Sport and recreation in the United States — страница 13

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badminton in this country. The Board of Directors of the USBA establishes national policies for badminton, and the USBA office is responsible for the day-to-day administration of national badminton activity. The USBA was founded as the American Badminton Association in 1936, and the current name was adopted in 1978. The general purposes of the USBA are these: Promotion and development of badminton play and competition in the United States, without monetary gain. Establishment and upholding of the Laws of Badminton, as adopted by the International Badminton Federation. Arrangement and oversight of the various United States National and Open Championship tournaments. Sanctioning of other tournaments at the local, state, and regional level. Selection and management of players and

teams representing the United States in international competitions, including the Olympic Games and the Pan American Games. Representation of the United States and of the USBA's interests in activities and decisions of the International Badminton Federation and the United States Olympic Committee [4, p.87-89]. Badminton can be played indoors or outdoors, under artificial or natural lighting. Because of the wind, however, all tournament play is indoors. There may be one player on a side (the singles game) or two players on a side (the doubles game). The shuttlecock does not bounce; it is played in the air, making for an exceptionally fast game requiring quick reflexes and superb conditioning. There is a wide variety of strokes in the game ranging from powerfully hit smashes (over

150 mph!) to very delicately played dropshots. Badminton is great fun because it is easy to learn—the racket is light and the shuttlecock can be hit back and forth (rallies) even when the players possess a minimum of skill. Within a week or two after the beginning of a class, rallies and scoring can take place. There are very few sports in which it is possible to get the feeling of having become an "instant player." However, do not assume that perfection of strokes and tournament caliber of play is by any means less difficult in badminton than in other sports. A typical rally in badminton singles consists of a serve and repeated high deep shots hit to the baseline (clears), interspersed with dropshots. If and when a short clear or other type of "set-up" is

forced, a smash wins the point. More often than not, an error (shuttle hit out-of-bounds or into the net) occurs rather than a positive playing finish to the rally. A player with increasing skill should commit fewer errors and make more outright winning plays to gain points. A player who is patient and commits few or no outright errors often wins despite not being as naturally talented as the opponent, by simply waiting for the opponent to err. In doubles, there are fewer clears and more low serves, drives, and net play. (All of these terms are described in the following text.) Again, the smash often terminates the point. As in singles, patience and the lack of unforced errors are most desirable. Team play and strategy in doubles are very important, and often two players who have

perfected their doubles system (rotating up and back on offense and defense) and choice of shots can prevail over two superior stroke players lacking in sound doubles teamwork and strategy. As leisure time increases, badminton will no doubt play a more important role in the fitness and recreational programs so vital to the American citizen. It can be played by men, women, and children of all ages with a minimum of expense and effort. The game itself is stimulating mentally and physically, and it com­bines the values of individual and team sports. The fact that it can be learned easily makes it enjoyable from the outset. Basic techniques are easy to learn, yet much practice and concentration are required to perfect the skills needed for becoming an excellent badminton player

[4, p.1-2]. Bowling Bowling was a very popular sport in New York City in the middle of the nineteenth century. A newspaper said there were more than 400 alleys in the city in 1850. It then declined for a time. One reason may have been that the larger pins made it too easy. The prevalence of gambling was another factor. Bowling, like billiards, was considered semi-respectable, at best. When nine clubs from New York City and Brooklyn formed the National Bowling Association (NBA) in 1875, one of its purposes was to standardize rules. Just as important, though, the clubs wanted to eliminate gambling among their members. The NBA didn't last long, but the rules its member clubs established are still the basic rules of bowling. A similar New York-based organization, the American Amateur