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Junkyard Sports: The Blog

Blogger no more

The new Junkyard Sports Community has its own weblog technology. You can subscribe to the feed here, should you so desire. Hence, Junkyard Sports-wise, Blogger has become redundantified.

The Junkyard Sports Community

If you happened to travel to a month or two into the future, and, for some reason known only to you, found yourself at a newsstand, perusing the then current copy of Family Fun magazine, you would probably remark to yourself, saying: "why, isn't that Bernie's picture? and aren't those Junkyard Sports they're talking about? and isn't this a lovely, informative, nay, even stimulating article?"

"Ah," you might further say to yourself in future retrospect, "that explains why Bernie and webmistress Julie Wolpers were working so feverishly on the Junkyard Sports website. Why, of course," you continue surmisingly, "that's precisely why what was once known only as the Junkyard Sports site has become the 'Junkyard Sports Community' - so accessible, so filled with information and invitations to online community participation. Because, don't you see, all those Family Funsters, becoming so profoundly enthused by that very lovely, very well-illustrated article, will be veritably driven to satisfy their deservedly desperate need for resources and opportunities to bring Junkyard Sports to the day-to-day lives of their fun-seeking families, to their neighborhoods, schools, and places of work and play."

And, lo, once again, you would prove to have been uncannily insightful. And even lo-er, there's no reason for you to have to wait for the future to come to pass, because the Junkyard Sports Community is both here and now, in the truly gifted, virtual present of it all.

Go ye, therefore to the Junkyard Sports Community website. Peruse. Participate. The future is but a click away.

The invention of Trekking

In his article on IPFrontLine, Donald Grant Kelly reports on the invention of a new sport, called "Trekking." The inventor, Phil Stebler, drew his inspiration from a training exercise he saw in a Marine camp boot training film where, he explains: "teams mastered coordination and collaboration by "walking" with feet positioned on parallel rails. Short ropes attached to the rails enabled team members to lift each rail in unison, moving it forward in a synchronized walking motion. Forward progress depends upon strength, timing and perfect cooperation."

This very same exercise actually made its way into the New Games repertoire via Stewart Brand in his efforts to introduce what he called "soft war." We played it for the fun of it. And it has propagated hither and yon (see, for example, these Team Traks). Stebler has apparently taken both the fun and the spirit of it one step beyond with his new sport. Kelly explains: "the ropes are eliminated and the rails, or Trekkers as he calls them, are equipped with multiple foot-bindings accommodating more than one person. For indoor competition, Trekkers are provided with carpeted lower surfaces. Forward movement is accomplished as players lift the foot bindings and press them forward, much like cross-country skiing. Excitement is ratcheted up by Phil Stebler's special features. He interconnects front/rear ends of the skis to form ski "chains" and adds parallel players sharing common skis with their partners."

I spoke with Mr. Stebler about his invention. He explained that by eliminating the ropes, players can gain more stability - holding on to the shoulders of the player in front; and that when fewer players want to give it a try, there are no extra ropes to worry about. Stebler has explored many variations of his device. He's added a hook-and-eye system so it is possible to join Trekkers together for larger groups. He's even found a way to use two sets of Trekkers in parallel, mixing two teams together so that one team uses Trekkers 1 and 3 while the other uses 2 and 4. All to bring both collaboration and hilarity to the most serious enterprises of developing teamwork and promoting fitness.

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Finger Jousting

Finger Jousting"...is a sport where two consenting players square off in an attempt to prod their opponent with their lancing (right) index finger before the opposing player can. The competitors must keep their right hands locked in an arm wrestling fashion and not use their legs or latent (left) arm in an offensive manner. The competitors are known as jousters, and the act of touching the other person’s body with the index finger is known as lancing. A player can lance anywhere except the lancing (right) arm."

Finger Jousting? Could it be just a jest, this jousting-with-the-finger concept? A jest? Surely, you joke. How could anything as challenging and artful and demanding of physical prowess and as contest-worthy to lead to the establishment of the World Finger Jousting Federation be taken as anything but or else? Verily, one could, having perused and pondered the patently Pseudo History of Finger Jousting, conclude that it is little more than a laughable lark, a prank, a juvenile josh. And yet, at heart, there is a clear smackage of something fun and physically sportlike and worthy of patently public approbation.

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Feather Bowling

They call it "Feather Bowling." And, contrary to the conclusion to which you've probably already leaped, there is no bowling of feathers. Rather, there's bowling of something looking remarkably like wooden cheese rounds. Considering that the game comes to us from Belgium, the cheese-round-likeness of the balls is all but self-explanatory.

The feather? That's the thing stuck into the ground near the end of the alley. The goal? To roll your wooden cheese round so that it stops as close as possible to the feather, in a bocce- or horseshoe-like manner.

The alley. Ah, the alley. Not flat, as you might assume from previous bowling experiences. But concave. Curved, don't you know, so that it becomes quite possible to roll your wooden cheese rounds up and down and around in a most remarkably strategic manner.

Not impressed? Take a look at these clips.

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