Monthly Archives: April 2017

Golf

Golf is a club and ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible. Golf, unlike most ball games, cannot and does not utilize a standardized playing area, and coping with the varied terrains encountered on different courses is a key part of the game. The game at the highest level is played on a course with an arranged progression of 18 holes, though recreational courses can be smaller, often 9 holes. Each hole on the course must contain a tee box to start from, and a putting green containing the actual hole or cup (4.25 inches in width). There are other standard forms of terrain in between, such as the fairway, rough (long grass), sand traps, and hazards (water, rocks, fescue) but each hole on a course is unique in its specific layout and arrangement. Golf is played for the lowest number of strokes by an individual, known as stroke play, or the lowest score on the most individual holes in a complete round by an individual or team, known as match play. Stroke play is the most commonly seen format at all levels, but most especially at the elite level.

In addition to the officially printed rules, golfers also abide by a set of guidelines called golf etiquette. Etiquette guidelines cover matters such as safety, fairness, pace of play, and a player’s obligation to contribute to the care of the course. Though there are no penalties for breach of etiquette rules, players generally follow the rules of golf etiquette in an effort to improve everyone’s playing experience.

Penalties

Penalties are incurred in certain situations. They are counted towards a player’s score as if there were extra swing(s) at the ball. Strokes are added for rule infractions or for hitting one’s ball into an unplayable situation. A lost ball or a ball hit out of bounds result in a penalty of one stroke and distance (Rule 27–1). A one-stroke penalty is assessed if a player’s equipment causes the ball to move or the removal of a loose impediment causes the ball to move (Rule 18–2). A one-stroke penalty is assessed if a player’s ball results into a red or yellow staked hazard (Rule 26). If a golfer makes a stroke at the wrong ball (Rule 19–2) or hits a fellow golfer’s ball with a putt (Rule 19–5), the player incurs a two-stroke penalty. Most rule infractions lead to stroke penalties but also can lead to disqualification. Disqualification could be from cheating, signing for a lower score, or from rule infractions that lead to improper play.

Horseback Riding

Equestrianism, more often known as riding, horseback riding (American English) or horse riding (British English), refers to the skill of riding, driving, steeplechasing or vaulting with horses. This broad description includes the use of horses for practical working purposes, transportation, recreational activities, artistic or cultural exercises, and competitive sport. Horses are trained and ridden for practical working purposes such as in police work or for controlling herd animals on a ranch. They are also used in competitive sports including, but not limited to, dressage, endurance riding, eventing, reining, show jumping, tent pegging, vaulting, polo, horse racing, driving, and rodeo. (See additional equestrian sports listed later in this article for more examples.) Some popular forms of competition are grouped together at horse shows, where horses perform in a wide variety of disciplines. Horses (and other equids such as mules and donkeys) are used for non-competitive recreational riding such as fox hunting, trail riding or hacking. There is public access to horse trails in almost every part of the world; many parks, ranches, and public stables offer both guided and independent riding. Horses are also used for therapeutic purposes, both in specialized paraequestrian competition as well as non-competitive riding to improve human health and emotional development. Horses are also driven in harness racing, at horse shows and in other types of exhibition, historical reenactment or ceremony, often pulling carriages. In some parts of the world, they are still used for practical purposes such as farming. Horses continue to be used in public service: in traditional ceremonies (parades, funerals), police and volunteer mounted patrols, and for mounted search and rescue. Riding halls enable the training of horse and rider in all weathers as well as indoor competition riding.

Humans appear to have long expressed a desire to know which horse (or horses) were the fastest, and horse racing has ancient roots. Gambling on horse races appears to go hand-in hand with racing and has a long history as well. Thoroughbreds have the pre-eminent reputation as a racing breed, but other breeds also race.

Types of horse racing

Under saddle:

  • Thoroughbred horse racing is the most popular form worldwide. In the UK, it is known as flat racing and is governed by the Jockey Clubin the United Kingdom. In the USA, horse racing is governed by The Jockey Club.
  • Steeplechasing involves racing on a track where the horses also jump over obstacles. It is most common in the UK, where it is also called National Hunt racing.
  • American Quarter Horse racing—races over distances of approximately a quarter-mile. Seen mostly in the United States, sanctioned by the American Quarter Horse Association.
  • Arabian horses, Akhal-Teke, Appaloosas, American Paint Horses and other light breeds are also raced worldwide.
  • Endurance riding, a sport in which the Arabian horse dominates at the top levels, has become very popular in the United States and in Europe. The Federation Equestre International (FEI) governs international races, and the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) organizes the sport in North America. Endurance races take place over a given, measured distance and the horses have an even start. Races are usually 50 to 100 miles (80 to 161 km), over mountainous or other natural terrain, with scheduled stops to take the horses’ vital signs, check soundness, and verify that the horse is fit to continue. The first horse to finish and be confirmed by the veterinarian as fit to continue is the winner. Additional awards are usually given to the best-conditioned horses who finish in the top 10. Limited distance rides of about 25–20 miles (40–32 km) are offered to newcomers.
  • Ride and Tie (in North America, organized by Ride and Tie Association). Ride and Tie involves three equal partners: two humans and one horse. The humans alternately run and ride.

