On Sunday, July 5th, the USA women’s soccer team played Japan in the World Cup Final. USA beat Japan 5-2. In the first five minutes, Carli Lloyd scored two goals from corner kicks. This immediately set the tone for the game, establishing America as the winning team in the beginning. Carli Lloyd led the team on the offensive end, finishing the game with three goals.
Even though the match was held in Canada, many of the players stated that they felt like they were at home because so many fans came out to support. The match had just under 23 million viewers, making it the most watched soccer game in USA history. The USA team won many fans over the course of just one year from sparking interest during the 2014 game. These fans followed the USA team and cheered as they brought home the World Cup trophy.
Currently, the USA team is going on its victory tour. The team began in LA and has earned the honor of the Ticker-Tape Parade in NYC. The Ticker Tape Parade is a parade where many people throw confetti from office buildings above the street and sidewalk. During the parade, the team was led through the canyon of heroes, a historic street where the city only paraded its most honorary legends. The soccer team was the first women’s sports team to ever be given the honor of a Ticker-Tape parade.
1. Who won the Women’s FIFA World Cup Final match?
2. Who scored the most goals for the USA team in the final match?
3. Where was the World Cup held?
4. How many viewers watched the match?
5. What role do you think fans play in a sport’s team’s success? Do fans help a team a great deal or not much?
Division I NCAA college athletics is the highest level of athletic competition in college. In May and June, the best “DI” collegiate softball teams compete to play in the World Series, starting on May 28.
Softball is a game that is played with a bat and ball between two teams. The field is made up of two parts; the infield and the outfield. In the infield, four bases form a diamond, with the pitcher’s mound in the middle. The outfield is often made up of grass. Much like in its relative’s game, baseball, the defensive team stands on the field while the offensive team bats. In order to score, a player must hit the ball with the bat and run around the four bases. The batter starts at home plate and passes through first, second, and third until he comes back to home. In a typical game, after each team has had seven at bats, the team with the most runs wins. Three of the currently biggest differences softball has with baseball are; the ball is bigger, pitchers underhand the ball, and it is mostly a women’s sport.
The first recorded softball game was played with men at a boat club in 1887 in Chicago, Illinois. They played with a broom and a rolled up glove. The next week one of the members of the club, George Hancock, invented a ball and small bat for the game. Thought of as a way for baseball players to train during the winter, the game was named “Indoor baseball.” When people started playing the game outside, it was called “Indoor-Outdoor baseball.” The name, “Softball,” was coined by the YMCA in 1926 because of the “softer” ball. Because the ball was not as hard as a regular baseball, fielders did not wear gloves. Although there were many different ways to play the game, softball became more uniformly played when the Joint Rules committee on Softball created rules in 1934. In the 1940s, a change in the game occurred; fast pitch softball became more commonly played than soft pitch. Fast pitch softball is played with a faster pitch, longer distance from the pitcher’s mound to home, and gloves.
Women’s softball became recently competitive with the first softball appearance in the Women’s World Championships in 1965. Originally, pitchers were encouraged to throw the ball softly because of the widespread belief that a hard throw could break the batter’s bones. As time went on, the belief in women’s fragility faded and women became more adept to the fast pitches. In 1996, fast pitch softball was added as an official sport in the women’s summer Olympics. Currently, women’s fast pitch is played more competitively at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels while slow-pitched softball is played more as a social activity by both genders.
1. Did softball originate as an all-women’s sport?
2. How many innings are in a typical softball game?
3. How does a team score?
4. What year was the first year softball was played in the Olympics?
5. What day does the NCAA Women’s College World Series begin?
The game of basketball as we know it now has changed over the ages. Many of the rules that are used now did not exist when the game was first created. In light of the big college tournament going on right now, called March Madness, we will learn about the creation of this sport.
In the late 1800s, more than 100 years ago, a PE coach, named James Naismith, invented the game of basketball to keep his gym students in shape during the winter. James Naismith placed a peach basket on the wall of the gym. The goal of the game was to throw a ball into the basket. Each time the ball was thrown into the basket, the janitor had to climb a ladder and take the ball out of the basket. After playing a couple of times, the bottom of the basket was cut out so that people did not have to climb up and take the ball out each time someone scored. The first game was played in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 11, 1892.
The YMCA and soldiers in WW1 spread basketball across the US and the world. Much of the spreading of the sport can be attributed to these two things. Soldiers from America brought basketball to their stations during the war. YMCA instructors who travelled across the country and world brought the ideas of basketball with them.
Many of the rules are similar to the ones played with today. But there are some differences that show the changing of this great American pastime. In the original game, each team had nine players each and could only move the ball up the court through passing-dribbling was not allowed. Now, each team has five players, and each person can dribble the ball up the court.
1. What was used as the first basketball hoop?
2. How many players did each team have in the original invention of the game?
3. Who created the game of basketball?
4. In what state was the first basketball game played?
5. In what month is the college basketball tournament?
Jessica De Gree
Jessica teaches English as a second language in Spain and plays basketball professionally there. She recently received her Bachelor's degree from Hillsdale College, one of the nation's top Liberal Arts schools in MI. At Hillsdale, she played basketball and studied English and Spanish. Some of her hobbies include reading, writing, painting, surfing, and playing the piano.