Category Archives: Sports

Roller Hockey Equipment – What Do You Need for a Safe Game?

If you have kids, then you’re probably already familiar with roller hockey equipment. Also called “street hockey” or “inline hockey”, many kids – and adults – are getting involved in this new sport that can be played at home anytime.

Roller hockey is played on roller skates, and a game can be started anywhere there’s a smooth surface. This surface can include driveways, playgrounds, empty parking lots or even the local street, hence the name “street hockey.”

The good news is that this exciting and fast-moving game gets kids outside playing and exercising instead of parked in front the Nintendo or Wii.

Roller Hockey Equipment Provides Protection from Falls and Game Bumps

Just like its counterpart ice hockey, roller hockey has its own protective equipment. This can include gloves, padded pants and jerseys, knee pads, helmets and masks. There is a goalie for roller hockey just like there is for ice hockey, and he can be pretty well bundled up for protection. Lets start with inline hockey basics.

Inline Hockey Skates Are the Foundation of Your Game

The game moves on skates, typically inline skates, which have all four wheels “in line” on the bottom of the skate. Roller hockey skates keep the game moving quickly. As with ice hockey, good support is needed for inline skates. Many of the wheels have specially designed bearings for fast motion and durability. Prices for inline skates start at about $80 and go up fast. A quality pair of skates can cost as much as $700 or more.

Inline skates are typically worn about one shoe size smaller than usual shoe size. You’ll want to try on your skates before you buy them, but be aware that you want no more than ¼ inch of space between the back of your heel and the skate. Toes should almost brush against the front inside of the skate. Your skates should feel snug and hold your foot securely when fully laced.

Be careful not to go too large, because this will cause blisters and uncomfortable calluses. Your skate should feel like it’s an extension of your foot. There are special roller hockey skates for those who play goalie position.

Proper Roller Hockey Equipment Includes Elbow, Shin, Knee and Shoulder Gear

Bear in mind that just like ice hockey, there’s going to be a puck flying at incredible speeds, and players will be swinging hockey sticks that can do serious damage. You’ll want to prepare with roller hockey equipment that will protect against stick injuries, crashes and falls. Think about it. If you were flying around on pavement and took a fall when traveling 20 mph, you could end up with some serious road rash. Be prepared by dressing in shoulder gear, and girdles with padding in the thighs, hips and buttocks. Wear protective gloves.

There are also special knee and elbow pads. These are especially important pieces of every player’s roller hockey equipment, because they protect the areas that are most prone to injury. When you fall, it’s typically the knees and elbows that take the brunt of the landing.

A good helmet and mask will protect against flying pucks and swinging sticks. Be aware that goalies require even more protection, including chest, leg and arm protection. They will also wear a full helmet with mask.

Roller Hockey Equipment Needed to Play the Game

Now we get to the fun stuff! The final required roller hockey equipment needed to pay a games includes a puck, hockey sticks and a goal or net. Because the game is played on flat surfaces like pavement and cement, street hockey gives players the choice of balls or pucks.

Interestingly, roller hockey equipment now includes special balls and pucks that were developed for specific weather conditions. These are balls designed to have no bounce, and they can be used in temperatures of 32 degrees or colder with other balls for 32 degrees or warmer. One ball has even been designed to handle 70 degrees or warmer for hot weather play.

Roller hockey sticks look very similar to their ice hockey counterparts but have been designed for street play. Sticks come in right- or left-handed designs. Goalies require sticks that are slightly different, since their job, like ice hockey goalies, is different from those who move the puck up and down the court. Inline hockey sticks are also somewhat different than their ice hockey counterparts.

Lastly, of course, game requires a goal. The goal is a net, like ice hockey, and the goalie stands in front of the net to prevent the puck from entering. Nets come in several sizes, depending upon the needs of the players. If a regulation 6 x 4 foot goal is needed, then these are also available.

With a little preparation and the right roller hockey equipment, players can enjoy the outdoors and team work, too!

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The History Of The Baseball Game

We take the modern day baseball game for granted and never consider the fact that today’s baseball is the end result of a long and fascinating metamorphose which saw the ball change dramatically.

In the early history of the game the baseball game played a Major part in baseball strategy. The makers of the hand-made baseball were easily identified as producing a Live, Medium or Dead Ball which allowed teams to use different baseballs in different situations.

