Curran: Unusual Sports to Learn this Summer

As we start to see more sunshine and summer at the doorstep, we also start thinking of ways to spend our time outdoors. In the sports world, it’s even more difficult because money, time and finding people can play a decisive role in how we spend our days. There are plenty of games that are reaching all crowds out there and just by trying them out you may find one you really come to appreciate. So, let’s take a look at some ways you can expand your horizons and learn some fun ways that aren’t always taxing on us (literally and figuratively).

Ever hear of spike ball? If you see the game you may mistakenly take it for a mini trampoline but the rules are quite simple. 4 players, 3 hits, 2 teams, 1 ball. The teammate’s lineup on either side as the other team serves. Then the ‘trampoline’ turns into a volleyball net, in theory. Bump, set and spike to bounce it off the net. When you or your teammate miss, they score. Games are played up to 21 and beware, it gets intense.

Or you can set up your own Gaga ball pit. Contrary to popular belief, the game wasn’t invented by pop music star, Lady Gaga. This game is a dodgeball fan’s dream. Played in an octagonal pit, there are no teams. It’s everyone for themselves. With one ball in play, people have to avoid being hit below the knees from their opponents or their out. Any player can hit the ball at any time and it involves a lot of running around and jumping. It’s the same as dodgeball if the ball is hit in the air and caught, that player is out.

Do you like to go to the beach and toss the pigskin around? Be the guy who brings ‘fowling’ to the beach. This one may take some effort but fowling is on the rise and for good measure. It can be played one on one or two teams of two. Set up bowling pins in a bowling standard set and the football is used as your bowling ball. Then the match ensues and the first one to knock down all the opponent’s pins wins. The hybrid game has taken off in metro-Detroit and is soon to be worldwide. Very simple, yet, very frustrating.

And saved for the latter, there’s ladder golf. An inexpensive game that can be played with family and friends at home or somewhere on the run. It’s recommended to space out about 15 feet from your ladders and each team of one or two tosses their 3 bolas (2 golf balls tied on either end of a small rope). Try to catch one of the rungs of the ladder with your bolas and the higher up you hit, the more points you get! Another simple game that can be enjoyed in the comfort of your backyard.

This summer can be a test for you to go out and try new activities and engage with people you might not have come across in your typical activities. Learn how to play spike ball, go googoo for gaga ball, or be the one who asks, “do you even fowl bro?” Because who knows maybe you could be the next best at it!