• How Much Actual Playtime Occurs in a Baseball Game?

    The real action in baseball games is less than you might think. Sportswriters Dick Wade and Rick Reilly timed the games, one in 1956 and the other in 2000. Those numbers hadn’t changed in nearly fifty years. Although the findings are not definitive, it is fair, not foul, to say that the amount of action in a baseball game is minimal. Since many baseball games take more than 3 hours to complete, the notion that baseball is a slow-moving game may be true.
    A sportswriter in Kansas City, Dick Wade timed the action in a baseball game in 1956, reported Tom Peters in the “Philadelphia Inquirer.” Wade timed the seconds from the time the ball left the pitcher’s hand until it arrived at the plate. On balls that were hit, he measured the time it took until the batter was safe or out. According to his figures, there were 8.5 minutes of actual play during the game, a high-scoring affair won by Kansas City 15 to 6.
    Famed “Sports Illustrated” journalist and columnist Rick Reilly timed a baseball game in 2000 and determined that the amount of action during the game, which lasted for 3 hours, 15 minutes, totaled 12 minutes, 22 seconds, and Reilly wrote he was generous with his stopwatch. As is his wont, Reilly expressed exasperation with the lack of action in a variety of funny and pithy ways. For example, “Percentage of boys who’d rather the coolest kid in school see them with their mom in JCPenny’s lingerie section than watching baseball on TV: 99.”
    A precise analysis of four football games by “The Wall Street Journal” in 2010 found that the amount of action in a football game was 11 minutes, about the same as baseball. As a result, TV broadcasts of both football and baseball games spend huge amounts of time focusing on the nonaction. You see lots of shots of managers in the dugout or in a conference at the mound, relief pitchers coming from the bullpen and hitters taking practice swings and spitting. Likewise, in football, more time is spent in the huddle and standing around during timeouts than actually playing the game. Of course, that leaves plenty of time for commercials.
    The slow pace of baseball is a selling point for traditionalists. If you love baseball, you love the moments of action and the many more moments of baseball ambiance as the players ponder the significance of the last play while the commentators discuss batting percentages and the history of the teams. If you’re in the stands, there’s plenty of time for more garlic fries and hot roasted peanuts. It may be surprising to outsiders, but the amount of action has little to do with the popularity of a sport. Football is the most popular sport in America, but compared to basketball or soccer, the amount of action is minuscule.

  • Role of a Badminton Umpire

    Several kinds of rules officials oversee badminton matches and tournaments. The umpire typically oversees individual matches, and has authority over all other rules officials on his court. The Badminton World Federation’s Laws of Badminton describe the roles of all rules officials. These rules provide a standard for competitive badminton.
    The umpire has authority over the particular match he oversees, and over the court and spectator viewing areas surrounding the court. The umpire can use her discretion when deciding whether to overrule any call made by a line judge or service judge. The line judges call the shuttlecock “in” or “out” and the service judge calls any service faults committed by the players.
    According to the Badminton World Federation’s Laws of Badminton, the referee has authority over an entire tournament or event. An umpire with authority over a particular match must report to the tournament referee. The umpire must follow any instructions given by the referee.
    The umpire can appoint the particular line judges and service judges who will officiate on the umpire’s court. The umpire can also use his discretion when deciding whether to replace line judges or service judges. The umpire must consult with the referee before making such decisions.
    The umpire must enforce all badminton rules on the court. The umpire makes rules calls regarding service faults, other player faults or lets. The umpire announces the match’s score to the players and audience throughout the match. He must announce the score after each point. The umpire also records any incidents of misconduct and reports them to the referee.
    If a player protests a decision made by a line judge or service judge, the umpire must give her ruling regarding the protested call. The umpire can uphold the original call or overturn it. If the umpire finds himself unsure of the rule in a particular case, he can consult the tournament referee. He must do so before the match continues to the next serve.