Baseballs radically changed in 1857 and their size and weight continued to change well into the 1860’s until the Leagues finally adopted a standardize baseball game in 1872, which remains the standards of today’s modern baseball.

The Baseball game – Early History

Early baseballs were made by hand winding yarn or string around a core, which could be any solid object, then using some sort of stuffing in the ball, which was then enclosed in a leather sheathing.

The leather was usually brown in color and was stitched in what was known as a “lemon peel” or “rose pedal” stitch. The leather was wrapped around the ball and stitched together forming an X configuration on the outside of the ball.

Because these balls were very light and soft, prior to 1845, a runner could be declared out if the fielder threw the ball and hit the runner, which was called Soaking a runner. I have no idea where the term originated or why.

The Baseball Game Producers

Since there was no standardized, official manufacturer of baseballs, players and local merchants would make them as they saw fit. Early baseballs were quite small and light compared to today’s baseball, but were constructed of leather, although the colors varied from shades of medium brown to dark brown.

The first recording of a standardized baseball was in 1854 when the three New York Teams, The Knickerbockers, Gothams and Eagle Baseball Club all decided a baseball would be between 5 ½ to 6 ounces in weight with a diameter between 2 ¾ to 3 ½ inches and be sewn in a lemon peel stitch pattern.

This sized baseball was probably adapted from the baseball they were currently using and were familiar with and was not the standard for the baseball teams in other parts of the country.

In 1857, the first baseball convention was held at Smith’s Hotel in New York city, where numerous rules and standards were adopted by the 15 New York Baseball Clubs, the size of a standard baseball being one of them.

It was agreed upon the baseball would have a circumference of between 10 and 10 ¼ inches and weigh between 6 and 6 ¼ ounces.

In 1858 H.P. Harwood & Sons Company of Natick, MA, became the very first factory opened with the sole purpose of producing baseballs. They were also the inventors of the figure – eight stitching, the same stitching used in today’s modern baseball.

In 1858, baseball’s second convention, set forth more specific rules concerning the composition and fabrication of the baseball. It was generally believed the great strides in manufacturing techniques prompted these changes so soon after the original rules were adopted.

The new specifications said the baseball would have a core which was to be India-rubber, which comes from the latex of many tropical plants and is extremely elastic.

The rules also stated the baseball for the game was to be provided by the challenging team, visitors in today’s lingo, and would be presented to “Winning” club as a trophy. This had been an established custom for years, but was now an official rule.

There are numerous stories associated with the creation of the baseball. For instance, it is rumored Ellis Drake was the inventor of the two – piece leather, figure-eight stitched baseball. It is said he drew a rough draft of the design in 1840 while in grade school and built a prototype from his father’s scrap leather.

He’d toyed with his idea because he said the lemon peeled balls which were used at school to play “round Ball” with, came apart at the four corners of the stitching, making throwing the ball straight nearly impossible.

Two years after creating his design, George and Harry Wright stole his idea and began producing baseball covers identical to Drake’s and began selling them. Drake died in 1912, never patenting his idea which would have made him and his family very wealthy.

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How American Football Got Started

American Football points can be scored in many different ways, including catching a pass over the goal line, carrying the ball over the goal line, tackling a football player in his own end zone, or a kicker kicking the football through the goal posts on the opposing side. The football team with the highest score when the game is over is the team that wins the game. American football is also played in other countries outside the United States. Their are National football leagues that are in Sweden, Isreal, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom as well as Mexico, and a few that are in Pacific Island nations. The NFL had a developmental league in Europe from 91-92 and 95-06.

American football history can be found in the early versions of soccer and rugby. Both types of games have origins in different types of football that was played in the UK from the mid 19th century, in which the ball was run over a line or the ball was kicked at the goal. American football as well as soccer is played with 22 players on the field that they play on. Some terms from player positions from soccer are used today in American football such as fullback and halfback.

Rugby and American football do have a few major differences, some of the rule changes were started by Walter Camp who people would call the Father of American Football. Some of the Major changes that Walter Camp made were down and distance and line of scrimmage as well as the rule of down and distance. College coaches like Glen Pop Warner, Amos Alonzo Stagg and Knute Rockne in the late 19th and 20th centuries changed the gameplay by intoducing the forward pass. College football grew in popularity and was the dominant version of football for the first part of the 20th century. College football had a huge national audiences with the football Bowl games. College football had big rivalries as it does today in the United States.

