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How to Play Pickleball 0

Posted on October 10, 2017 by Scott Huntington

If you haven’t heard of pickleball yet, don’t worry — you will. Pickleball is the result of what comes from mixing badminton, court and table tennis together.

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It may have a funny-sounding name, but there’s no question as to its legitimacy as a sport. There are over 15,000 courts in the United States and over 2.5 million participants of the sport in the United States.

Unlike many other popular sports, pickleball has participants spanning all ages, career paths and stages of life — including high school teenagers in their physical education classes to aged citizens in retirement locations. Tennis, racquetball and ping pong players are all attracted to the game, its competitive nature and the social aspect it inspires.

Pickleball’s Beginnings

The first ball was struck by the first paddle over the first net in the summer of 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington, at the home of Joel Pritchard. Mr. Pritchard, at the time, serving as State Representative and later on as Lieutenant Governor of Washington, and his friends Bill Bell and Barney McCallum returned from their game of golf to discover a house full of bored family members.

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They attempted to start a rousing game of badminton for everyone but the shuttlecock was nowhere to be found so they improvised with a whiffle ball. Due to the size and weight of the ball, they lowered the net and cobbled together paddles from plywood materials they found from a nearby shed.

After one game turned into a dozen and friends were introduced to the family sport, the name Pickleball was chosen due to the term used for the boats that return with their catch – “pickle boat.” The Pritchard family would later get a dog and name him Pickles, which would begin the legend of the name of the sport.

How to Play

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Anywhere from two, three or four players take solid paddles and use them to strike a polymer ball with holes over a net. The dimensions and layout of the playing field are similar to that of a badminton court, with rules similar to tennis but with a few modifications. Only the serving team can score points, and it’s played to 11 — however, a team must win by two.

When the game first began, the paddles were made from wood only, but with the popularity of the game increasing, the paddles are now made from lightweight composite materials like aluminum and graphite. The ball for Pickleball has holes through it similar to a whiffle ball, but different ball models are used for indoor and outdoor use and come in several colors including white, yellow and green.

Support of the Game

The game, while growing popularity and legitimacy, still retains its small town, indie feel. In 2016 the Pickleball U.S. Open was only watched by 20 people in the stands, but this was due to extreme heat weather and not the popularity of the game. As soon as measures were taken to protect fans in the stands, the audience at the 2017 US Open swelled to 200 attendees at every match.

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If you’re a beginner to the game, you’re quickly learning the allure, if you’re trying it out for the first time, just start playing and the fun will infect you quickly. Anyone can play with any opponent — making pickleball not only an excellent athletic experience, but also great for forging new friendships and for multi-generational families to bond over.

How Trampolines Can Help You Get in Shape 1

Posted on September 18, 2017 by Scott Huntington

Any child will tell you how much fun a trampoline is. In fact, you probably experienced the joy of trampolining when you were a kid too. It turns out these fixtures of the childhood backyard are more than just an activity for kids on a sunny afternoon. They’re also an ideal accessory for an intense workout.

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In fact, the American Council on Exercise says that a mere 20 minutes of jumping up and down on a mini trampoline gives you just as much of a workout as a 20-minute run. The only difference? Most participants found bouncing to be a much more fun way to work out than pounding the pavement.

Need more incentive? Here’s how trampolines can help you reach your ideal fitness level. Read the rest of this entry →

What to Expect Your First Time Whitewater Rafting 0

Posted on September 06, 2017 by Scott Huntington

The rush that comes with whitewater rafting is palpable, even through photos and videos you’ve seen. Now, you want to get your adrenaline pumping by suiting up and taking to the rapids yourself.

Of course, before you embark on your first whitewater rafting trip, you want to know a little bit more about what you’re getting yourself into — pictures can only say so much, after all. The following are five examples of what you can expect.