  • Foot Pain After Lifting Heavy Weights

    According to a 2003 article in the ¡°British Journal of Sports Medicine,¡± a flat or high arch is one of many risk factors for lower extremity injuries including foot injuries. Common injuries that cause foot pain are plantar fasciitis, stress fractures and muscle strains. Treatment varies depending on the injury or cause, but rest and ice may help alleviate foot pain. Consult your physician if your pain persists or worsens.
    Using heavy resistance with weight-bearing exercises such as squats, deadlifts and lunges places a significant amount of stress and pressure on your feet. If you overtrain or have inadequate recovery time between weightlifting sessions, your body and feet may not heal between sessions, causing inflammation and foot pain. Shoes that do no provide enough support and cushion or are too tight may lead to foot pain as well. Your fitness level, weightlifting technique, flexibility and previous foot or ankle injuries also impact your foot health.
    Injuries that cause foot pain among other symptoms include plantar fasciitis, muscle strains, stress fractures, tendinitis and arthritis. Damage or impingement to your nerves in your foot can also lead to foot pain and include Morton¡¯s neuroma, tarsal tunnel syndrome and neuropathy.
    Stop all painful activities and ice your foot to reduce inflammation and pain. Take over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen, if your pain is not alleviated with rest and ice. Apply heat 48 to 72 hours following the onset of your foot pain. Apply heat prior to activities and ice following activities in 20-minute increments. Lightly stretch your foot, ankle and calf to improve flexibility and reduce pain. Stretches include the standing calf stretch, ankle circles and seated plantar fascia stretch. For the plantar fascia stretch, gently pull back on your toes until you feel a stretch on the bottom of your foot. Massaging the bottom of your foot with a tennis ball can also help alleviate discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis. Stress fractures and chronic tendinitis may require immobilization with a cast or walking boot. With severe foot injuries, surgery may be necessary when conservative treatment is unsuccessful.
    You may continue weightlifting when suffering from foot pain, as long as you are free of pain and in a non-weight bearing position. For example, you may replace squats and lunges with seated leg extension, knee flexion, hip abduction and adduction with resistance machines. Once pain subsides, you may return to weight-bearing resistance exercises. Start with lighter weight and progress slowly, increasing your weight a few pounds each week.
    Perform strength exercises like calf raises and ankle flexion and extension with a resistance band to prevent future injuries and foot pain. Warmup and stretch muscles before weightlifting to maintain muscle flexibility, and wear shoes and orthotics that provide adequate arch support and fit comfortably. Weightlift two to three times a week but not on consecutive days to prevent overtraining and injury.

  • How to Get Faster in Basketball

    Many people believe that to be a successful basketball player, you have to be bigger and stronger than your opponents, and play above the rim. While this is true to some extent, basketball players also need speed and quickness to execute the fundamentals more efficiently. The quickest basketball players are often the most successful because they are difficult to stop. Becoming faster will make you a better all-around basketball player and a nightmare to opposing teams.
    Weight training is vital to building fast-twitch muscle fibers in your legs, back and upper body, which are responsible for quickness and agility. For the kind of strength needed to increase speed, do leg exercises such as squats, calf raises, leg extensions and leg curls. Bench presses, biceps curls and triceps extensions are great for building upper-body strength. Although each of these exercises are beneficial, it is important to remember muscle fiber is gained through repetition and the amount of weight being lifted.
    Explosiveness is a term used in basketball to describe quick acceleration. In an average game you will sprint as many as 105 times and change directions every two seconds. Since basketball requires such quick movements, acceleration is one of the most important parts of building basketball speed. Core exercises such squat jumps, wall sits, leg raises, planks and lunges all help develop this explosiveness. The University of Utah Sports N’ Science program points out that unlike weight training where repetitions build muscles, core exercises rely more on duration because your body is genetically predisposed to maintain the type of muscle fibers already found in those parts of your body.
    Your ability to stop on a dime as a basketball player is just as important as your ability to quickly accelerate. If you can effectively stop and change directions, you are more likely to be able to beat the defense. This means that lateral speed is just as important as your ability to quickly move from side to side. Defensive slides using the proper defensive position and sliding your feet rather than crossing them will help your side-to-side speed as you are staying low and contracting your core much like you would during a squat exercise while using quick lateral movements that mimic side lunges.
    Strength, explosiveness and agility will make you a quicker, better basketball player, but without endurance, it will be hard for you to package these attributes and become a faster player. Repetitive endurance drills such as suicides will greatly increase your conditioning and allow you to run for a longer amount of time. The most effective repetitive running drill for a basketball player is the 17, which requires you to line up on one sideline and sprint back and forth to the other sideline, touching the line 17 times in one minute.

