Football 101

It’s that time of year again, ladies – football season! Now if your man is anything like mine, he’s been counting down the days for this. Hopefully this post will help you understand this sport a little bit better and make it more enjoyable for you!

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This game is played with two teams of 11 players each. A game consists of four 15-minute quarters. One team is on offense and the other one is on defense. The object of the game is to score more points than your opponent by getting the ball to the opposing team’s end zone.

The offense has 4 tries (“downs”) to advance the ball at least 10 yards down the field. If the offense can’t get 10 yards in 4 downs, then the ball changes possession and it’s the other team’s turn on offense.

Ways to score points:

  • Score a touchdown (6 points) – a player with the ball runs into or catches the ball in the opposing team’s end zone; this is followed by the “extra point” kick – if the kicker kicks the ball through the goal posts, his team gets another point
  • Score a field goal (3 points) – if a touchdown is unlikely or unnecessary the offense may choose to just kick a field goal instead. It isn’t worth as many points, but if you’re close enough and/or you have a great kicker, it can be an easier way to get some points on the board
  • Score a safety (2 points) – this is unlikely but that’s what makes it exciting! This is when the player with the ball gets tackled in his own end zone.

Between college and professional football, there are far too many teams and players to name but if you know your man’s favorite team do a quick google search to learn some of the big names – he’s sure to be impressed!

What is your favorite team?

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Summer Olympics

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably already know that the 2012 Summer Olympics begin tomorrow in London! We hope that you’re all getting pumped for this because it is such a wonderful sporting event for the entire world.

You can keep track of all the events and winners here. Be sure to tune in and cheer for your country and your favorite athletes! I’m sure all you ladies are really looking forward to seeing some of the ridiculously-built guys from the US team… Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and David Oliver – to name a few.

This year, you’ll be able to enjoy 32 different sporting events. These include many that you already know and love like gymnastics, swimming, and track & field. Be forewarned, though – baseball and softball are no longer part of the lineup. This year, they have added women’s boxing and mixed doubles tennis.

What is your favorite event?

Golf 101

Is your man totally into golf and you just don’t get it? Is your boss really into business meetings on the golf course? Golf is actually a really fun sport – and is great for any age! The rules are really simple – so read through these quick golf “basics” and wow everyone with your knowledge!

A typical game of golf consists of 18 holes. The object is to move the ball from the tee block into the hole in as few strokes as possible. Just remember that golf is one of the weird sports where the goal of the game is to have the lowest score possible.

To count the score, you simply count how many strokes have been taken (how many times you hit the ball), plus any penalty strokes. You can accumulate penalty strokes through a number of different reasons, namely hitting the ball into the water or out of bounds.

Each hole will post a “Par” of the hole. This is basically the “suggested” amount of strokes it should take to complete the hole. While the typical “par” for each hole will vary (between 3-5 strokes), the par for a standard 18-hole game is 72.

The British Open starts tomorrow! So check it out and put your new knowledge to the test!

Have you ever tried to play golf? How did you like it?

Soccer 101

We hope you’ve been enjoying our sports 101 series so far! Today, we’re going to cover some soccer basics, or futbol if you are from outside North America, so you can enjoy this game played by many a hot man.

In soccer, there are 2 teams of 11 players each, including the goalie. The remaining 10 players are divided into defense, mid-field, and forward positions. Typically, they are in a 3-4-3 formation. In professional soccer, they play two 45-minute halves in attempts to score a goal in the opponent’s net. Players can use any part to further the ball, except their arms and hands. They can only use their hands when protecting themselves or when throwing in a ball from the side lines.

Some common fouls are offsides, blatant shoving/tripping or anything physically unnecessary. Time does not stop for fouls, but time is added at the end of each half which is called stoppage time and it is rounded up to the nearest minute.

Any foul that occurs in the penalty box results in the team that did not commit the foul getting a penalty kick. A penalty kick is when the player that got fouled gets a chance to make a goal from within the penalty box, just them against the goalie. A free kick occurs when a foul has been committed outside of the penalty box, and is when the team the foul was committed on gets a free kick from wherever the foul happened. Also, players can get red cards from either committing a serious foul or from getting 2 yellow cards. If a player gets a red card, they are thrown out of the game and their team plays a man down.

I hope that this has helped you understand the game of soccer better! I want to end with sharing the official video from the FIFA World Cup 2010 – I love this song and video!

Do you have a favorite team or player?

Tennis 101

Tennis is next up in our Sports 101 series where we go over the basics of different sports. Tennis is one of our favorite sports – it’s such a great form of exercise and is incredibly fun. Plus, it can easily be played by young and old so it’s perfect for the whole family!

