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Kids driving you crazy at home? Here are 2 sports to tire them out

Kids driving you crazy at home? Here are 2 sports to tire them out

Schools and Workplaces shut down. Social distancing. Kids at home with a lot of energy and nowhere to direct it. As if being a parent wasn't challenging enough...

We are truly living in unprecedented times and seeing as we may have to adjust to this new normal for an unknown amount of time, we may as well make the best of it. Rather than everyone being at home staring down at their phones, break up the monotony while giving yourself and your kids some fun, physical activities to engage in. Heck, at the very least it will help tire them out so you dont have to hear "Mom, when can I go out again?!" for the 800th time.  Maybe just 798.  Not promising any miracles here...

An oldie but a goodie.  Dodgeball is often played in schools and physical education classes but it can also be played at home or in the back yard.
Dodgeball can be played pretty informally, however be sure to set some ground rules, especially if playing it with young kids. If you are playing indoors, pick a room where the kids can’t accidentally knock over something valuable with an errant throw. We dont want the vase that your favorite Aunt Sally gave you getting broken. That would rapidly turn this fun game into an exercise in raising your blood pressure and we dont need any help doing that, do we? Breathe...

You can further minimize the chance of any accidental damage or injury by selecting from one of the wide variety of soft foam balls that are available nowadays.  Not only do these take the sting out of being hit, their lighter weight makes them ideal for the younger crowd.
If you really want to make things interesting, go with one of the thermal color changing dodgeballs. Honestly, the kids dont even have to throw these ones.  Just holding them and watching the color magically change in their hands will make them go "Oooh!" and provide you poor, stressed out parents with a few precious seconds of peace. 
THERMO GRIP Color changing foam balls
If you are catering to older kids, or want to get in on the games, select from one of the rubber dodgeballs.  Unlike the foam balls, these ones allow for higher accuracy, distance and speed.  The additional zip that comes from being hit with one of these is no small motivator to get moving as well.

A classic game that can be played with relatively inexpensive equipment.  It can optionally be played with or without the net.  Couple of rackets and a shuttlecock are really all you need to get going; however, the addition of a net and some boundary lines really take things up a notch.
The game is typically played with an even number of people (usually 2 or 4) but we won’t tell anyone if you decide to go for 2v1. Also, hint hint, if you have both parents at home (as is likely to be the case in the world as of the time of writing this blog) doing 2v1 vs the little ones will help to tire them out faster while preserving the parents precious energy levels!

For a simple backyard game, the rules can be as straightforward as you like. It boils down to taking turns knocking the shuttlecock across the net without it touching the ground. Casual games can be a pretty low key affair however, if you’ve ever caught a glimpse of a professional match, you will know just how impressive it can get.  Allright, here take a look.

For those looking to play a formal game, here are the rules (taken from the Missouri S&T site)
Scoring System
  • A match consists of the best of 3 games of 21 points.
  • Every time there is a serve – there is a point scored.
  • The side winning a rally adds a point to its score.
  • At 20 all, the side which gains a 2 point lead first, wins that game.
  • At 29 all, the side scoring the 30th point, wins that game.
  • The side winning a game serves first in the next game.
Interval and Change of Ends
  • A 1 minute interval between each game is allowed.
  • In the third game, players change ends when the leading score reaches 11 points.
  • At the beginning of the game (0-0) and when the server’s score is eventhe server serves from the right service court. When the server’s score is odd, the server serves from the left service court.
  • If the server wins a rally, the server scores a point and then serves again from the alternate service court.
  • If the receiver wins a rally, the receiver scores a point and becomes the new server. They serve from the appropriate service court – left if their score is odd, and right if it is even.
  • A side has only one ‘set’.
  • The service passes consecutively to the players as shown in the diagram.
  • At the beginning of the game and when the score is even, the server serves from the right service court. When it is odd, the server serves from the left court.
  • If the serving side wins a rally, the serving side scores a point and the same server serves again from the alternate service court.
  • If the receiving side wins a rally, the receiving side scores a point. The receiving side becomes the new serving side.
  • The players do not change their respective service courts until they win a point when their side is serving.

This has been a Gear Up Sports guest post by Suzie Collins
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