  • Nigerian Football History

    Since the 1945 introduction of the Nigerian Football Federation, the West African nation has become a top soccer contender on the international stage. Nigeria, under British control for centuries, has played in the World Cup and Olympics, and held its own professional national championships since gaining full independence in 1960.
    Although sports have been an integral part of Nigerian society for centuries, they were little more than leisure activities. Prior to 1963, few athletes made an international impact, especially in football. According to Online Nigeria, the National Sports Commission was founded to lay the foundation for all sporting event organization in Nigeria. Though the Nigerian Football Federation already was a governing body, football in Nigeria was still confined to the African boundaries, rarely making appearances outside the continent. Championships were played among rival clubs from Lagos, Port Harcourt and Calabar.
    Nigeria began participating in Africa’s Challenge Cup in the 1960s. The Cup was originally named the Governer’s Cup by the British. The Challenge Cup fueled Nigeria’s desire to play in the World Cup, though the team was unsuccessful in qualification matches. But Nigeria qualified for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. It produced widespread national interest, along with more emphasis on Nigerian soccer. In 1972, the Nigerian National League was born, beginning with five teams and growing to 12 by 1978.
    Nigeria won bronze medals in the 1976 and 1978 African Cup of Nations competition. In 1980, the Super Eagles won the championship in Lagos. In 1984 and 1988, Nigeria captured silver medals in the tournament.
    Since the 1980s, Nigeria’s U-17 team has won three international world championships, including in 2007. Nigeria qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with a 3-2 victory over Kenya in 2009. Nigeria tied South Korea 2-2 in South Africa, but lost to Greece and Argentina and failed to make it out of the first round. Nigeria, which has produced top players such as Mikel John Obi and Jay-Jay Okocha, will again be a favorite during qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

  • McGee/Scritchfield Deuce: Profile of a Hot Rod

    The McGee/Scritchfield Deuce came to be by accident. When Bob McGee returned home from the military in 1946, he discovered that the hot rod he had left with his friend Bob Binyon for safe keeping had been totaled. Binyon fell asleep at the wheel and wrecked McGee’s car in an orange grove.
    But Binyon endeavored to make it up to McGee, and he began by collect?ing the parts to create a replacement. McGee used those parts to create one of the most important cars in hot rod history.
    Few hot rods have remained in the limelight as long as the McGee/Scritchfield roadster. While McGee was attending USC on a football scholarship, it became the first Deuce highboy to grace the cover of Hot Rod magazine, appearing on the October 1948 issue.
    On Sept. 19 of that year, it was the first hot rod to receive a “green cross for safety” window sticker when the SCTA was formally accepted into the National Safety Council.
    McGee sold the Deuce in 1955 to Dick Hirschberg who installed a Corvette motor and painted it yellow. In 1956, Hirsch?berg traded it straight up to Dick Scritchfield, a founding member of the L.A. Roadsters club and NHRA ?employee, for a 1948 Lincoln Continental.
    In Scritchfield’s hands, the car made many movie and tele?vision appearances, and inspired the L.A. Roadsters club logo. In the early 1960s, Scritchfield had Bill Kaegle apply one of the first metal?flake paint jobs for an article in Hot Rod magazine.
    In 1971, with a tunnel-ram-equipped 350-cid small-block Chevy and a T-10 four-speed transmission, the car ran 167.212 mph at Bonne?ville, setting a C/Roadster record that would stand until 1979.
    Scritchfield owned the car until 1989. The Deuce briefly passed through two more owners before collector Bruce Meyer acquired it and had the So-Cal Speed Shop restore it to the original Bob McGee configuration. This meant installing a flathead equipped with Federal-Mogul ?copper heads.
    The roadster’s first public appearance after the restoration was at the 50th Grand National Roadster Show in 1999. It was also a prize winner at that year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a testament to the quality of the So-Cal Speed Shop’s work and McGee’s cutting-edge look.
    Though continually upgraded and modified over the years, the McGee/Scritchfield roadster has always been identifiable by its distinctive stance, extended decklid, hidden door hinges, and shortened front frame horns with molded and V’d spreader bar.
    McGee performed many of these modifications himself. They were unique for their day, and are often imitated by rodders more than 50 years later.

