Why Rec League Softball is Great

Out of all of the major sports, softball is one of the most popular when it comes to organizing leagues at the local level. Many different towns, organizations, businesses, and even governmental departments have their own softball leagues. They use them in order to help bring people together and in order to work towards a common goal.

Ashley Caswell makes All-Tournament and All-Armed Forces Teams

Softball is a team sport that’s very social and that manages to create lots of different opportunities for physical activity of varying intensity levels. There are points where people are running, standing, waiting, hitting, or doing a wide range of other activities.

Is Softball for Everyone?

The very fact that softball leagues are so common should tell people everything that they need to know about softball and suitability. Softball leagues occur at the elementary school level, the middle school level, the high school level, college level, and for adult professionals. There are even senior citizen softball leagues. This is truly a sport that manages to cross the boundaries of age, gender, and ability.

There are softball leagues specifically for people who have disabilities, and these can certainly help. There are also softball leagues that are mixed in terms of the abilities of the people involved. Softball requires certain physical abilities, but this is a sport that is flexible in terms of its design.

Ideally, people who play softball should be good at running short distances, they should have strong arms, and they should have good hand-eye coordination. However, this is not a sport that requires a superlatively high level of physical fitness.

The Rules of the Softball Game

Softball is similar to baseball. It requires bases, bats, and balls. The balls for softball are slightly different from the balls of baseball, which is where the sport gets its name. The balls for softball are less dense and have a broader circumference. The overall rules of the game are similar to those of baseball, for the most part.

Batters will approach the base, try to hit the ball that is pitched at them, and then they will attempt to run across all of the bases until they reach the home plate before the other team gets the ball. Winning three home runs is the absolute ideal. Teams will switch places when it comes to who is in the field and who is batting throughout the game. However, there are subtle difference between softball and baseball, such as the fact that the baselines will measure sixty feet instead of ninety feet in softball. People who know baseball will soon learn the rules of softball.

Getting Better at Softball

Softball is a sport that can certainly be improved by plenty of training. People can improve their cardiovascular fitness, and this can allow them to run the bases more quickly and more easily. It’s also a good idea to try to develop a better throwing arm, and strengthening one’s upper and lower arms is a positive training suggestion.

People who strengthen their back muscles are going to be better at the stance required to hold a bat. This is a game that often comes down to hand-eye coordination, and the people who are able to do this part of the sport better are usually going to be more likely to succeed.

Sources:

https://web.mst.edu/~ima/rules/Softballrules.html

http://www.ncaa.org/championships/playing-rules/softball-rules-game

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MMA & Boxing: Learn Discipline and Strength

As its name suggests, mixed martial arts and boxing includes a variety of martial arts and combat sports. Martial arts that are incorporated into MMA are Muay Thai, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Taekwondo, Karate, and Sanda. Standing and on-ground techniques are both utilized in MMA. It’s a sport that allows for much creativity and variety.

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Why MMA and Boxing?

Mixed martial arts and boxing is a fun sport to participate in that has the additional benefit of teaching you self-defense. Self-defense is an invaluable skill in case you ever encounter someone who attacks you. When you know how to fight, as you learn through MMA, you won’t feel intimidated by others. You know that you can defend yourself and then safely walk away. Although it’s a competitive, full-contact combat sport, many people think it’s fun too.

Who Can Learn Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing?

If you enjoy watching the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), then you’ll probably have fun learning mixed martial arts and boxing too. MMA is ideal for teenage and adult men to learn because it provides a healthy outlet for inner aggression and builds their confidence.

People of other demographics are welcome to learn mixed martial arts and boxing too. Anyone who has an interest in the sport may learn. Some parents are concerned that MMA is too violent for children, but 8 year olds can safely participate too. As in all sports, proper gear and precautions are taken to keep participants safe. However, injuries are naturally a possibility. It’s a risk that comes with all sports.

Basic Rules in MMA and Boxing

The rules for mixed martial arts and boxing have changed over the years to improve the safety of participants and garner mainstream support for the sport. The “Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts” was implemented in 1993.

There are nine weight classes in MMA to ensure fighters are going against someone of equivalent size. Small open-fingered gloves are used to protect the hands of participants. Fighters are also required to wear mouth guards for protection.

