Fancy a game of rounders?
You may think it's just for school children, but rounders can be a fun way of getting more active as an adult.
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Will it suit me?
Some hand-eye coordination is useful when getting started. Being able to run a bit (around the bases and in the field) is also handy, although that is an aspect of fitness that can be worked upon. And, of course, good old team spirit goes a long way. Before a game you warm up thoroughly, to avoid any muscle strains when out in the field. The only dangers you face are possibly bruising your fingers when catching the ball.
Playing rounders will improve your basic fitness levels, although it isn't a strenuous aerobic workout. It's one of those games where you can feel pleasantly tired and exerted afterwards, without having obviously done masses of exercise, so use it as an adjunct to any regular cardio workouts you are doing. Unless of course, you plan to really give it a go!
| How do you play?
| Rounders is a striking and fielding game, which involves players hitting a small hard, leather cased ball (similar to cricket) with a round wooden or metal bat, and then running around four bases or posts in order to score a 'rounder', ususally on a grass pitch.
| Nine players make up a team, usually from a squad of 15.
| For adult teams, games (of 1.5 hours length) take place in the evenings after work, and are sociable, usually ending up with a drink in the bar.
"It's still a game mainly for women, although that is changing," says Alison Howard, Director of the National Rounders Association. "We are working very hard to change the image of rounders as just a school sport." According to Alan Fergus, Director of Operations at the National Rounders Association, "Rounders is the most played sport in the UK for school girls and third most for boys," he says. And now there are 40 leagues of adult teams around the country, so there really is no excuse not to dust off your throwing arm and get out into the fresh air.
For more information, visit nra-rounders.co.uk. Bats and balls are available mail-order from the website. The book Know the Game: Rounders published by A C Black (£6.99) is a good introduction.