I couldn't help using this title - it's so obvious. I tried to think of something more refined but nothing else seemed to work. The remainder of the post will not be as tasteless and trust me, there's plenty of tasteless material out there on enlarged balls from reliable sources like "News of the World", "National Enquirer" and the like. But personally, I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole...that is touch the news sources or the material, I mean.
From what I've read about Push Ball or Bladder Ball, pictured in this weeks' prompt, even I could have participated in the sport as there seems to have been no skill or special coordination or stamina required. How did one win? According to Wikipedia, "victory consisted of fervent declarations of victory by each team."
I admit I was never good at sports. I did play on a volleyball team in junior high school and that is the subject of my photo for this week. April 1957, Sargent Park Junior High School, junior girls volleyball team. I'm in the back row snuggled up against Melody Affleck...or maybe I was trying to hide behind her. Melody was the only black person I knew at that time of my life; she was the only black person in our school and her family was one of few in Winnipeg (to the best of my knowledge). Later in life, as a university student, I would get to know black people from Trinidad and Tobago and a few Africans who came to the University of Manitoba. Did they come because of academic excellence? Hardly....the university had the cheapest tuition in the commonwealth so "the price was right." I'll always remember the disbelief on the faces of the Trinidadians the first time the temperature fell below freezing and the snow began to fall.
Can you spot the girl on the team with the baaad reputation? It was "Fish" in the back row, second from the left. That collar worn "up" in the hard rock fashion of the day was a signal. The collar combined with her kiss-curls spelled F-A-S-T. Who knows if her rep was justified or not? Teenaged girls have got to be among the cruelest of our species and perhaps we vented our angst on her by gossiping behind her back. She was very pretty, the boys liked her and we were jealous. I do know she played volleyball fairly well (at least as well as the rest of us) and she had a wonderful singing voice.
I certainly wouldn't qualify for any volleyball team today. It's all about being TALL, tall, tall. In my photo above, I was about 5' 2". Here's how it goes now on average on professional volleyball teams. Males: Outsides 6'6"+, Opposites 6'8"+, Middles 6'7"+, Setters 6'5"+, Liberos 5'10". Females: Outsides 6'3", Opposites 6'5", Middles 6'4", Setters 6'1", Liberos 5"6"+. When you see pictures of female volleyball teams you don't realize how tall they are. Here's the 2008 US Women's National team. Most are over 6'.
When I first looked at the prompt, I had loftier ideas for where my post could go this week. Loftier certainly than admissions of teenage jealousy and sophomoric humor about balls. But there it is and I'm publishing it before I have second thoughts and revert to my original idea about other ball games with intriguing names and rules, such as.....
Half-rubber. Yes, it's played with a rubber ball cut in half
And Quidditch, the wizard and witches game from the Harry Potter books. Teams mount broomsticks and chase a "quaffle" which is a slight deflated volleyball.
|University of Ottawa Quidditch scrimmages against the Silicon Valley Skrewts.|