Show Jumping:

  • Show jumping is when a horse carries a rider over an obstacle also commonly known as a jump. There are usually multiple jumps in a show and if the horse hits the jump then they will get points deducted in a show.

In harness:

  • Both light and heavy breeds as well as ponies are raced in harness with a sulky or racing bike. The Standardbred dominates the sport in both trotting and pacing varieties.
  • The United States Trotting Association organizes harness racing in the United States.
  • Harness racing is also found throughout Europe, New Zealand and Australia.

Cheerleader

Cheerleading ranges from chanting, to intense physical activity for sports team motivation, audience entertainment, or competition based upon organized routines. Competitive routines typically range anywhere from one to three minutes, and contain components of tumbling, dance, jumps, cheers, and stunting. Cheerleading originated in the United States, and remains predominantly in America, with an estimated 1.5 million participants in all-star cheerleading. The global presentation of cheerleading was led by the 1997 broadcast of ESPN’s International cheerleading competition, and the worldwide release of the 2000 film Bring It On. Due in part to this recent exposure, there are now an estimated 100,000 participants scattered around the globe in Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Cheerleading carries the highest rate of catastrophic injuries in sports. The risks of cheerleading were highlighted when Kristi Yamaoka, a cheerleader for Southern Illinois University, suffered a fractured vertebra when she hit her head after falling from a human pyramid. She also suffered from a concussion, and a bruised lung. The fall occurred when Yamaoka lost her balance during a basketball game between Southern Illinois University and Bradley University at the Savvis Center in St. Louis on March 5, 2006. The fall gained “national attention”, because Yamaoka continued to perform from a stretcher as she was moved away from the game. Yamaoka has since made a full recovery.

Athletes involved

A flyer, 2 bases (usually, side and main base), and a backspot. Sometimes there may be a frontspot as well. A partner stunt will involve two athletes: one flyer and one base. A third athlete, a spotter, will be involved depending upon the skill level of the stunt executed and the rules and regulations for that skill. Every person in the group is important. The stunt will not be performed or practiced if one person is missing.

  • Flyer
  • Bases and Spotters
  • Main Base
  • Secondary Base
  • Back Spot
  • Front Spot
  • Additional Spot

Types of stunts

This stunt uses both bases, a backspot, and a flyer. Sometimes a front spot.

  • Prep

A stunt in which the flyer stands on two bases’ hands and is risen up to chin length height. The flyer may put her arms up into a high V. To enter into this skill, the bases should be apart no farther than the length of their flyer. They will then place their hands like an open book in front of them and dip together. The most common way that this is done is with the back spot to count, “One, two.” The bases dip together on the “two” count and push through the legs and arms afterwards. An extension prep is the same thing as a prep but now the bases’ and back spots arms are fully extended straight up. Keep in mind that for the flyer to be comfortable and stable in this stunt the bases should be spaced fairly close to together in order for the flyer’s legs to be shoulder with apart. An elevator is a cheerleading stunt where both the bases start in the same position as a normal prep, but they are bent down more with their hands open like a book touching the ground. The flyer then steps into the bases hands, and the flyer slowly starts rising into the air, hence the name “elevator.”

  • Cupie or an Awesome

The Cupie is almost identical to the full extension except that the flyer’s feet are together, in one hand of a single base or with one foot each in the hands of two bases. In a partner stunt the difference between a cupie and an awesome has to do with what the male is doing with his free hand. If the free hand is on the hip then it is a cupie, if the free hand is in a high V then it is an awesome.

  • Extension or Full

In an Extension,the flyer stands with each foot in the hands of a base while her arms are in an extended overhead position. The back can either hold the ankles of the flyer, or support the wrists of the bases depending on state rules. In a single-based stunt, the base will hold both of the flyer’s feet above his or her head, with their arms locked. The flyer must also be stable and confident in the air and also must lock their legs.

  • Split-lift or Teddy Sit

The flier is in a seated straddle with the two side bases holding one hand on her thigh and one on her ankle. The back base holds up her butt with her hands and holds most of the weight. This stunt is sometimes called a straddle sit. The flexibility of the flyer is tested in this stunt because the appearance and the impressiveness of this stunt depends on how far apart the bases can spread the flyer’s legs to create a better visual appearance. Along with that, flyer needs to keep their legs straight to help their bases and make sure their butt doesn’t sag to not put too much pressure on the back spot.

