Squash (Sport)

If you like to move around then squash is the game for you.

  • Squash is a racquet-and-ball sport that involves players hitting a ball at a wall in a confined space, and it is a game played as singles or doubles, with two or four players respectively.
  • The aim of a player in squash is to cause the opponent to fail to hit the ball into the marked boundaries before two floor bounces; and a game will generally last up to 40 minutes as a player attempts to reach a score of 11 first.
  • Squash is typically played in an enclosed rectangular court with four walls and the standard dimensions of 6.4 to 9.75 metres (21 to 32 feet); and the sport is great exercise as it uses the cardiovascular system extensively, along with the legs and arms; though to prevent eye injury, goggles are typically worn.
  • The game of squash uses a hollow ball that is made from butyl rubber, and is generally from 39.5 to 40.5 millimetres (1.56 to 1.59 inches) in diameter and weighs 23 to 25 grams (0.81 to 0.88 ounces).
  • ‘Squash rackets’ was the original name of the sport of squash, and it was a variation of the game of rackets, which used a hard ball; and the pastime was born in about 1830, in the Harrow School of London, in England, when a perforated hard racket ball was used in a game of rackets and proved to make the game more interesting and energetic due to the more flexible and squashable ball.
Squash (Sport), Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Game, Singles, Male, School, Trivia
A Game of Squash
Image courtesy of Groton School/Flickr
  • Squash balls require warming up before a game for them to become bouncy, though depending on their composition, some balls are bouncier than others, making the game play faster or slower accordingly.
  • Modern squash racquets are typically a flat egg shape with a pointed end toward the handle, and are generally lighter than tennis racquets at 90 to 175 grams (3 to 6 ounces).
  • Due to the small playing space, interference (getting in an opponent’s way) in squash is common and typically results in a replay when appealed, although a referee may make other calls dependent on intent and the play of the game.
  • Squash is a rapidly growing sport, and increased by 82% from 2007 to 2011 in the USA; and in 2009, almost 50,000 courts in 188 countries were recognised; while in 2016, Egypt tended to dominate the competitive squash scene.
  • As of 2016, squash was yet to be incorporated in the Olympic Games program, even though it has been considered for inclusion for a number of years; however, it has been integrated into both the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games since 1998.
Bibliography:
About Squash, 2015, Squash Revolution, http://www.squashrevolution.com/about-squash.html
Nair D, Squash or Tennis, Which One is the Harder Sport?, Racquet Social, http://racquetsocial.com/squash-or-tennis-which-one-is-the-harder-sport/
Squash (Sport), 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squash_(sport)
Wallbutton T, World Squash Federation One Hundred and Forty Years of Squash, n.d, World Squash Federation, http://www.worldsquash.org/ws/wsf-information/squash-history/140-years-of-squash

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Field Hockey

Take a shot on the attack with some field hockey.

  • Field hockey is a sport consisting of two teams of eleven players each, who use sticks in the shape of a J, to hit a small, spherical ball into a goal.
  • ‘Field hockey’ is also known simply as ‘hockey’, especially in countries where ice hockey, the other main hockey variant, is not as common.
  • The flat or ‘face’ side of a hockey stick is used to hit or pass the ball in hockey, although the edge of the stick may also be used in a somewhat restrained manner; and unless you are the goalkeeper, no use of body parts is permitted.
  • Field hockey is typically played on a rectangular field with dimensions of 91.4 by 55 metres (100 by 60 yards), and the field is usually made of grass; typically synthetic, especially in professional competitions, where it has been in use since the 1970s.
  • Stick-and-ball games similar to hockey were played among many ancient civilisations, including those from Egypt, Persia, China, Greece, Ethiopa and Mesoamerica.
Field Hockey, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Sport, Stick, Grass, Game, Snapshot, Hustle
A Game of Field Hockey
Image courtesy of David Caleb/Flickr
  • Field hockey is thought to have been played in its modern form around the mid to late 1700s in schools; with the first club formed by 1840 in Blackheath, London, in combination with a football club, which was later restructured in the early 1860s, to eventually become a separate organisation.
  • A game of field hockey will generally last four quarters of fifteen minutes each, though some games may be played under the old rules of two 35 minute halves.
  • The first Hockey Association for field hockey was established in 1876 in the United Kingdom, though it was disbanded six years later, however, it was recreated soon after in 1886.
  • In field hockey, the ball is typically made of heavy duty plastic and is often white, with a diameter of approximately 7.3 cm (2.87 inches), often resembling an over-sized golf ball; and during play, hitting the ball too high can be dangerous, and as such, dangerous swings are usually fouled.
  • The first Olympic tournament of field hockey was in the 1908 London Olympics, and it became a permanent event in 1928.
Bibliography:
‘The Blackheath Hockey Club’ Est: 1861, 2016, Pitch Hero, http://www.blackheath.co.uk/a/history-32741.html?page=1
Field Hockey, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_hockey
History, 2015, Olympics, https://www.olympic.org/hockey-equipment-and-history
History of Hockey, 2016, International Hockey Federation, http://www.fih.ch/hockey-basics/history/
History of Hockey, n.d, England Hockey, http://www.englandhockey.co.uk/page.asp?section=1147

