Sports for Dummies


For some, the newspaper sports pages represent a realm of confusion and misunderstanding. For all of you out there who fall into the category of Sport Dummy this one’s for you.

Baseball for Dummies by Adam Zobel

Baseball is played on a field with four bases placed 90 feet apart, arranged into a diamond.

Metal or wood bats are used to hit the ball. Gloves or mitts are used to catch.

An inning lasts until a team gets three outs. An out occurs when either a batter strikes out by missing the ball three times with his bat, if a ball that has been hit is caught before it hits the groud, or a runner is tagged out by the ball.

A hit is when a player hits the ball into the field of play and reaches base safely before the ball. A double is a hit that gets the batter to second, a triple gets a batter to third, and a home run is when the batter scores as a result of his own hit.

A player is walked when a batter has four balls, or non-strikes. Balls occur when a pitcher misser’s the batter’s zone, approximately from the batter’s knees to shoulder. A run is scored when a player reaches home plate before the third out.

The games are scheduled to last nine innings. In some instances, the game may end after seven innings if a team has a ten-run lead.

Basketball for Dummiesby Casey Wonnenberg

In basketball, unlike football, a player cannot simply run with the ball; they must dribble it. This is to bounce the ball on the floor with one hand. If the player runs with the ball without dribbling, it is considered a “travel.”

Once a player quits dribbling the ball, they must either pass or shoot it. Each shot is worth two points, except for free throws which are worth one and three pointers, worth three.

Fouls are committed when a person shoulders, pushes, trips, holds or strikes their opponent. The defender can hit the ball; they are not allowed to hit their opponent. If the player commits a foul when their opponent is shooting, the opponent is allowed free throws.

Each team is allowed to have five players on the court at a time. This game that James Naismith created for his students in 1891 has become an international phenomenon.

Cheerleading for Dummiesby Jecelyn FastFor the Collegian

Cheerleaders are best known for their ability to lead the crowd and motivate the players on the court or field.

Competitive cheerleading has become an international phenomenon. Competition divisions are based on age, squad size, and school size.

They begin with elementary divisions and go through college-aged.

At competitions, nationally certified judges look for the most athletic team based on motion placement, stunting abilities, tumbling, jumping technique, style, crowd interaction, and overall effectiveness of the performance.

Cheerleading has moved well beyond the pretty girls standing on the sidelines.

It now involves both men and women using their physical strength to do impressive lifts and stunts.

As with any sport, cheer coaches must meet certification requirements and must have adequate training.

Football for Dummiesby Crystal Hohenthaner

The most confusing thing about football is the point system. A touchdown involves taking the football into your opponent’s end zone, and is worth six points. When a team has made a touchdown they are entitled to either kick a field goal, worth one point, or run the ball from two yard out for two extra points.

Football is all about gaining the territory of one’s opponent. Two sets of eleven men line up across from one another and struggle for position. The offensive team (the team with the ball) gets four chances to gain 10 yards. If they can’t make the yards the ball is given to the other team, who then has the same chance.

Golf for Dummiesby Jillian BoelterFor the Collegian

What do the terms par, nine iron and triple bogey all have in common? They are all words used in the game of golf. Understanding the terms is extremely important in compreheding the whole purpose of the game. The first important term is par.

Par is the amount of strokes assigned to each hole based on its difficulty. The longer the hole, the more strokes you are allowed to achieve par.

Now let’s say you are having a great day and it only took you two strokes to get the ball into the hole on a par three. You just got a birdie, one stroke under par.

Two strokes under par is called an eagle.

Now in contrast, if you shoot one stroke over par on a hole it is given the name bogey. A double bogey is two strokes over par, and a triple is three strokes over and so on.

Clubs are an imortant part of golf. There are woods and irons for driving the ball long distances. Clubs are numbered based on how far they can drive the ball (the lower the number, the longer the shot to use it for). There are also pitching wedges for short distances and sand wedges for getting out of strategically placed pits of sand.

The main purpose of golf is to use the least amount of strokes to get the ball from the tee box into the hole, which is surrounded by an area of very short grass, called the green. A putter is used on the green.

Hockey for Dummies by Michelle WesterburFor the Collegian

Ice hockey is a game played on a slab of ice called a rink by two teams of six players. The objective is to shoot the puck into the opposite goal and rack up as many points as possible, preferably more than the opposing team.

Each game is made up of three 20- minute periods, with 15-minute breaks in between. If the third period ends in a tie, the teams go into “sudden-death” overtime for five minutes, where there are only ten men on the ice and the first team to score wins. If no one scores, the game ends in a tie.

There are three kinds of players: forwards, defensemen and goalies.

The three forwards are the offensive part of a hockey team, and consist of a right wing, a center and a left wing. The forwards are usually out front and try to make goals, while the defensemen stay to the rear and strive to keep the puck away from the net.

The goalie stays in the same spot, for the most part, and is the last obstacle between the puck and a goal.

Hockey has three main categories for penalties resulting in time in the penalty box for the offender: minor penalties can get a player two minutes in the box, major penalties are five minutes, and misconduct is ten minutes.

The harshest penalty is called a game misconduct, which results in somebody getting tossed out for the game. In the event of a minor or major penalty, the penalized team must play with one less player for the duration of the penalty. This is called a “penalty kill” for the penalized team, and a “power play” for the opposing team.

During a misconduct or game misconduct the penalized team will play “at full strength” (with all six players) while the penalized player either sits in the box or hits the showers.

Soccer for Dummiesby Laura Haatvedt

Soccer goals are eight feet tall and eight yards across.

There are two periods in each soccer game. Usually the periods are 45 minutes each, but the length of the periods can be changed if both teams and the referees agree.

