Friday, July 2, 2010


Keeping in the spirit of simplicity that ended my last post, Isabel and I have invented a new game. To play you need a ball and a swing. (We call the game Swingball, for obvious reasons.)

When we come to visit the relatives in Laurel, Montana there is the danger that Isabel will wake up early and watch way too much tv. It is a constant parental struggle to get her outside and active—partly because she wants so badly to vegetate and partly because we want so badly to vegetate while on vacation here.

When we are at Grandpa Andy’s cabin or visiting the “cousins” in Bozeman, there is no such struggle. There is no tv at the cabin, and in Bozeman there are too many kids and too much fun to be had to waste time staring at a screen, watching other people pretend to do stuff.

But here in Laurel life can quickly settle into a bad pattern of staying up late in front of a movie and then waking up early, (since we are often still on Connecticut time), and turning on the television to kill a few hours before everyone else is up and about.

This morning at 7:30 Isabel and I went over to the park just around the corner from Grandpa Andy’s. We brought a shiny red soccer ball with us but had no real plan. We both just knew that in the direction of the tv lie sloth and self-loathing.

Isabel started swinging and I started to throw the ball at her feet as they climbed on the upswing. Sometimes things connected just right and the ball went flying over my head and over the fence surrounding the playground. We quickly devised rules and a system of points to be awarded for each player based on goals and saves.

Here is what we came up with, though you should feel free to modify it based on your particular setting and skill levels.

The goal is roughly 30 feet wide. The goalkeeper stands 25 feet from the swinger, with the goal behind the keeper. The keeper throws the ball at the swinger’s feet as the swinger begins to come forward—you may need to practice the timing of your throws.

If the swinger connects and the ball goes forward it is the keeper’s job to make the save. If the ball is stopped on the ground by the goalie, the goalie is awarded one point. If the ball passes the goalie on the ground, the swinger gets a point.

If the ball passes the goalie in the air at a height between the goalkeeper’s feet and head, the kicker gets two points. If the goalie stops the ball in the air between his/her feet and head, the keeper gets two points.

If the ball goes over the goalie’s head without being caught, it is three points for the swinger. If the goalie manages to block or catch a ball over head level, it is three points for the goalkeeper.

You play until someone has 20 points. Then you switch roles and start over.

That is all there is to it. We are off to play another round and take some pictures.

No comments:

Post a Comment