Pelagia Noctiluca

Pelagia Noctiluca

Sunday, March 9

Spit Ball

It's 1:43, when it should be 12:43, but I've already complained about that, and I need to accept what I can not change. My body is satisfyingly sore from hard-core basketball last night. For nearly 2 hours straight, my coworker and I took on 3 wily boys who are just a wee bit better than us on the court. I want to say that she or I made at least one basket, but no, we did not, in 2 hours. However, we did successfully keep these boys out of the house, out of each other's faces, and thoroughly entertained until it was time for bed. One thing that, no, two things that trip me out about basketball. First, damn, there is a lot of contact. How do you play with no contact? How do I play without getting hurt as much? Second, why does basketball make so much spit?

In other non-spit related news, this has been a crazy week. My name is now officially restored, my work has been politically insane, and I had an intense conversation that seals the rightness of everything happening now. I even may go public with my blog here. I don't feel the need to hide as much as I did. Though I still wish it was an hour earlier like it's supposed to be.


betsy said...

I've always found the half court game to have much more contact. Are you playing with only one or with two baskets? Generally the point is to give as good as you get. If you are just as physical, they might back down a bit. It also matters whether you are playing with your back to the basket or not.

If you are getting hit in the face and arms alot while shooting, you can practice backing your defender toward the basket and then when you get just a bit of space turn and shoot in one motion. Be wary of tricksters though who will return the pressure while you are backing them, and then suddenly step back like pulling the chair out from under somebody.

Practice passing with your co-worker. Good ball movement is the secret to avoiding contact when you are facing the basket. For a while they will probably steal the ball from you until you get better at it.

Lastly, good smack talk can give you needed rest time and slow the pace of the game. When you have the ball, make sure your mouth is always running. It's obnoxious, but it's equally as effective to distract somebody and get past them to the basket as it is to be fast enough to beat them off the dribble.

Have fun!!

Pearly Blythe said...

Ok, I actually read this three times, and it's still tricky to grasp. Sort of like the basketball, ha. You know I work in a no contact facility, right? The basketball court seems to be the one exception, and the dynamic is already of me constantly nagging them to watch their contact and their aggression. But, in spite of the fact that we're all set up to fail from the get-go, they manage to have fun and get along most of the time.

We usually play full court, and it's funny about the smack talking. We have a kid who squawks up and down the court and when he makes me laugh, he dodges around me.

I'm ok at Horse. I can shoot if everyone leaves me alone while I stand still and concentrate. I won't play Bump, ball goes in my face every time. I haven't figured out 21 yet at all. One kid suggested I stop making sound effects while dribbling and shooting. However, now that I think about it, I was playing not long ago, and the kid just started laughing, and I dodged around, and did actually make a lucky shot. I thought he just stopped and let me shoot, but he was laughing at my sound effects which I didn't realize I made. Now I do though, so I'm trying to stop. But, then again, maybe it's my edge. My co-worker friend resorted to voguing as guarding, and it had the same effect.


betsy said...

You could threaten them with changing the rules to Netball which is a completely non-contact version of basketball made for girls in the British colonies around 1900. It's still a big sport in other countries.

Basically, there is no dribbling since players can't move with the ball in their hands, they catch the ball and stop in that spot until they pass it away and then can move again, and not every player can move through every part of the court. Goal scorers stay in the goal third, defenders in the other teams goal third, and I think it's supposed to be 7 players, but I've seen it with as few as 4 per team with a little rule allowance for some people covering two zones of the court.

It should only take a description of the game and the notion that it is a girls sport to get them to settle the contact down.

Or, you could always have one person be a referee and assign penalties and free throws for contact. It technically is a foul. For contact during a shot, they get 2 free throws if the shot was missed and 1 if the shot was made. For contact away from the ball, they generally get the ball out of bounds.

It's not typical to call fouls in playground or street basketball, but if you are trying to get control of the game, going more toward the classic game rules might be a good idea. It won't end all contact, but it will make it more accidental, and players will generally avoid getting a foul to not give up free throws to the other guy.

Let me know if we need to find you a nice black and white striped polyester shirt and a whistle.

All in all a very difficult predicament as basketball is theoretically non-contact, but even the most classic translation of Dr. Naismith's game has contact.

Pearly Blythe said...

How the hell do you knock a ball out of somebody's hand without contact? We do employ the foul system sometimes. Street ball vs. regular ball is confusing. In general, we lack communication on the court. I like the whistle plan. I did give a kid a 2 minute time-out for excessive contact and swearing. It still amazes me that gang kids accept time-outs.

betsy said...

You can't. And in basketball, the hand on the ball is considered part of the ball. Foul contact is for arms and body contact.

You can also help each other avoid contact by calling out screens and traps to the ball handler if you see them coming. This goes in the better communication area.

It does sound like you are pretty successful at keeping the game fun.

Go Freak Whistler!

Pearly Blythe said...

Nice! I whistle and they come running, then I whisper to shut them up.