Don’t let how innocent the ball and rope appear while they hang still on this pole fool you. Swing Ball, is a fast-paced game for players and entertaining for spectators.
It’s like the old playground, Tether-Ball, except you use a racket rather than your hand. The nylon rope easily glides on the smooth plastic corkscrew, and the tennis ball has much less wind drag than a volleyball. Making the main difference, the velocity the neon ball circles the pole with when it’s hit.
This game tests hand-eye coordination, and if you’re not standing in the right place, quick duck and swerve reflexes.
We bought Swing Ball months ago, but because of Mister’s sore shoulder, and either lack of time or uncooperative weather whenever our kids were out, it remained in its box collecting dust.
Sometimes it takes youths to motivate a person which for me was three recent surprise guests.
One of Mister’s nieces from British Columbia called us when the semi she was driving stranded her and her two daughters in a nearby city. When the three got bored with city shopping and such we picked them up to stay with us until the repairs were completed.
It didn’t take long before the energetic youngen’s, age 13 and 11, spotted the unopened game box and asked if they could try it.
Setup took only minutes, then us three adults sat on the deck ready to be entertained. These two tough country girls held nothing back when they swung at the ball. Neither whined though, if they got nailed by the rubber projectile, mostly because they were too busy laughing.
The girls refer to Mister and I as Auntie and Uncle, and soon it was, “Auntie, come play.”
That’s when the valuable lesson, “Never underestimate someone of age,” began.
Here’s a small detail before I continue. I was on a fair amount of school sport teams, Volleyball, Basketball, Badminton, Floor-Hockey, Track and Field, Soccer, Baseball, and Dodgeball.
The relationship we have with these girls and their mother is where joking, teasing and polite sass is common.
Fresh into my game with the 13-year-old, I cracked her up with a statement that became her favourite to repeat and share. To some it may sound cruel but I said it with love and sportsmanship. It followed her apology after a shot that nearly hit me when I replied, “Don’t apologize if the ball hits me because I won’t if it hits you.” I smiled, we laughed, but I think that’s when she realized Auntie has a hidden competitiveness.
During the evening activities no-one thought to snap pictures while four of us took turns playing the game.
It is a cardio workout, but I’m sure that is because we had to grasp for air between fits of laughter.
To the girl’s surprise, I beat them each in well fought rounds. As we sat to regroup, wipe sweat from our brows and gulp water they kept saying they didn’t think I had it in me.
The next day I’m not sure which ached more from the pervious exertion, my arm or laughing muscles or perhaps my knee from when I missed the ball once and whacked it with my paddle hard enough to bruise.
At least I fared better than the two young ones as to how many times the tennis ball ricochet off a body part. Instead of complaining about a sore spot though they bragged, “Remember this one, I got it when…”
Of course, there were rematches the next day before we took them to pick up their fixed truck.
Embraced in so-long hugs the girls teased and warned me, “Wait until next time, Auntie”.
The truck breaking down was unfortunate, but we all enjoyed this fun unplanned visit.
Since then I’ve talked the son and his wife into trying the game, battling against each other and myself. His wife and I even tried with our left hands and did better than we thought we would.
Look out anyone visiting us that may be up for a game, I really enjoy this one.
If you bruise easy, it might not be a game for you, although I figured out, the ball only makes contact if you are too close.
Have you played Swing Ball yet?