  • Is a 401(k) really the right way to save for retirement?

    Maybe you’ve heard, but we’re all supposed to be saving for retirement. According to magazine ads and commercials during football games, you’ve also probably heard that we’re all doing a crummy job of it. We haven’t started yet, we haven’t saved enough, we’ve chosen the wrong plan — it seems like retirement savings is something nobody has gotten right.
    We’re here to reassure you. If you’re fretting that your 401(k) — or your traditional IRA or your Roth IRA or any other retirement plan you might have — isn’t “right,” you’re probably going to be OK in your twilight years. Just having a plan is a terrific first step. There are all sorts of ways to save for retirement, and no way is inherently better than others. It really just depends on what types of benefits you’re looking for, what your workplace might offer to you and what tax consequences you want to deal with — either now or in the future.
    So let’s start by talking about what a 401(k) is — and to do that, let’s talk about something completely different: pensions. Pensions used to be offered by companies to employees after they retired, and the structure was pretty simple. The pension would pay a steady income throughout a former employee’s retirement. The employer controlled them completely. In the 1980s, employers started phasing out pensions for less expensive 401(k) plans [source: WSJ]. While most employers still contribute to 401(k) plans, employees actually have money taken out of their paycheck to contribute to the 401(k) as well. Most plans are based on the stock market: They contain stocks, bonds and money market investments, and employees select the best mix for them. In other words, you can take more or less risk with the funds you invest in a 401(k) — but you’re also at the mercy of the stock market, in general.
    The advantage of a 401(k) is that many employers match your contributions — up to a certain limit, that is. So if your employer matches up to 3 percent of your $100,000 salary, you can put in $3,000 and your employer will contribute $3,000 as well. You can contribute more, but your employer just won’t meet it [source: WSJ]. Also, your money is being automatically withheld, so it’s not taxed as income on your tax return. Sweet, right?
    Well, not so fast. Because when you do take that money out of your 401(k) at retirement, you will have to pay taxes on it. Essentially, any distributions from your 401(k) are treated like income. And your income will be taxed at whatever rate you are when you’re taking it out; you might be in a higher tax bracket in the future [source: Fidelity]. So while a 401(k) certainly is a terrific retirement plan that can save you tax liability when you contribute, if you want a tax-free income during retirement, you should consider a Roth IRA. While you’re taxed on the money you contribute upfront, you don’t have to pay taxes on distributions [source: Fidelity].
    Here are some tips to help you with generating income and planning for the future.
    Presented by United Way of Greater Atlanta Powered by SunTrust Foundation

  • Cheerleading Moves & Cheers for Beginners

    When you are just beginning in cheerleading, there are many things to learn. You must master motions, cheers, jumps, tumbling, formations and stunts. It is a good idea to start slowly, mastering a small handful of items in each category before learning more. Practice your motions and cheers in front of a mirror to perfect them.
    Beginners should master these top five easy motions, working hard to perfect placement and execution of just a handful of motions prior to learning any more. Touchdown involves raising both hands straight above your head. Keep your arms slightly forward, with your biceps close to your ears. Next work on T motion. Extend your arms straight out to the side at shoulder level. Master both High and Low V by making a V shape with your arms overhead for High V, or pointing down for Low V. The final basic motion you should master is Clasp. In a Clasp, you clasp your hands in front of you with your fists just below your chin.
    If you are a beginner, the cheers you use should be simple with few words and few motions. Make sure you have no more than one motion per word. Use Clasps to keep time during your cheers and to simplify more difficult cheers that have many motions. Focus on clearly projecting the words of the cheer, getting your volume from your diaphragm instead of your throat.
    Even as a beginning cheerleader, your cheer library should include many types of cheers. You need chants for when your team is on offense — “2, 2, we want 2!” — and on defense — “Steal that ball!” You also need all-purpose chants like, “Go! Fight! Win!” Chants typically are repeated three or more times. Crowd-involvement cheers are those that have a special part the crowd is supposed to cheer back to you. For example, you cheer: “We say Go, you say Fight — Go!” and the crowd should yell back, “Fight!” Finally, you need longer cheers that can be performed out on the floor during halftime or between quarters. These cheers are typically only repeated once.
    Here is a beginner offense chant you can learn: “S-C-O-R-E” “Score Team Score!” Start with Clasps for “S, C, O.” Quickly add “R” in between Clasps, and then Clasp again on “E.” Hit a Low V motion on “Score.” Come back to a Clasp on “Team.” You can substitute the name of your team’s mascot here instead of “Team.” End the cheer with a High V on the “Score!” Since this is a chant, come back down to a Clasp, saying nothing. Then repeat the chant two more times.