From the year 1892 the origin of professional football can be traced back to, with a $500 contract to play football William “Pudge Heffelfinger played football for the Allegheny Athletic Association playing against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. The american Professional Football started in 1920. The first football game was played in 1920 in Dayton, Ohio on the 3rd of October with the Triangles winning the game by a score of 14-10 against the Columbus Panhandles. Two years later the football league changed the name to National Football League which is known as the NFL and would become the major league of American football. Professional football eventually became a national phenomenon after starting out the sport in the US industrial towns and Midwestern towns. Football after it’s NFL Championship Game in 1958 grew in popularity, the game that was known as the “Greatest Game Ever Played. The American Football League also known as the AFL started in 1960 a rival football league to the National Football League, with the pressure it put between the two football leagues before the merger of the two leagues is how the start of the Super Bowl game began. The Super Bowl turned out to be the most watched television event each and every year in the United States.

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4 Game Variations Of Basketball Game

Basketball game does not just have to be strictly rule regulated play on an indoor wooden court. There are actually many different variations on the game that bring basketball to a whole new level.

Variety is one of the things that makes basketball game such a popular sport. With all the ways to play the game it is no wonder that people all over the world are playing the game. That’s true no matter who they are, how old they are or what limitations they may physically have.

Game Variation 1: Wheelchair Basketball game

Wheelchair basketball, as the name suggests, is played in wheelchairs. The chairs are specially designed so they move quickly and easily down the court. They also are made so players can be agile, much like players in traditional basketball.

Wheelchair basketball is a serious sport that is regulated by the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF).

Game Variation 2: Water Basketball game

Water basketball, again as the name suggests, is played in water. It can be recreational or as a team regulated sport. In water basketball the rules are a little different. The rules for water basketball combine rules for traditional court basketball and water polo. There is, obviously, no dribbling involved in water basketball.

Game Variation 3: Beach Basketball game

Beach basketball is played on the beach and is quite different than other types of basketball. It is not as strict and much more of a physical game than basketball.

Beach basketball game is played on a circular court with no backboard on the hoop. There is no dribbling because it is too difficult on the sand. The ball is moved down the court instead by passing or 2 ½ steps. There is also no out of bounds in beach basketball.

Game Variation 4: Informal Basketball

Informal basketball game really is not an actual name for a type of basketball, but it is used here to simply describe the type of basketball that most people play – basketball where you are just playing for the fun of the sport. The best kind!

Informal play can have any rules you like, as long as everyone playing agrees to them. There may not even be any organized play, but rather people simply making baskets and having fun.

Basketball is a very flexible sport. It can be played almost anywhere and in anyway you can imagine. In fact, it probably has been played almost everyway imaginable because it is such a popular sport. The thing about basketball that remains the same is making the basket. Every variation of the sport involves a ball and basket with the ultimate goal being to get the ball through the basket to score.

So, no matter how you play basketball it is the right way as long as you have the ball and hoop. You can play whatever way feels best for you with whatever rules you want. You can play with as many players as you want on whatever type of court you want. The bottom line is that you just have fun while you are doing it.

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What Features Do Developing Basketball Players Need on Their Basketball Hoops?

Available Features on Basketball Hoops:

A basketball hoop can be designed in many different ways. People typically see a basketball hoop as a pole in the ground and a backboard with a rim attached. While this view is generally correct, a lot of basketball hoops today have many features that go beyond this general description. These features are meant to enhance the game and, if understood correctly, can also greatly enhance a player’s personal training. Some of these features include height adjustments, break-away rims, different material backboards, and the size of the backboard.

Basketball Hoops Height Adjustments

While standard height of a basketball system is to have the rim set at 10 ft., most beginning players will find this high of a rim to be very difficult to practice their shot. Many basketball systems have a fixed-height design and so younger players would have no choice but to wait to grow tall and strong enough to have the ball reach the rim. This waiting period wastes many useful years the player could be developing their shot. Because of this problem, many systems today feature height-adjustable rims. Lower-end basketball hoops from Lifetime Products and Spalding feature height adjustments down to a 7.5-ft. high rim.

