It’s about that time of the year – The official leisure sport season. It’s been a long offseason, but the time has come to get back in the game. Leisure sports have been played all around the world since the beginning of time and they’re something we are very passionate about at Jack Donnelly. The beauty of the leisure sport is it is a) simple b) usually enjoyed in a relaxed, party-like atmosphere, unless played professionally; c) it takes little to no physical effort d) and can be played virtually anywhere. There are many leisure sports, but we take a closer look at some of the more popular ones…
We find out more:
Some might say this is the greatest leisure sport of all time. Developed into its present form in Italy, Bocce Ball has become a leisure sport staple across the US. Bocce is a simple game that requires little equipment, but can make for an enjoyable time. In bocce, a player throws a small white ball (known as a jack, pallino, or boccino) into the lawn. Players on each team then take turns throwing larger, heavier balls in an attempt to get as close as possible to the white ball. The player with the ball closest to the target wins one point, and knocks out his opponent’s closest ball to the target. Only one player per round can score points. If any other of the scoring player’s balls are closer than his opponent’s next closest ball, he earns a point for that ball as well. Players can score up to four points per round. In most games, the first player to 13 points wins.
While most enjoy the great game in a relaxed setting, some take it very seriously. One said player you might want to remember is Umberto Granaglia, who was awarded the honor of “Player of the Twentieth Century” by the International Bocce Federation (FIB). Between 1957 and 1980 Granaglia won a record 13 World Championships, 12 Europena Championship titles, and 46 Italian National Championships. The dude is legit and has the hardware to prove it.
Probably the most well known in the leisure sport category and least played in our office. A game involving accuracy and rewarding proximity, horseshoes involves players standing at either end of a playing court and tossing horseshoes toward a stake sticking out of the ground. The object of the game is to encircle the stake with the horseshoe, or land it within at least 6 inches of the stake. A horseshoe that lands around the stake is called a “ringer” and earns three points. Any horseshoe leaning on or landing within 6 inches of the stake scores one point. Games are usually played to 40 points, with each player throwing two horseshoes per round.
For more information regarding rules, scoring method, generally accepted equipment, exact court specifications, and league play refer to The National Horseshoe Pitchers Association (NHPA), which is the governing body of the sport in the United States.
Historians believe that horseshoes is an adaptation of the old Grecian game of discus throwing. Horseshoes officially hit the big time in Bronson, Kansas when the first world horseshoe-pitching tournament was held in the summer of 1910. The great Frank Jackson was awarded the championship belt after pitching an unprecedented 5 ringers in a row, which has never been topped to this day.
Washers is a Jack Donnelly office favorite. It is a game of skill, similar to Horseshoes, in which individuals or teams compete against one another in an effort to be the first to reach a winning score of 11, 17 or 21 points. The game consists of two washer pits located opposite one another, each with a recessed cup. Contestants stand in one pit and throw washers toward the cup in the other pit. The object is to land in the cup, or nearest the cup to score. There are many different versions of the game, from two holes dug into the ground twenty feet apart, open wooden boxes with PVC pipe in the center, to large enclose boxes with three holes on the top.
Not much is know about the origin of Washers. In preparation for this piece we researched the topic tirelessly, tracking down promising leads, but were not able to substantiate any viable reports. If you or anyone you know has any information regarding this mystery please contact us. We need to know.
Ladder Ball is relatively new to the scene and gaining popularity fast. It is also known as ladder golf or bolo toss. It involves players throwing a series of two small balls connected by a string, called a bola, at a three-rung ladder-type target. Wrapping a bola around the top run earns a player three points, while the middle rung is worth two points and the bottom rung is worth one point. Players take turns throwing three bolas during a round. If a player lands all three bolas on one rung or one bola on each rung within a round, the player earns one bonus point. The first player to 21 points wins the game.
Matt Peterson discovered the game on campgrounds in the early 1990s and believes it probably originated in such locations. However, we speculate that the bola is a stand-in for a live snake, which cowboys in the western United States or caballeros in Mexico used to throw at fences or branches for points. Ladder Golf LLC, sponsors a yearly tournament in San Diego, CA. We hope to field a team in said tournament next year.
Cornhole is a simple game where players toss beanbags onto a slanted board with a hole toward the top in an attempt to get the beanbag to stay on the board or go through the hole. Players take turns tossing four beanbags at the board. In doubles play, each teammate alternates tossing the bags until all four have been tossed. Any bag that falls all the way through the hole is worth three points. A bag that lands on the board, but not through the hole earns the player one point. The first player to earn 21 points wins the game.
There are many different versions of the history of cornhole, depending on whom you talk to. We like to believe that a game of very similar nature was played amongst Native Americans in Midwest America, who filled pig bladders with dried beans and competitively tossed them for entertainment, notably, the Black Hawk tribe in Illinois.
While Jack Donnelly has no partnership with the governing bodies of any of the above-mentioned games, we like to think of ourselves as the official unofficial khaki sponsor for all leisure sports. So if you take to the playing field, we recommend you do it in Jack Donnelly.
**First person to email us a picture of any JD product (khakis, koozie, etc.) in action in any leisure sport earlier discussed wins a free pair of shorts! Email all pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.