Time limits were introduced to MMA to prevent long fights in which nothing eventful happens. With the “stand up” rule, the referee can also make fighters stand up if it’s deemed they are resting on the ground or prolonging the fight.

Tips for Being a Better MMA and Boxing Fighter

If you want to become a better MMA and boxing fighter, implement the following tips:

  • Wear proper clothing and equipment to prevent injury.
  • Always train with a certified trainer and gym for best results.
  • Practice your punching on portable standing punching bag at home.
  • Work on strength as well as agility.

Mixed martial arts and boxing is an excellent sport to learn because it teaches you how to fight, how to defend yourself, and boosts your confidence. It is also a healthy outlet for anger or any other upsetting emotion a person experiences in life.

Anyone can take up MMA and boxing as long as they have the desire. It will be easier for you to pick up on if you are already fit, but don’t allow your fitness level to discourage you. Everyone starts from a different level and progresses at varying paces. MMA and boxing can push you to get in shape while giving your mind a good challenge.

More Info:

http://www.ufc.com/discover/sport/rules-and-regulations

https://boldanddetermined.com/10-reasons-to-study-and-train-mixed-martial-arts-mma-and-how-to-start-your-own-fight-club/

http://www.parenting.com/article/mma

Volleyaball: The Classic Rec Sport

Volleyball is a sport of enduring popularity. It’s a game that’s appropriate for the beach and the gym. Volleyball is an excellent competitive team sport that really allows people to get lots of great exercise all at once. Volleyball is good at teaching strategy and cooperation, especially in the moment. It’s also a game that people like enough in order to play it for fun.

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Is Volleyball the Right Sport for You?

Volleyball is a favorite at gym classes partly because it is something that people who are not necessarily extremely fit or extremely athletic can play. This is a sport that people play on the beach for fun. Since it only requires brief periods of running and people have to serve a ball that is relatively lightweight, people who don’t have as much upper body strength or who don’t have a high degree of cardiovascular fitness should still be able to play.

People with smaller wrists and hands might have a harder time with volleyball. However, using a lighter ball can help people get around that problem in some cases. Volleyball is a great choice for people who are interested in organizing co-ed leagues that are open to people who vary tremendously in age and ability. Volleyball is a team sport that does not really work on the purely individual level.

The Rules of Volleyball

Each team will have six volleyball players on the court for a total of twelve players, so setting up a volleyball league gives lots of players opportunities. The first team to score twenty-five points will win the game. Basically, volleyball involves hitting the ball over the net and scoring points that way. People hit the ball using specific hand motions. Both teams need to stop the ball from hitting the ground when the ball is on their side of the net, and both teams are trying to hit the ball so it hits the ground when it lands on the other team’s side.

Usually, a volleyball play for each team is characterized by different players passing the ball to other players. Getting the ball over the net is easier for people who are closer to the net, and passing the ball to them is usually a good strategy. However, the same volleyball player is not permitted to hit the ball twice in a row, which stops the situation from becoming too unbalanced.

Each team is allowed to touch the volleyball three times while it is on their side of the net. By that point, it has to be thrown over the net. As such, teams have to be economical with how they use those touches, and that is where part of the volleyball strategy is going to come into play.

Tips for Getting Better at Volleyball

People who have better serving arms are going to be more skilled at volleyball. Players who are able to easily hit a ball across a long distance are going to be among the most valuable players. Strengthening one’s upper arm muscles can make a huge difference in that regard.

Volleyball also relies on hand-eye coordination. Many players who are beginners just end up missing the ball that’s approaching them entirely. Playing simple games of catch can help people when it comes to hand-eye coordination, and there are lots of specific exercises that people can use in order to improve at volleyball.

More Info:

http://sa.utep.edu/rsd/volleyball-rules/

http://www.volleyballadvisors.com/basic-volleyball-rules.html

Pickleball: A Highly Underrated Court Sport

If you pass by a retirement community, you might see many groups of adults playing a recreational game of pickle ball. This is a game that its accessible to everyone, even young adults, is played on a badminton sized court, and does require a great deal of athletic skill or endurance. The rules are also easy to learn, so everyone can be up and contributing to the team in no time at all.