Each goal scored is worth one point. Goals can be scored from direct free kicks, penalty kicks, corner kicks and goal kicks. Goals can also be scored during regular play.

If a player receives a yellow card, he or she has been cautioned. If a player receives a red card, that player has been kicked out of the game.

Softball for Dummiesby Adam Zobel

Softball is played at the collegiate level by women on a smaller field. The distance between bases is 60 feet, while the fences are about 200 feet from home plate.

The ball is a bit larger than a baseball, measuring about 12 inches in circumference. It is pitched in an underhand motion from the pitcher’s mound, located 43 feet from home plate.

The game lasts seven innings unless 1) the teams are tied after seven, 2) the games is called due to inclement weather, or 3) one team is ahead by eight or more runs after five innings.

Swimming for Dummies by Camren AberleFor the Collegian

In competitive swimming there are only four legal strokes: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.

Butterfly, frequently called “the fly,” is a stroke that relies on timing and may be the most difficult to do correctly. The swimmer’s arms move together in large circles and the legs move together in a dolphin motion.

Backstroke is the easiest to spot, because no other stroke allows the swimmer to swim on the back.

Breaststroke is frequently, and incorrectly, associated with a frog kick. The breaststroker’s arms move together in front of their body and their legs do a whip kick. The whip kick is similar to a frog kick except the swimmer’s knees stay close together and their feet flex and point as they rotate in circles.

Freestyle is the stroke most people associate with swimming. It has also been called the front crawl, but not at meets.

Most of the pools in our conference are 25 yards long. The races range from 50 yards to 1,650 yards. Each swimmer has a lane separated by lane ropes that are designed to minimize the movement of the water. The more waves there are, the harder it is to swim.

At every meet the first-through-third-place finishers receive points for their team. These points are added up at the end of the meet to determine the winner. Swimmers receive no points if they are disqualified (DQ). A swimmer can DQ for various reasons, ranging from moving on the blocks (the big platform they dive off of) after the starter says, “take your marks” to swimming any stroke incorrectly.

If a swimmer dives in the pool before the buzzer sounds, they “jumped,” resulting in a DQ. In a relay, the swimmer “jumps” if their feet leave the block before the previous swimmer touchs the wall.

Diving is also a part of every swim meet, and may be the most interesting part to new swimmeet spectators. They do a designated dive and receive points on how well they complete the task.

Track for Dummiesby Greg DarbyshireFor the Collegian

The length of the average track is 200 meters indoors 400 meters outdoors.

The field is the area in which all non-running events take place. This is always in the center of the track. The events that take place in this area are throws, vertical and horizontal jumps.

Sprints are all events from 60 to the 400 meters. Middle Distance is a term covering all events from the 800-meter to the mile. Distance encompasses all events from the two-mile to the marathon.

Hurdles is a discipline that comes under sprints. Hurdles are higher for men than women.

The horizontal jump is the name given to the long and triple jump. The long jump involves an athlete’s sprint down a runway and projection through the air into a pit of sand.

The triple jump is similar except the athlete is required to hop, skip and then jump into the pit.

Vertical jumps include the high jump and pole vault. High jump involves the athlete running up to a point then jumping off one foot to clear a bar.

The pole vault is a very tough discipline involving running with a pole then planting it in a box which levers them acrobatically over a horizontal bar.

Throws involve the athletes tossing or throwing a projectilefor distance. The different throws are shot put, discus, hammer, javelin and weight throw.

Volleyball for Dummiesby Nancy Kneip

Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams play on a court divided by a net.

The object of volleyball is to make the ball land on the floor of the opponent. Only the serving team may score a point. If the ball lands on the side of the offense, control is given to the defense, and they are given the opportunity to score.

A team may win a game after it has scored 15 points on the opposing team with a two point advantage.

There are some basic moves each of the six players on a team can use in order to score.

To serve is to hit the ball from the back of the court across to the other team. If a serve hits the opponent’s floor immediately, or if the serve-receiver misplays the ball and it is not hit by another player it is called a service-ace, or ace for short.

There are two types of serve: overhand and underhand.

Blocking is when two or more players jump in front of an opposing player attempting to spike the ball.

Wrestling for Dummiesby Dustin BakkerFor the Collegian

A wrestling match consists of three periods. The first is three minutes; second and third are two minutes.

In the first period both wrestlers start up in 2nd and 3rd periods the ref flips to see who gets the choice wrestler can chose both up, down, up or defer to the other wrestler to choose.

Overtime is one minute and the first takedown wins. Double overtime is 30 seconds. One wrestler chooses up or down position. If the down wrestler gets up he wins; if up wrestler rides the other out he wins.

Wrestling has ten weight classes: 125, 133, 141, 149, 157, 165, 174, 184, 197 and heavy weight.

Athletes have to be right on or under the weight at weigh-in time.

Individual scoring in a match the high score wins: Takedown earns one point – one wrestler takes the other down to the mat; Escape (one point) – wrestler that is down gets free; Reversal (two points) – wrestler on bottom ends up on top; Near Fall, if wrestler holds the other wrestler’s back to the mat with one shoulder down for two seconds he gets two points.

If he can hold for five seconds he gains three points.

Fall – or pin – is when the wrestler on top holds both of the other wrestler’s shoulderblades to the mat for one second, Ride Time – one point if a wrestler rides the other for over one minute he is awarded one point at the end of the match.

Team scoring. In a duel the high score wins.

A decision is a win by at least one point scoring three points.

A major decision win by at least eight points gaining four points for the team.

A technical fall is a win by 15 or more points gaining five points for the team. For a fall or pin, a wrestler gains six team points.