Other high-end systems like Spalding’s Arena View line, Goalsetter basketball systems, and others can adjust to much lower heights; some systems can even go as low as 5.5 ft. While such a low height is much easier to shoot on, 5.5 ft. is probably not necessary. Most youth recreational leagues start players shooting an a rim height of 7-8 ft. This range makes the players have to work to develop their shot while not crushing their hopes by having the rim too far out of reach. High-end systems that have this range include Mammoth Basketball Hoops, Goalsetter Basketball Systems, and Arena View Basketball Goals.

Break-away Rims

As a basketball player develops their game, particularly male athletes, the rim design will begin to be important. Different rims provide better playability as players reach the age of dunking. Performing a slam dunk does not occur often in younger athletes; but, as a player reaches the High School age, they will likely be able to develop their vertical jump sufficiently to dunk the basketball. At this point in the basketball player’s development, static or stationery rims are likely to be broken and their basketball system is likely to be damaged.

In most high schools, the NCAA, and certainly the NBA, break-away rims are used. The break-away design allows the rim to be slightly displaced out of the mounting mechanism attached to backboard and to snap back into place after the rim is released. This features not only provides greater longevity out of the basketball system, but also provides safety for the player. Were a player to dunk sufficiently hard on a static rim, the rim could be completely torn off the backboard and the player would fall in whichever direction his or her momentum was going. These kind of problems are minimized with a break-away rim.

Basketball Backboard Materials

Different backboard materials will vary greatly in how well the basketball bounces or “rebounds” off of the surface. In increasing order of reboundability, backboard materials would rank as follows: plastic, polycarbonate, acrylic, and then glass. While this difference in rebound may seem trivial to many basketball players, backboard material on basketball hoops can help or hinder a player’s shot development. In particular, a shot that is used often as a player advances his or her skills is the “bank shot.” This shot describes the player shooting at the backboard with the hope of bouncing the ball into the rim. With lower-end materials – like plastic, polycarbonate, and acrylic – the bank shot can become greatly altered if the backboard absorbs the impact of the ball.

Glass, for all intents and purposes, has no absorption of the basketball’s impact; so, a player developing their game will be able to more easily fine tune the bank shot on a glass backboard than a backboard made of the other materials. Amongst the other materials for a backboard, their is not has much difference in quality of rebound. For instance, most players will not be able to recognize the difference between an acrylic rebound and a polycarbonate rebound.

Why the materials are ranked in the order they are above is because the material of the backboard tends to coincide with other features that help stabilize the system. For example, no basketball system currently exists in the market that has a plastic backboard and a square pole, but there are such systems in both polycarbonate and acrylic. No, polycarbonate backboard currently exists on a system with larger than a 4×4 inch square post, but there are such systems with an acrylic backboard. The more stable the basketball hoop is overall, the more stable the backboard will be and the better the rebound will be.

Basketball Hoops’ Backboard Size

Finally, the last thing to be considered in this article will be the size of the backboard. On regulation-sized basketball hoops, the official backboard size is 72″ wide x 42″ high. From this size, many smaller backboard occur on many different systems. Lifetime Products produces a backboard as small as 42 inches wide. Spalding produces a backboard as small as 44 inches wide. Much like the material of the backboard, for advanced players, a bigger backboard is a better backboard.

A larger backboard allows the player to develop a full range of shots they could use in their game. A smaller backboard takes away much of the range of bank shots that could be employed in a game. Most high schools have a regulation-sized backboard and so a player will have a better personal practice the closer their basketball backboard comes to 72 inches wide and 42 inches high.

Basketball Accessories for Basketball Hoops

Many basketball accessories exist to help a player practice on their own. Only a couple will be considered here. One of these accessories is a hoop chute (also called a personal rebounder or a back-atcha chute). This accessory attaches to the bottom of the the rim and functions to direct the ball back to the shooter. This mechanism allows a player to shoot more shots on average for a set period of time than if the player had to rebound their own shot.

The other accessory worth mentioning is a ball cart. A ball cart usually functions to store basketballs when they are not in use; but, for a basketball player practicing by themselves, a basketball cart allows a player to fine tune their range from different locations on the cart by having several basketballs at their disposal to shoot continuously from the same location. Both of these accessories make more efficient use of personal practice time.

Competitive Edge Products, Inc. is an authorized dealer of many different brands of basketball hoops. We can answer most any questions about which basketball system will be right for your needs. We carry Lifetime Products basketball hoops, Spalding basketball goals, and Goalsetter Basketball Hoops.

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