HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns

December 18, 2006

Try making up your own, new sport

By Jesse Menden

Are you terrible at conventional sports?

Are you tired of watching the same old competition?

If that is you, then it is time to make up your own sport.

Combining different sports into a new one is a popular way to create a new sport, so why not tailor one to your strengths?

Perhaps one of the most popular sports that is a combination of others is disc golf, or frolf.

As the name would suggest, it is a sport that is created from golf and Frisbee.

The modern game was created in the early 1970s, and has taken off from there.

There is even a disc golf “Hall of Fame.”

As most people know, the game is just like ball golf, except that it uses a disc. Most courses consist of 9 or 18 holes that vary from 200 to 400 feet in length.

The object is the same, to get to the target in the lowest amount of throws.

Another sport that combines others, this one fictitious, was created in the movie “Baseketball.”

That sport is a combination of baseball and basketball. The initial rules were simple: a made shot from the free-throw line is a single, a shot from the top of the key is a double, and it keeps going from there.

A missed shot is an out.

As the game grew in the movie, other things were added such as “psych outs,” and double plays from defensive tip-ins.

And then, there is a sport that recently crossed my radar screen, Sepak Takraw, otherwise known as Kick Volleyball.

It is a growing sport in Asia, but has been around in an organized fashion for many years.

The game is basically a cross between soccer and volleyball, that is played on a badminton-type court.

Just like in volleyball, there are sets, passes, and spikes. Also, you can only touch the ball three times before it goes over the net. However, there is one big difference, no hands are allowed.

The ball, which is generally made of hard plastic, is kicked over the net. And let’s be honest, it looks as painful as poking yourself in the eye with a fork.

The participants often kick the ball with their legs exactly perpendicular to the court to get the most velocity on their shot. I can barely kick my leg above my waist, much less straight up and down.

And since I can’t kick like that, or throw a Frisbee for any long distances, I think creating a new sport is in order.

The first step is to identify some sports that I can combine together.

Maybe I should start with two of my favorites, baseball and hockey.

Naturally, this sport is called hockball. The object, just like in hockey, is to score the most goals.

It is played on an ice rink and the skaters uses bats instead of sticks. Players skate around and try to hit a ball past the goalie who is guarding a large net.

Contact is strongly encouraged, and the only penalty will be for clubbing another skater with the bat.

Fighting will be allowed, but without the bats.

Three safe zones, called bases, where offensive players cannot be touched will be at each end of the ice. The ball can be passed and pitched to other teammates, but the ball must be hit into the net.

If a skater swings and hits the ball out of the rink, a penalty shot is taken by the other team. One skater will stand 60 feet away and try to hit the ball past the goalie.

On second thought, trying to hit a ball while on skates may be too difficult, especially for myself.

Okay, so that is not the greatest idea ever, so I will try again.

What about combining more obscure activities, like ping pong and racquetball (which, ironically, is a combination of squash and handball)?

The name of this new sport will be racquet pong.

It is played on a very large ping pong table, but there is a new spin. It is played in an enclosed area, so that the ball can be bounced off of the walls like in racquetball. All of the walls are eligble to be used to hit the ball past your opponent.

The rules are similar to ping pong. Hit it past your opponent, and don’t let the ball bounce on your side more than once.

Other rules could be added at some point, such as if you hit your opponent with the ball, you win the point.

Or, if you hit it past your opponent using the side wall, you receive two points.

Admittedly, my reflexes might not be fast enough for this game either, but it does sound like fun.

The two sports I just made up are not really good examples, but making up a new sport is just that easy. The hard part is to come up with one that you might be good at.