the bugs where they belong – off of you!

How to Play
Frisbee is a great way to spend time outside on a beautiful day. Just grab your Frisbee and a few friends and you’ve got yourself a game!

One of the best parts about Frisbee is that you probably know more than you think about how to play! Like how to throw a backhand: Just stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, point yourself sideways, place your index finger on the outside rim with your middle finger extended along the top of the Frisbee and your thumb underneath and flick your wrist toward your throwing partner.

A forehanded Frisbee throw is more complicated, but just remember – practice makes perfect! Place your middle finger straight and flat against the inside rim of the Frisbee so that the outer rim is between your thumb and your index finger. If you are right handed, stand sideways with your left shoulder forward, pull your right arm back to your outer thigh, keeping the Frisbee at an angle, and flick your wrist forward, releasing the Frisbee about halfway across your body.

Now that you’ve perfected throwing the Frisbee, you’ve got to learn to catch it. There are two ways to catch a Frisbee. In one, called the “Pancake,” the palms of your hands face each other and are held close to your body. That way, if you can’t catch the Frisbee with your hands, it hits your body, not the ground. Another catch style is called the “Crocodile.” This catch involves holding your arms out in front of your body and clapping your hands together just like a crocodile’s mouth snapping shut.

Once you’ve mastered catching and throwing your Frisbee, grab some friends and organize a game of Ultimate! This is a team sport played on a 70-yard by 40-yard rectangular field with an end zone that stretches 25 yards deep. Two teams of seven people each are needed to play. A team scores when the Frisbee is thrown into the other team’s end zone. Ultimate players referee their own games, making good sportsmanship the most important thing to remember!

Ology
If you want to make your Frisbee soar, make sure you put lots of spin on it when you throw. Spinning helps keep the Frisbee from flipping over, which would put an end to your throw. Frisbee designers help you by making the edges thicker than the rest of the Frisbee and by putting tiny ridges on the top to help keep it balanced.

Fun Facts
In the 19th century, a group of New England college students played the first game of Frisbee when they began throwing around old pie tins from the Frisbee Baking Company for fun. Who would have guessed this is how it all got started?

Frisbee ranks number eight on the list of the top ten toys of the 20th century.

The number of Frisbees sold each year is top-secret information. However, estimates are that we buy more Frisbees each year than footballs, baseballs and basketballs combined.

Source: CDC’s BAM! Body and Mind; Frisbee Activity Card