African-Americans in Baseball

African-Americans were banned from major league of the game, until Jackie Robinson stepped on the field for the Dodgers. From 1871 to 1947, African-American players were forced to play only those teams made up of blacks. Here are some well-known African-Americans, who not only played for their respective teams, but also fought against racism.

Bud Fowler
Bud Fowler was born on March 16, 1858, in Fort Plain, New York. His real name was John W. Jackson, and he learned baseball in Cooperstown, New York. He was the first known African-American professional player, and is first mentioned to have pitched for a team in Chelsea, in April 1878. Later the same month, he pitched a game for the Lynn Live Oaks against the Boston Nationals, and finished that season with Worcester. He continued to play for teams in New England and Canada for the next four years. He also played for teams in Niles, Ohio, Stillwater, and Minnesota. Fowler died on February 26, 1913, in Frankfort, New York. His death was primarily because of illness and poverty, and received national attention.

Rube Foster
Andrew Rube Foster was born on September 17, 1879, in Calvert, Texas. He is considered to be one of the best African-American pitchers of the 1900s. He started his professional career in 1897, with an independent black team Waco Yellow Jackets. Foster founded the Chicago American Giants, which was considered as one of the most successful black baseball teams of the pre-integration era. He went on to play for Frank Leland’s Chicago Union Giants, Bardeen’s Otsego Independents, and Cuban X-Giants. Later, he joined the Chicago Leland Giants as its playing manager, and under his leadership, the team won 110 games. Out of these, it won 48 straight matches and lost only ten matches. In

Origin and History of Baseball

A bat, a ball, a ninety-square-feet square or diamond patch and two teams with nine payers each; that is all you need for a baseball game. Yes, baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of nine players each. Each team has to score runs by hitting a ball with a bat and touching each of the four bases marked on the ground. One turn at the batting end makes an inning and nine such innings constitute one baseball game. Where did baseball originate? Since when has baseball been played? Let us find out.

History of Baseball

It was once believed that Abner Doubleday, a United States Army officer and Union General in the American Civil War, invented baseball. However, no evidence in favor of this belief has been found. It was in 1364, during the rule of King Vlaicu Voda, that Oina, a game similar to baseball was mentioned. It is also believed that baseball evolved from the North-American game of rounders. The American and British documents of the 18th century show many references to baseball and the bat-and-ball game. The Russians played a version of baseball, way back in the 14th century. This game of theirs was known as Lapta. Lapta was played between a pitcher and a batter. A batter was supposed to hit the ball thrown, with a short stick and then run to the opposite side and back, in order to score runs. Lately, it has been found that baseball was played by the British before anyone else.

The modern-day rules of baseball have been derived from Alexander Cartwright’s list of baseball rules, which he codified in 1845. On June 19, 1846, the New York Nine team played against the Knickerbockers defeating them with a score of 23-1. This was the

How to Increase Throwing Velocity

Any pitcher in baseball wants to increase his/her throwing velocity. Fortunately, this is not a god gifted talent and there are methods to increase it. What pitchers need to do is perform full body explosive exercises to energize as many muscles of the body as possible.

Throwing the ball properly itself will increase the speed. Apply direct force to the back of the baseball. The pitcher’s fingers should always be behind the ball. To stay behind the ball and increase straight line strength, use weighted baseballs and stretch cord.

Use available force from the wrist during the pitching motion. Studies have shown that wrist flexion and strength are significant contributors for increasing the throwing velocity. The wrist makes up 10% of the force applied to the baseball during the pitching delivery. The following exercises will help promote strength and speed of wrist motion:

  • Weighted balls
  • Shot put flips
  • Wrist rolls

The forearm is important to achieve high speed in the pitching delivery. Following exercises will help muscle development in the forearm:

  • Forearm curls with bar
  • Reverse forearm curls with bar
  • Hammer curls with dumbbell

The rotator cuff joint is a vital contributor to the overhand throw. Pitchers must have a strong and healthy rotator cuff since the pitching motion needs straight and curved finger action. Strengthening the shoulder and corresponding tendons should build the pitching velocity. For that do:

  • Arm swings
  • Jobe exercises with 2 lb. dumbbells
  • Football throws

Elbow extension is one of the four important elements. Elbow extension occurs during the acceleration phase of the delivery, right before the release of the ball. The following exercises will help add strength and speed of extension:

  • Shot put
  • Shoulder press
  • Triceps pull down

The scapular muscle is often underutilized by new pitchers. This muscle is not developed because many believe weight training, specifically, upper body resistance training may promote injuries. The following

How to Throw a Sinker

A sinker is a term used to describe one of the pitches in a ball game. Another term for it is a ‘sinking fastball’. However, this pitch is not as fast as a regular fastball. Other types of pitches are a cutter, a sharp curveball, and a split-finger fastball.

