A couple of things from the Wall Street Journal lead me to think that all the actually physically taxing, limit-pushing sports are already taken by people who tax themselves and push their limits, which leads less-than-peak physical specimens to make up their own little games and call them sports.
Among competitive stone-skippers, nothing makes ripples like a disagreement about regulation rocks.
The latest dispute in this sport for people who skim small stones across water is over imports used in competition.
At the Mackinac Island Stone Skipping & Gerplunking Club championships, some believe participants are supposed to source their equipment from the pebble-lined beaches of this Lake Huron island.
Competitive stone-skipping. Controversies over equipment. I’d say something about modern man, but this particular competition has gone on longer than I’ve been on this planet.
Meanwhile, for those who might find stones too heavy or the outdoors too bright, there’s whirlyball:
But when the bespectacled 27-year-old event coordinator came across whirlyball, he knew he had found his chance to shine. The sport, involving flinging a plastic Wiffle ball at an elevated target with a jai-alai-like scoop, doesn’t pivot on athletic prowess. Nor do age, gender or girth matter. Rather than sprint from one end of a basketball-size court to another and back, players move and shoot in bumper cars.
“This is a sport where you don’t need to be big or a particularly great athlete,” says Mr. Betenia. “All you need is to be able to drive and drain shots.”
The popularity of whirlyball—think lacrosse on bumper cars—is accelerating, driven by couch potatoes who want to excel on the court and weekend warriors. Many wouldn’t survive a fitness boot camp or can’t find their way to the gym. But you don’t need to be ripped to stand out in this game played sitting down. “Agility. Speed. Strength. None of these qualities will be of any use in the highly-competitive world of WhirlyBall,” advertises the Chicago whirlyball center.
You know the saddest part? By the time I hit the Senior Olympics, these will be the events. All this time I’ve dreamed of athletic glory now that my physical development has started to match my peers and I’ve figured out how to roll my wrists when hitting a baseball and throw a spiral, and it’s all for naught. Because in the future, all sports will be silly sports.
Maybe I should start playing whirlyball, but in pads. So I can get ahead of the curve for when they’re required. I will get that gold medal, I know I will.