  • Thigh stand

A thigh stand is one of the simplest stunts. The bases kneel on one leg or are in a lunge position with their front knees bent in order to make it easier for the flyer to stand. The bases have their feet touching each other by the sides of their shoes. The back spot will hold the flyer at the waist. She will then jump onto the pocket of the bases’ thighs. The bases will then grasp their far hand on the toe of the flyer’s foot and the closet arm around their leg and keep it close to their bodies so the flyer is secure within the stunt.

  • Shoulder stand

In a shoulder stand, somebody stands on another person’s shoulders. The base grabs their calves or ankles. To get out of this stunt, the base must pop the flyer forward catching them by their hips and slowly lowering the top to the floor.

  • Shoulder sit

In a shoulder sit, the flyer sits on the base’s shoulders and wraps her feet around the base’s waist. There are many ways to enter into a shoulder sit, the most common is for the base to bend one knee while the flyer stands behind the base and places one foot on the base’s bent leg and puts their hands on the base’s shoulders to make it easier to pop into the stunt. Once the flyer and the base are ready, they both dip on the same count and the flyer will extend their arms and wrap their other leg that was on the ground around the base’s shoulder, the base will focus on getting the other leg secure on their shoulder. To exit out of this stunt, the base must hold the flyers hands while dipping and popping them off the base’s shoulders. The flyer will land on the floor behind the base.

  • Leapin’ Lora

The backspot is in a “rock” position, the flyer then jumps on the back of the backspot and bounces into the bases’ hands.

  • Steppers

The main base brings the flyers left foot to belly button level, then the side bass brings her right leg to half, then the main base lifts the foot to full, and the side base lifts the right foot to full. While doing this the back base is holding the flyers ankles and is helping each base pull up. This stunt looks like the flyer is climbing up stairs and is also called ‘Step Up’.

  • Liberty

This is when both bases have grip on one of the flyer’s feet. One bases has the normal open book grip and the other base has one hand placed under the foot in-between the other bases hands, the other hand is placed on top (also called hamburger grip). When the flyer goes up in the air, they are standing on one foot with the other foot bent placed by ones knee. This stunt is called a liberty because it is meant to look like lady liberty. The flyer must want to bring the free foot into the other knee so it looks more sophisticated and classy.

  • Tick-tock

In this stunt the flyer is on one leg on both of the bases hands and jumps from one leg to the other.

  • Show-n-go

The flyer is basically just up in the air for like a second and is brought back down.

Softball

Softball is a variant of baseball played with a larger ball on a smaller field. It was invented in 1887 in Chicago, Illinois, United States as an indoor game. It was at various times called indoor baseball, mush ball, playground, softball, kitten ball, and because it was also played by women, ladies’ baseball. The name softball was given to the game in 1926, because the ball used to be soft. There are three types of softball. In the most common type, slow-pitch softball, the ball, which can measure either 11 or 12 inches in circumference depending on the age and league, must arch on its path to the batter, and there are 10 players on the field at once. In fastpitch softball, the pitch is fast, there are nine players on the field at one time, and bunting and stealing are permitted. Modifiedsoftball restricts the windmill windup of the pitcher, although the pitcher is allowed to throw as hard as possible with the restricted back swing. Softball rules vary somewhat from those of baseball. Two major differences are that the ball must be pitched underhand—from 46 ft (14 m) for men or 43 ft (13.1 m) for women as compared with 60.5 ft (18.4 m) in baseball—and that seven innings instead of nine constitute a regulation game. Despite the name, the ball used in softball is not very soft. It is about 12 in (30.5 cm) in circumference (11 or 12 in for slow-pitch), which is 3 in (8 cm) larger than a baseball. Softball recreational leagues for children often use an 11-inch ball. The infield in softball is smaller than on an adult or high school baseball diamond but identical to that used by Little League Baseball; each base is 60 ft (18 m) from the next, as opposed to baseball’s 90 ft (27 m). In fast pitch softball the entire infield is sand, whereas the infield in baseball is grass except at the bases which are sand.

A softball game can last anywhere from 3 to 7 innings, or 1–2 hours depending on the league, rules, and type of softball; however 7 innings is the most common. In each inning, each team bats until three batters have been put out (see below). The teams take turns batting. Officially, which team bats first is decided by a coin toss, although a league may decide otherwise at its discretion. The most common rule is that the home team bats second. Batting second is also called “last at-bat”. Many softball players prefer to bat second because they feel they have more control in the last inning, since they have the last at-bat. In the event of a tie, extra innings are usually played until the tie is broken except in certain tournaments and championships. If the home team is leading and the road team has just finished its half of the seventh inning, the game ends because it is not necessary for the home team to bat again. In all forms of softball, the defensive team is the fielding team; the offensive team is at bat or batting and is trying to score runs.