A sinker is thrown at a slight angle than normal, so you get a late movement on it, and the ball moves down to the right. This makes it one of the favorite pitches in a ballgame. Hitters have trouble making contact with it, and so pitchers have more opportunities of getting ground-ball outs. Knowing how to pitch an effective sinker takes time and practice. Many will probably advice you, if you are 16 or under, to hang around a bit more before you attempt this type of pitching. The reason being, youngsters run a danger of damaging their hands by stretching their fingers too much for a widened grip on the ball. Of course, if you were born with an extra-large set of hands, you might not face this problem.

A baseball comes with a closed-end horseshoe seam pattern. The horseshoe seam comes in handy for knowing where to place your fingers and how to throw different pitches. You can use different types of grips to throw a sinker. You place your first two fingers―the index one and the middle one―parallel to each other on the seam at the horseshoe’s closed end. Place your ring finger and little finger lightly on the side, to both, give some stability to your grip and to make it easier for you to make your throw. When you throw, do so in the way you would normally throw a fastball, but release the ball with a quick downward flick of

Badminton Rules and Regulations

Termed as the fastest racket sport, a player in a competitive badminton match is believed to cover around 4 miles on court. It made an Olympic debut in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. If you’re a young badminton enthusiast, or a beginner who would like to try your hand at the game, I’m sure you would be interested in acquainting yourself with some basic ‘laws’ of playing this game.

Badminton has five disciplines, namely, men’s singles, ladies’ singles, men’s doubles, ladies’ doubles and the mixed doubles, just like table tennis and lawn tennis. In case of singles, flexibility is the key, whereas in doubles, teamwork is the success formula. Let us take a look at some vital rules and regulations of the game.


➺ The prime objective of badminton is to strike the shuttlecock with the racket in such a way that the shuttlecock does not hit the net and falls back on the side of the server.
➺ The shuttlecock must cross over to the opponent’s side.
➺ At the same time, the shuttlecock should not land outside the lines which limit the court boundaries.
➺ A player or a team winning the first two sets wins the match.
➺ Since 2006, the game consists of three sets of 21 points each (the score can go above 21 points to a maximum of 30 points), wherein a player or a team has to win two sets to win the match.


Somebody has to start the play by striking the shuttlecock, and the shuttle being hit for the first time in the rally is called a serve.

➺ A toss is used to determine as to which player or team will serve. The winner of the toss has the right to decide whether or not to serve, and also

Badminton Court Dimensions

Diagonal Length
The diagonal length of every badminton court has to be 14.723 m.
Badminton is a game that demands strength, agility, and precision. It is one of my personal favorites. To build a court for this game, one needs knowledge of the standard dimensions. The right dimensions ensure the right playing space. This article is aimed at discussing these court measurements, decided upon by the international body that regulates affairs, related to badminton.

The game has its origins in colonial India and has a special connection with the city of Pune, in India, where it was first played. A badminton court is designed for singles and doubles plays. It is sectioned in a fashion, that’s similar to a lawn tennis court, but the measurements are different, along with the rules.

It is necessary that the dimensions of a badminton court are standardized, as it is a game played at the international level. That’s why, if you are building a new court, it’s necessary that you have the right court size. It ensures that the court can be used for tournaments and gives it wider recognition. Precision matters when it comes to badminton and the same goes for the court dimensions. The rules are set by the Badminton World Federation.

Standard Badminton Court Dimensions
badminton court dimensions
To start with, let us understand the basic structure of a badminton court. Its shape is rectangular, and bisecting the court exactly at the center, is a hoisted net, set on parallel poles. This net divides the court into a playing space for opposite players.

The court is marked with lines that limit the playing space. There are separate bordering lines for singles and doubles play. There is a central line that runs in both halves of the court, subdividing it, into

How to Play Badminton

Well, let’s get to the basics first. Badminton is a game played with a racket and a shuttlecock (known as shuttle birdie in some parts of the world), between two or four players. It was introduced into the Olympics in 1992 as men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. Badminton is an indoor game. There are several similarities between badminton and tennis; and also an equal number of differences. However, playing badminton is considered easier than tennis; though many will disagree. Here is brief information about playing badminton that will be helpful for beginners.

Badminton Tips for Beginners

Apart from the racket and the birdie, there are several other terms used in badminton that you need to be aware of before beginning to play. The movement of the birdie is affected by the wind, and hence, badminton is always played indoors. Similarly, the most basic thing to remember is to use proper technique and strength to hit the shuttle back, and score points. Now that you know the terms, let us see how to play and score in badminton.