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Pokémon

Gotta Catch ’em All – the Pokémon slogan.

  • Pokémon is a major video gaming franchise published by Nintendo and produced by Game Freak, of which the main series has been and is released on Nintendo’s handheld consoles; and the game developers, Game Freak, nearly became bankrupt due to the lengthy production of the first games.
  • Pokémon follows a role-playing game format were the player is depicted as a human, named a ‘trainer’, that travels the land to find, capture, battle, train, evolve, and trade the fictional creatures named “Pokémon”.
  • The term “Pokémon” is a contraction, derived from the Japanese name “Poketto Monsutā”, meaning “Pocket Monsters”, and during early development the game was known as “Capsule Monsters”.
  • The idea for Pokémon was created by video game designer Satoshi Tajiri, from Japan, however he was unsuccessful in marketing it to Nintendo for development, until Shigeru Miyamoto, also a Japanese video game designer, identified its potential and initiated its development around 1990.
  • Pokémon was inspired by the hobby of insect collecting and the aspiration for the creator to introduce the new generation to an equally pleasurable hobby involving creatures, in a quickly industrialising Japan.

Pokemon, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Franchise, Video Game, Original, Logo, RPG, Nintendo, Pocket Monsters, Pikachu

Pokémon Logo
Image courtesy of The Pokémon Company
  • Pokémon has been adapted from the handheld games into multiple spin-off versions, including a unique and anticipated massive multiplayer location-based game, and it has been adapted into film, anime, manga, trading cards, figurines and more.
  • The first Pokémon game was released in early 1996, exclusive to Japan as a Red version and Green version for the Game Boy handheld device, and it originally experienced average sales until the Japanese magazine CoroCoro began a competition allowing a small number of people to obtain a previously unknown bonus character, which subsequently boosted sales and general popularity.
  • The general aesthetics of the first Pokémon versions were below average, however these aesthetics were pleasingly enhanced in the similar Blue version, which had a limited release in 1996, and in the sequels Gold and Silver, both released commercially in 1999 in Japan.
  • Pokémon risked changes to its visuals on its importation to America to better cater for its audience, but it was eventually released faithful to the originals under the Red and Blue versions in 1998.
  • As of the end of 2015, the Pokémon franchise consisted of 721 known individual Pokémon species across six generations, and a total of twenty-four main-series games.
Bibliography:
20 Years of Pokémon, 2016, Nintendo/Creatures Inc., http://www.pokemon20.com/lite/timeline.html
History of Pokémon, 2016, Bulbapedia, http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/History_of_Pok%C3%A9mon
Pokémon, 2016, Bulbapedia, http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon
Pokémon, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon

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Scotland Yard (game)

Unleash your detective (or criminal!) self with Scotland Yard.

  • Scotland Yard is a game that involves one team, the detectives, that are to find and capture the criminal (or Mr X), by travelling across a board under a turn limit.
  • The typical goal in Scotland Yard is for the single player criminal, to evade capture by the team of detectives, consisting of multiple players, who strive to capture the criminal.
  • Scotland Yard requires the skill of deduction for the detectives, bluffing for the criminal, and tactics for both.
  • Players of Scotland Yard are required to traverse across the board using marked taxi, subway and bus routes and stations, and specific tickets are used to enable travel through the various transport methods.
  • Generally each detective in Scotland Yard has 22 tickets available for moving, one used up each turn, while the criminal will have the remainder.

