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Double Ball

Years ago, when I was writing for Games magazine, I proposed that we do an article on what I called "Two Balls Tied Together." We actually got as far as doing a photo session for the article, but, ultimately, it got killed. I suppose because of the semi-salacious significance of what I was calling the game. And perhaps also because the game didn't seem to be "real." Nobody we knew of was actually playing it. Even though it was clearly fun. And most definitely playworthy. There weren't any Two-Balls-Tied-Together Leagues or clubs, even.

Recently, maybe 20 years later, I heard from a company called Yazoo. These Yazoos were in fact marketing their own patented version of something remarkably similar to TBTT (Two Balls...etc.). Coming to me as it did in this enlightened age of the Internet, I gleefully Googled for evidence of this game elsewhere. And behold, it was, in truth, a game called Double Ball, played by our Native American brothers o so many years ago, as further explicated here.

There's something to be learned here about the nature of new sports, and timing, and naming, and patents and stuff.

When you figure it out, please let me know.

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Newmindspace

Newmindspace promotes "...interactive public art, creative cultural interventions and urban bliss dissemination based in New York and Toronto." Many are the events conducted by Newmindspace in the names of art and fun. There's Bubblebattle as depicted, and, for perhaps just one other example, Urban Capture the Flag:
"Capture the Flag is a massive, adrenaline-pumping, urban game played on the streets of downtown Toronto. Two teams hide flags in their territory and attempt to capture the enemy flag using subways, streetcars, bicycles, longboards or their own two feet. Join us as we dash through the Financial District, evade the enemy, hide behind Toronto's skyscrapers, travel through the PATH and score a point."
Many are the events, and many the stories (some of which inspire, some of which engender ire). All of which help define a play-art form which, crazy as it may be, redefines art, play, and the world we live in.

You can download the instructions for conducting a game of Capture the Flag in your very own urb.

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Ringette

According to the The International Ringette Association:
Ringette is a Canadian game that was first introduced in 1963 in North Bay, Ontario. Developed originally for girls, Ringette is a fast-paced team sport on ice in which players use a straight stick to pass, carry, and shoot a rubber ring to score goals.

Ringette is played on a rink and there are five players plus goalie on the ice at the same time from each team. Ringette is fun and fast, it has no body contact and there is a need to cooperate to be able to move from one side to another.
Again and again, I'm finding new sports that emphasize a gentler, more cooperative, and yet physically and mentally engaging interaction. I think there's a message here.

According to Ringette Canada:
The growth has continued internationally with the formation of associations in the U.S.A., Finland, Sweden, Russia, and France. In addition, Ringette Canada has been instrumental in demonstrating the game in the Netherlands, Switzerland, West Germany, along with New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
Yup, definitely a message. One that is clearly being listened to. Very carefully.

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Pickleball

According to Pickleball.com, "The mini-tennis game called Pickle-Ball was created during the summer of 1965 on Bainbridge Island - a short ferry ride from Seattle, WA. The original purpose of the game was to provide a sport for the entire family, according to co-inventors U.S. Congressman Joel Pritchard, William Bell, and Barney McCallum."

Wikipedia calls Pickleball "a combination of ping pong, tennis, and badminton." Already, I like this game - junkly in its very essence, combining elements of other sports to create a new, more accessible sport. Again, according to Wikipedia, "Pickleball's small court also allows younger players or those with varying degrees of mobility and paraplegics to participate in a way that the larger court of tennis sometimes prohibits....Pickleball is designed to keep everyone in play. There's a no-volley zone close to the net to prevent overcompetitive players from smashing their way to one-sidedness. Pickleball is a game of shot placement and patience, not brute power or strength. Once the ball has hit the ground on both sides of the net, the volley can continue as in badminton, with the ball constantly in the air."


funfinding by Bill Harris

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