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1. The Rapids Won’t Be Too Intense

Your rafting guide won’t take newbies through the strongest rapids on their first ride. Instead, they’ll choose a path with rapids that are low to moderate on the classification scale. You certainly won’t be bored on your trip, but you won’t be flying out of the raft in the middle of rough, swirling waters, either. Read the rest of this entry →

How to Clean up Old Baseball Equipment 0

Posted on August 31, 2017 by Scott Huntington

Sometimes, the new baseball season demands new equipment. If your favorite pair of cleats is separating from their hardened soles, for example, it’s time to trade them in. However, lots of the equipment we put aside as worn out actually has life left in it.

As companies look for cheaper ways to manufacture gear, consumers can be forced to deal with what is ultimately a lower-quality product, and who wants to spend more money on new equipment when you can get more use out of pieces you’ve already paid for? Instead, why not breathe some new life into that old mitt or bat?

Reconditioning Your Mitt

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A good baseball or softball glove can last decades, but you’ve got to take care of it properly. Some newer gloves are made of synthetics, which are softer when new but break down more quickly than their natural counterpart, leather. A leather glove requires care, or it will dry out.

When you pull an old leather glove out of storage, it will probably be dry and stiff. A good cleaning and some leather conditioner go a long way toward restoring its supple feel. Wipe the glove down with a damp cloth, and if it’s stained or dirty use rubbing alcohol to remove discoloration. If mold or mildew have grown on it, use a rag soaked in vinegar.

Next, select a conditioning agent. Since so many things are made of leather, you’ve got your choice between old-school options like saddle soap or more recent synthetic conditioners. Use a damp rag and work the conditioner into the glove. Read the rest of this entry →

Why You Should Go to a Ninja Warrior Training Facility 1

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Scott Huntington

Gyms are modeling newly offered workouts after the popular TV show “American Ninja Warrior.” The show features contestants giving their best across a variety of obstacles, such as warped walls, spider walk, rolling log and cannonball alley. The test of fitness is fun to watch, though now you have the ability to step beyond the role of a spectator.

In addition to the fun of competing in impressive obstacles, “American Ninja Warrior”-inspired training has a variety of fitness benefits. Plus, the practice can inspire and get you prepared for auditioning on the actual TV show.

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Improved Coordination

When at the gym, many tend to emphasize cardio and weightlifting, while neglecting aspects of coordination. The majority of “American Ninja Warrior” obstacles require considerable coordination. Repeated attempts and practice with these obstacles can improve your coordination significantly, likely more so than any other training equipment in the gym. Read the rest of this entry →

Biggest Changes in Basketball History 1

Posted on July 20, 2017 by Scott Huntington

Basketball is an American invention, with a Canadian inventor. What began as a rather straightforward game in 1891 has grown into a global obsession. More than a century ago, James Naismith, a Canadian educator working in Massachusetts, came up with the game in an effort to develop a sport less physically punishing than football.

In the hundred-plus years since the first basketball game was played, the sport has undergone considerable changes. Read on for a look at some of the critical turning points in basketball’s development — from the introduction of the nylon basket to ball technology and the ever-diminishing shot clock.

Ending the Peach Basket Era

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When basketball started, scoring meant putting the ball in a peach basket or an 18-inch square box. The baskets hung from balconies installed on most indoor running facilities of the time. They were suspended at the 10-foot height still in use today.

Peach baskets have closed bottoms, which meant the ball needed to be retrieved each time a team scored. Basketball lovers decided to speed the game up by introducing a woven wire “basket” in 1892, just a year after the game’s invention. The following year, cast iron was used, and by 1912, the first nylon nets were installed.

Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Joe Cronin: Player-Manager
      October 1, 2017 | 8:21 am
      Joe Cronin

      Joe Cronin

      In recognition of the start of the baseball playoffs, we recognize as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month a man who managed pennant winning teams in Washington and Boston and spent more than decade as a player-manager.

      When the Boston Red Sox acquired Joe Cronin following the 1934 season they didn’t just get an All-Star player, they also got a new manager.

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