Grand Canyon 2014 Pickleball Tournament

How to Play Pickleball

The ball in this game is served diagonally, with points only be scored by the side that actually serves. The ball must be allowed to bounce once before it is hit. No spiking is allowed, and this adds to the equalizing nature of the game. The server will continue to serve, alternative diagonally each time, until he or she commits a fault. The winner is declared by the side that scores eleven points first and wins by at least two points. Pickle ball is played in either a singles or doubles format.

There is a double bounce rule that players should be aware of. Each team is required to play their first shot of the bounce, meaning that the receiving team needs to let the serve bounce before the return shot can be issued. One the ball has bounced on both sides, then play can resume with either a volley or bound. A fault in this game occurs when the ball: 1) touches any part of the non-volley zone on the the serve (this includes the line); 2) is hit outside the boundary of the court; 3) does not make it over the next; 4) is actually volleyed for a non-volley zone; 5) is hit back before a bounce has taken place on both sides.

The team that serves is typically determined by a coin toss. The individual or team that wins the coin toss will be able to choose to either serve first or to allow the other team to do so. The game is fun, played similar to tennis, but without the level of physical exertion and skill typically associated with that sport. It is great to play during the spring or fall months when the weather is simply ideal outdoors. It can also be played indoors. It makes for a great recreational league to join, as you will meet new players each week.

Learn More:

http://www.usapa.org/

http://pickleball.com/pages/rules-how-to-play-the-game

http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nightly-news/pickleball-the-fastest-growing-sport-in-america-199360067605

Flag Football Basics: A Low Impact Football Alternative

Flag football is a good alternative to football because it doesn’t involve tackling. It is safer to play than regular football, so many people, especially parents of young children, prefer playing or enrolling their kids in flag football.

Flag football champs crowned

Flag football requires the same amount of concentration and focus as regular football. Continue reading to learn more about why people play flag football, who the sport is best for, basic rules of the game, and how to become a better player:

Why Play Flag Football

If you like watching football but don’t want to be tackled, flag football is a great sport for you. Flag football is a co-ed sport suitable for people of all ages. It follows most rules in mainstream football but replaces tackling with pulling off a flag that is attached to the players. Because it’s less aggressive and people don’t become injured as often, flag football is a very fun sport to play.

Who Is Flag Football Best For?

Sports will always be easier for people who are already fit to pick up on, but you can play at any fitness level. A lot of running is involved, so you should have good cardio strength. If not, then there’s no worries as you’ll build it through learning and training. Flag football is a fun sport that is suitable for people of both genders and all ages. You don’t need any special skills or knowledge to get started.

Basic Rules of Flag Football

The rules of flag football are similar to those of regular football. One of the major differences is tackling isn’t allowed. You must take the flag from the other player in order to “tackle” them. When the defensive team removes a flag from the ball carrier, it ends the down and is referred to as “deflagging.” Teams consist of 4-11 members. Currently, there is no dominant sanctioning organization for flag football, so there are different variations. Factors that can differ depending on where you play flag football include:

  • Genders (either coed or single gender)
  • Kicking and punting
  • Point-after conversions
  • Field sizes (can range from fields full CFL size to NFL size and sometimes smaller fields)
  • Contact (some versions of flag football allow contact for blocking)
  • Whether or not linemen are allowed to catch passes
  • Contact flag football usually restricts blocking to chest contact.

How to Become a Better Player in Flag Football

Remember that flag football is a team sport. You must maintain good team work with the other players on your team. One way to become a better player is to improve communication with the team off field. This is especially true if you plan on entering competitions as a team. Another way to become a better player in flag football is to practice the Flag Pursuit drill. This drill helps you improve your deflagging skills. Set up four cones and stand yards apart. Then, run forward and try deflagging the other person.

You can get yourself started on the right foot when you start playing flag football by remember the tips listed above. Flag football is a fun sport that is played by adults and children alike, even both men and women enjoy the sport too.