Game Play

  • Both, the server and the opponent should stand inside their service courts during the serve.
  • In singles as well as doubles, the serve is always done diagonally from one’s own right corner to the right corner of the opponent.
  • Now, unlike tennis, the birdie should not bounce on the opponent’s court before he hits it. It is a direct shot between the server and the opponent.
  • The serve should always be done underhand. You can either serve forehand or backhand. However, you should make sure that the serve is underhand.
  • The opponent should try to hit the birdie back to the server, without touching the net.
  • The back and forth hitting continues until the birdie falls on the

How to Grip a Badminton Racket

Badminton is a very popular sport amongst many people from all around the world, and this is a game that comes naturally to many people. Learning the game is not that difficult at all, and the rules are also very simple to understand. All you need to do is hit the shuttlecock between the players with the help of a badminton racket. Official games have a net that needs to be scaled, and unofficial games between friends and family members can be played pretty much anywhere.

When someone is looking to play badminton for the first time, or even when someone is looking to improve their game, the first thing that they should do is learn how to grip the racket properly. The right grip can affect one’s game majorly, so it is absolutely essential to learn the correct technique involved. Anyone who is experiencing difficulties with gripping the racket will definitely have a hard time playing the game properly and learning other aspects of badminton as well.

The Badminton Racket

Badminton rackets have traditionally been very light, and they typically weigh anything between 70 and 95 grams. The materials used for manufacturing these rackets are varied in nature, but they are typically composed of carbon fiber composites, graphite reinforced plastic or even solid steel. In the beginning, badminton rackets were made of wood or aluminum. The shape of the rest of the racket is oval, but some new rackets are also shaped isometrically. The head has many taut strings that are pulled tight so that they can transfer kinetic energy easily, and some rackets even have materials like carbon nanotubes or fullerene in order to increase the transfer of this energy.

The strings (which are generally made of nylon) generally have a thickness of about 0.62 –

Badminton Terms

Badminton, a sport played with rackets and shuttlecocks, is a popular game today. Due to its increasing popularity, the game was included as an Olympic sport in 1992. The game involves two opposing players (singles) or two opposing pairs (doubles). The objective is to hit the shuttlecock into the opponent’s half of the court.

A racket is the equipment used by badminton players to hit a shuttlecock. It weighs about 3 ounces, and is 27 inches long. Nowadays, the frame is usually made of boron, graphite, carbon, or ceramic. They are also made of carbon fiber and graphite-plastic composite. These materials allow the player to have better control of the shuttlecock defensively, and generate more power while smashing. The strings are made up of either synthetic or natural material. Natural strings are made up of pig gut, and give better control and feel, but are expensive and are less durable.

Also known as the birdie, it is the projectile that is used in shot exchange when playing badminton. It is conical in shape, and is open on one side. The base consists of the cork, which is covered with a layer of leather. Feathers, usually belonging to a duck or goose, are embedded in the cork. The feathers give the aerodynamic quality to the birdie. However, with the advancement of the game, shots have become increasingly powerful, and rallies have become longer. This results in damage to the shuttlecock, where it breaks after 2-3 rallies. Hence, shuttlecock manufacturers make them with nylon skirts instead of feathers. This makes the birdies more durable, and hence, last longer.

Serve or Service
During service, opponents stand in diagonally opposite service courts. The server then hits the shuttlecock in the opponent’s service court. The service requires the server to

Badminton Tips

A badminton rally ends once the shuttlecock falls to the ground. The rule is that it can only be struck once by each side, over the net. The shuttlecock is a feathered projectile that is designed with unique aerodynamic properties that cause it to fly differently. The feathers create a higher drag and cause the shuttlecock to decelerate much more than a ball. Competitive badminton is always played indoors, because the flight of the shuttlecock is strongly affected by wind. As an Olympic sport, badminton has five competitive disciplines―men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. The sport demands aerobic stamina, strength, and speed. The technical aspect of the sport requires good motor coordination.

Since badminton involves stamina and agility, you need to warmup accordingly. You could begin with a jog or skipping, and once your pulse is raised, stretch the legs, back, and shoulders to prepare for the lunges. When choosing a racket, check the grip―small grips for small hands and large grips for large hands. Develop a relaxed grip with flexible wrist movements, to perfect forehand and backhand shots. A wobbly shuttle indicates poor quality or faulty dynamics, and should be returned or chucked away as soon as possible.

After playing a shot, try as much to return to central base position, to be more likely to reach all possible opposing shots. As badminton is a fast-paced and highly unpredictable game, you should be prepared to change direction anytime. Incorporate some strategies into the game, and the best game plan to follow is to discover your opponent’s weakness. Once you identify one or many of his or her weaknesses, play to it as much as possible! This sport requires stamina and agility, and thus, brisk walking and jogging are ideal for