  • Does Having Ankle Weights Make You Run Faster?

    Ankle weights are a fitness tool designed to add extra weight to your lower body during exercise or daily activities, helping you build muscle through resistance training. Although ankle weights can help improve your leg strength and potentially boost your speed, they may also be potentially dangerous for athletes and exercise enthusiasts. Safer alternatives exist for increasing how fast you can run.
    Ankle weights are small pouches filled with heavy materials such as sand, pellets or metal bars, ranging in weight from 1 pound to 5 pounds each. Ankle weights attach to your leg between your foot and calf with a Velcro strip and are designed to stay securely in place during exercise.
    Exercisers may wear ankle weights while walking or running to provide extra resistance to leg movements, in turn building strength and muscle. For runners and other athletes, wearing ankle weights can also help increase the difficulty of activities such as abdominal exercises, helping boost core strength and stability. According to Mark Fenton, author of “The Complete Guide to Walking for Health, Weight Loss and Fitness,” wearing ankle weights can also slightly increase the amount of calories burned during an exercise, therefore assisting in weight loss.
    Like other forms of resistance training, wearing ankle weights can help you build muscle and strength by increasing the difficulty and intensity of various exercises. Because ankle weights fasten directly to your legs and don’t require gripping or holding, they are portable, generally comfortable and may be integrated into a variety of activities. For runners, the ability of ankle weights to increase leg strength can offer advantages for running speed and endurance.
    Although wearing ankle weights during exercise can improve your leg strength, this fitness tool may also increase your risk of injury. Fenton notes that ankle weights can put unnecessary stress on your knees, which are relatively fragile to begin with — particularly if you run or walk while wearing them. Moreover, the addition of unnatural weight to the legs can potentially alter your walking running gait, making it more difficult to move with a normal stride.
    If you want to increase your running speed, wearing ankle weights isn’t the only way to accomplish your goal. Performing lower-body exercises with free weights, weight machines or resistance tubing can help you build muscle in your legs, in turn giving you the physical strength to run faster. In addition, practicing running at a quicker pace or integrating bursts of sprints into your workouts can help you become a faster runner.

  • Nigerian Football History

    Since the 1945 introduction of the Nigerian Football Federation, the West African nation has become a top soccer contender on the international stage. Nigeria, under British control for centuries, has played in the World Cup and Olympics, and held its own professional national championships since gaining full independence in 1960.
    Although sports have been an integral part of Nigerian society for centuries, they were little more than leisure activities. Prior to 1963, few athletes made an international impact, especially in football. According to Online Nigeria, the National Sports Commission was founded to lay the foundation for all sporting event organization in Nigeria. Though the Nigerian Football Federation already was a governing body, football in Nigeria was still confined to the African boundaries, rarely making appearances outside the continent. Championships were played among rival clubs from Lagos, Port Harcourt and Calabar.
    Nigeria began participating in Africa’s Challenge Cup in the 1960s. The Cup was originally named the Governer’s Cup by the British. The Challenge Cup fueled Nigeria’s desire to play in the World Cup, though the team was unsuccessful in qualification matches. But Nigeria qualified for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. It produced widespread national interest, along with more emphasis on Nigerian soccer. In 1972, the Nigerian National League was born, beginning with five teams and growing to 12 by 1978.
    Nigeria won bronze medals in the 1976 and 1978 African Cup of Nations competition. In 1980, the Super Eagles won the championship in Lagos. In 1984 and 1988, Nigeria captured silver medals in the tournament.
    Since the 1980s, Nigeria’s U-17 team has won three international world championships, including in 2007. Nigeria qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with a 3-2 victory over Kenya in 2009. Nigeria tied South Korea 2-2 in South Africa, but lost to Greece and Argentina and failed to make it out of the first round. Nigeria, which has produced top players such as Mikel John Obi and Jay-Jay Okocha, will again be a favorite during qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.