Scotland Yard, Board Game, Set, Equipment, Parker Brothers, Trivia, Ten Random Facts

  • Scotland Yard was first released in 1983 in Europe’s Germany, by Ravensburger Games, and was quite successful, receiving the 1983 German game of the year award (Spiel des Jahres).
  • Scotland Yard spread across Europe and eventually reached the United States by 1985, where it was redistributed by Milton Bradley, sporting minor board differences.
  • The setting of Scotland Yard is typically London, although boards featuring New York, Japan and Switzerland have been published.
  • Scotland Yard can become monotonous for the detective team, as actions can become repetitive, frustrating and limited, unlike the criminal, who has a variety of options consistently throughout the game.
  • Scotland Yard is usually played by three to six players and generally takes up to one hour to play.
Bibliography:
Scotland Yard (Board Game), 2015, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotland_Yard_(board_game)
Scotland Yard, 2012, Dad’s Gaming Addiction, http://www.dadsgamingaddiction.com/scotland-yard/
Scotland Yard, n.d, Everything 2, http://everything2.com/title/Scotland+Yard

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Toblerone

Climb the peaks of the Toblerone.

  • Toblerone is an iconic bar of chocolate, notable for its triangular prism shape.
  • Toblerone was invented by confectionery manufacturer Theodor Tobler and cousin, Emil Baumann, in 1908, in Switzerland’s Bern, in Europe.
  • While it is commonly thought that the mountainous Swiss Alps was the inspiration for the triangular shape of Toblerone, it is believed that the chocolate bar shape was inspired by a row of show dancers.
  • Toblerone was patented and trademarked in 1909; was manufactured independently, and later sold to Interfoods in 1970 and Kraft in 1990.
  • The term ‘ Toblerone’ is a combination of the inventor’s surname – ‘Tobler’, and a nougat variant known as ‘torrone’ in Italy.
Toblerone, Chocolate, Opened, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Yellow, Triangle, Food, Culinary
  • Toblerone chocolate is arranged in peaks, generally ranging in quantity from three to twelve, depending on the size of the bar, which can weigh up to 4.5 kilograms (9.9 pounds) for a very large one, while single pieces are also available.
  • The Toblerone was patented notably quickly in fear of copying competitors, and it was the earliest chocolate to be registered for its distinct shape.
  • A Toblerone weighing 102 kilograms (225 pounds) was created for the company’s chocolate fest in 2010.
  • The mountain logo of Toblerone includes a hidden bear silhouette, which is the city of Bern’s coat of arms.
  • Toblerone is made of an intricate blend of chocolate, nuts, nougat and honey.
Bibliography:
Tolberone, 2015, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toblerone
Tolberone – How It All Began, 2011, Kraft, http://www.toblerone.com/toblerone1/page?locale=usen1&PagecRef=576
Tolberone History, n.d, Mondelēz International, http://www.mwtr.com/brands/toblerone/history

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Careers

Now you can explore Careers from your own living room!

  • Careers is a popular board game that involves scoring a previously determined amount of points and money, by exploring career paths.
  • Careers is played by moving around the spaces on the outside edge of the board, while different interior paths create loops, and are travelled along to collect points.
  • Before the game starts, players of Careers are required to create their own targets totalling 60 points, using the three point types – ‘happiness’ represented by hearts; ‘money’ represented by dollar signs; and ‘fame’ represented by stars; to create their own success formula which is kept secret until the end of the game.
  • In the game of Careers, the first person to collect their specified quantities of points, and cash in the case of ‘money’, wins the game.
  • Careers is a two to six player game, and is notably different to many other games in that it requires significant data recording by the players during play, as collected points and other information is required to be documented on paper.

Careers, Game, Board, Invention, Set Up, Play, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Parker Brothers

  • James Cooke Brown, an American sci-fi author and sociologist, invented Careers in 1955, and it was his only published game.
  • Originally the career paths in the game of Careers included ‘Farming’, ‘Uranium Prospecting’, ‘Going to Sea’, ‘Hollywood’ and ‘Expedition to the Moon’; which were changed to ‘Teaching’, ‘Ecology’, ‘Sports’, ‘The Arts’ and ‘Space’ in some of the later versions.
  • Careers was published by Parker Brothers in 1955, and while there was a redesign of the game by the original designer at a later time, it was never published.
  • The game of Careers includes money, dice, ‘Opportunity Knocks’ and ‘Experience’ cards, playing pieces, a game board, and a ‘Success Formula’ pad for keeping track of points.
  • Due to the personalised winning conditions in Careers, strategies and game play can vary each game, which is significant in its ongoing appeal.
Bibliography:
The Best Classic Board Games – Careers (1955 – 2009), 2010, Recycled Thoughts From A Retro Gamer, https://magisterrex.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/the-best-classic-board-games-careers-1955-2009/
Careers, 2015, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Careers_(board_game)
Whitehill B, Careers, The Big Game Hunter, http://thebiggamehunter.com/games-one-by-one/careers/

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