Tennis is played by either two people (singles) or four people (doubles) where you use a racket to hit the ball back and forth within the lines of a tennis court. The outer lines of a tennis court designate the boundaries for “doubles” play (within the blue lines below). If you eliminate the sides of the court (they look like alleys) you get the “singles” play court (within the red lines below). If a ball is hit outside of these lines, it is “out of bounds”.

Here’s how you keep score in tennis:

  • Game: A player wins a game by being the first person to 4 points, but must beat their opponent by at least 2 points. The points (0 – 3) are called Love (0), 15, 30, and 40. The fourth point is considered the winning point unless both players are at 40 (deuce) in which case a player must score 2 straight points to win the game.
  • Set: A player wins a set by being the first to win 6 games, but must beat their opponent by at least 2 games. For example, if a player has won 6 games but their opponent has won 5, the player must win the next game to win the set.
  • Match: A player wins a match by winning the best of 3 or 5 sets.
The Wimbledon Quarterfinals are TODAY! So if you want to put your new knowledge to the test – check it out!
Have you ever tried tennis? Did you love it?

Hockey 101

Amanda and I hope you are enjoying our Sports 101 series so far, next up is hockey! Depending on where you live, this may or may not be a big sport in your area but with the Stanley Cup (more on that later) going on, we thought we’d talk about it. Well, Amanda thought the Canadian (*cough*me*cough*), should talk about it.

We’re going to go ahead and assume that you know this game is played on ice and that the object of the game is to get the puck into the opposing team’s net or goal. Going off that, hockey teams have 6 players on the ice at all times, each with a specific position and job; center, left wing, right wing, 2 defense-men, and a goalie. They do exactly what you think.

A center is similar to a quarterback in football, he makes the plays happen and passes the puck. A right wing works the right side of the rink, the left wing on the left side, both able to shoot and battle for the puck from their respective sides. The defensemen are the backups to the those positions, freeing them up to make shots and often get very physical with the other team’s players. Lastly, a goalie does what you think – defends his goal from any pucks from the opposing team.

The game is played in three 20-minute periods. The rink is divided into zones by a red line at center ice, and two blue lines. The area between the 2 blue lines is called the “neutral zone”, the area behind the blue line by the opposing team’s net is called the “offensive/attacking zone”, the area behind the blue line at your goal is called the “defending zone”.

I’m sure you’re wondering when I’m going to get to the fighting, something hockey is infamous for. While body checking (using a shoulder, hip or torso to stop your opponent) is legal when the opposing player has the puck, targeting the head, or the back of a boxed in player is not. There are also two kinds of penalities, minor and major. 

Minor penalties include; obstructing an opponent, dangerous use of the stick, dangerous physical fouls. These infractions result in player committing these penalties to be taken off the ice for 2 minutes, with no substitution made – meaning now his team is playing a man down.

The most common major penalty is fighting. While fighting is allowed, a referee will intervene once one the players involved hits the ice. Surprisingly, they don’t stop the fight even if a player’s helmet comes off before then. A major penalty can result in at least 1 if not both players sent off the ice into the Penalty Box for 5 minutes. If both are off the ice, substitutions can be made.

The 2012 Stanley Cup finals are underway, with the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils playing for the Championship title.

I hope this has helped your understanding of hockey just a little bit! Are you or a loved one a hockey fan?

Baseball 101

modern girl's martha miss sporty baseballI hope that you caught our recent post on Basketball 101 where Nadia shared the basics on the sport of basketball. But what if your husband, boyfriend, friends, etc. are more interested in baseball? I mean, it is America’s pastime, right? Then this is the post for you!

This game is played between 2 teams, each with 9 players, for 9 innings. During an inning, each team gets a turn at bat. You’ll hear people refer to the “top” or “bottom” of the inning – that just means the first or second half of the inning. The visiting team will be at bat during the “top” (first half) of the inning and the home team will be at bat in the “bottom” (second half).

Each player bats at the home plate then (hopefully!) runs to first base (a “single”), second base (a “double”), third base (a “triple”), or back to home plate (a “home run”). As with many other sports and games, the goal of the game is the score more points (runs) than the other team. A team scores a run when their player makes it around the bases and back to home plate.

The team in the field is on defense so they are trying to prevent the batting team from scoring by getting “outs”. In general, they can get outs by catching a ball before it hits the ground, tagging a player while they are running to a base, or catching the ball and touching the base before the player gets there. And, of course, the pitcher can throw 3 strikes at the batter to get an out. After 3 outs, the batting team is done for that inning and they go out to the field to be on defense.

The season is currently underway so get out there and wow some people with your new-found baseball knowledge!

What team will you be rooting for this season?

modern girl's martha miss sporty