More Info:

http://usafootball.com/blogs/fundamentals-and-performance/post/7599/2-minute-drill:-getting-better-at-flag-pulling

Dodgeball: If you can Dodge a Wrench, you can Dodge a Ball

As more and more adults look to get involved in a variety of physical fitness related endeavors, various nontraditional sports are making a come back on an organized and recreational level. This allows people to get out and about in the community, meet new friends and neighbors, and have a great and fun experience all at the same time. Cities have entire adult recreation departments now devoted to providing adults with the type of sports activities that meet their skill level, all the while meeting their demand for good, healthy competition. The rules for the sport are relatively simple, and people of various athletic ability and easily find their place on the team. One such sport that is growing in popularity is dodgeball.

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Rules and Gameplay

Almost every adult out there will remember playing a good old fashioned game of dodgeball in grade school. That same popular sport is now making a strong comeback at the adult level. It is high on fun and low on skill requirements. This makes a great combination for a recreational sport. The main objective of the game is to effectively eliminate every player on the opposing team.

This is accomplished by throwing one of the games balls in play and hitting a player on the other team below the shoulders. There are four balls in play: Each team gets one ball and then the other two balls are spread evening at the center of the court to start each game. The whistle blows and the fun begins. As long as the rules are observed, this is a great coed game, or can be played by same gender teams as well if so desired.

Why Dodgeball?

Dodgeball is among that fast growing adult recreational sports in America for many reasons, but primary among these is accessibility. Adults of all ages are welcome to play, the game itself is easy to learn, and it promotes community and team spirit. All of these components are making a comeback and it is good to see in our city.

This is a simple and fast paced game. It almost forces you to think on your toes, as you need to find a way to knock out an opposing player without getting hit by the ball yourself. Also, each game lasts roughly tow minutes, meaning that a cardio workout is in the cards, after which you can rest before the next round begins. Each team is allowed up to 3 substitutes. Teams can either play a single game, or the best of 3, 5, or 7. The ideal dodgeball court is 52 to 60 feet by 24 feet. The winner is declared in two different ways: 1) All players on an opposing team have been eliminated or 2) The team with the most players remaining at the end of two minutes is declared to be the winner.

If both teams have an equal number of players remaining in play at the end of two minutes, then a one minute overtime is played immediately. If this still results in a tie, then sudden death begins. During sudden death, the first team to have a player knocked out loses.

Disc Golf: An Outdoor Sport for Everyone

As more and more adults look to get involved in a variety of physical fitness related endeavors, various nontraditional sports are making a come back on an organized and recreational level. This allows people to get out and about in the community, meet new friends and neighbors, and have a great and fun experience all at the same time.

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Cities have entire adult recreation departments now devoted to providing adults with the type of sports activities that meet their skill level, all the while meeting their demand for good, healthy competition. The rules for the sport are relatively simple, and people of various athletic ability and easily find their place on the team. One such sport that is growing in popularity is Disc Golf.

For the adults out there that grew up enjoying frisbee, disc golf has emerged as a popular recreational sport. It mirrors the traditional game of golf that is played in country clubs all over the country, but it uses flying discs as opposed to balls and clubs. Each time a players throws the disc, a point is added to the score. A point is also added whenever a penalty is incurred. Just like traditional golf, the objective is to have the lowest score at the end of the game in order to win.

This sport has grown so much in popularity that there is now a Disc Golf Association governing the rules and organizational of leagues around the country. As a matter of courtesy, one should not throw their disc when an opponents is still in motion, and that includes when it is in the process of landing. Each hole begins with a tee off, and that is then followed by a series of throws until the disc lands in the basket. t the end of the game, the strokes are then totaled up in order to arrive at an overall score.

Disc Golf Course

There is also a procedure to determine the tee off order. Players can either agree on the order, or the discs are flipped in order to determine who goes first and so on. The printed side of the disc is considered to be heads. Whoever is the odd man or woman out should go first. The tee off order for all of the following holes is based on the score from the previous hole. The rules dictate that person with the lowest score on the hold before should tee of first.

There is also a marker disc that is important to the play. The disc that was thrown should remain in place until the marker disc (a distinctive disc that is not used in play) is place at the exact spot of the lie. Only then should the thrown disc be picked up. This sport is accessible to nearly anyone, as they level of physical exertion in minimal. In fact, it is a great way to get out and enjoy some outside activity with friends in a recreational environment. There is minimal strain, particularly to the back, as the motion of traditional golf is not involved. Just get out there and enjoy a game of disc golf and you will see what it is increasing in popularity.