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How to play team sports - cont.

According to Wikipedia, "A team sport includes any sport where individuals are organized into opposing teams which compete to win. Team members act together towards a shared objective. This can be done in a number of ways such as outscoring the opposing team."

The world most popular team sports include: Soccer, Cricket, Basketball, Baseball, American Football, Hockey and Volleyball. Those are also very good socialization topics. If you understand the rules, you can either join the games or watch tournaments.

Here we quote the best ways to learn team sports provided by wikiHow, a wiki that is building the world's largest and highest quality how-to manual. Please edit the articles and find author credits at the original wikiHow articles on How to Play Soccer, How to Play Cricket, How to Play Basketball, How to Play Baseball, How to Play American Football, How to Play Hockey, How to Play Volleyball. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

According to Wikipedia, "A team sport includes any sport where individuals are organized into opposing teams which compete to win. Team members act together towards a shared objective. This can be done in a number of ways such as outscoring the opposing team. Team members set goals, make decisions, communicate, manage conflict, and solve problems in a supportive, trusting atmosphere in order to accomplish their objectives. "

Part 5: How to Play American Football

  1. If you've ever wondered about the basics of how to play (or at least follow) American-style football, you're not alone. American football can seem like a bunch of guys repeatedly crashing into each other until you understand some of the basics and start to see the strategy involved.

  2. Understanding Rules and Terminology. Know the main point of the game. The goal of American football is to score points by carrying the ball from a starting point on a 120-yard long and 53.3-yard wide field into a specially marked 10-yard-deep area at either end of the field called an end zone. Each team uses the end zone in front of them to score while trying to prevent the opposing team from reaching the end zone behind them. Each end zone has a Y-shaped structure called the field goal which is positioned on the end line. The field goals are used to score points with special kicks. Learn the time divisions. Football is divided into four quarters of 15 minutes each, with a break between the second and third periods called "halftime" that is normally 12 minutes long. While the clock is active, the game is divided into even shorter segments called "plays" or "downs." A play begins when the ball is moved from the ground into the hands of the players, and ends when either the ball hits the ground, or the person holding the ball is tackled and his knee or elbow touches the ground. When a play is over, an official called a referee, places the ball on the yard marker which corresponds to his or her judgment of the place where the forward progress of the player with the ball was stopped. Each team has 4 downs and within those downs, they have to make ten yards from the line of scrimmage (the starting point). If the team fails to do so within the 4 downs, the offensive team has to hand over the ball to the opposing team. If the offense succeeds in taking the ball 10 yards in the 4 downs they get another 4 downs to move the ball 10 yards. The teams have 30 seconds to get into formation and begin the next play. Play time can stop for a few different reasons: If a player runs out of bounds, a penalty is called, a flag is thrown, or a pass is thrown but not caught by anybody (an incomplete pass), the clock will stop while referees sort everything out. Penalties are indicated by referees, who throw yellow flags onto the field when they see a violation. This lets everyone on the field know that a penalty has been called. Penalties normally result in the offending team losing between 5-15 yards of field position. There are many penalties, but some of the most common are "offside" (someone was on the wrong side of the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped), "holding" (a player grabbed another player with his hands, and either player doesn't have the ball, instead of blocking him properly), "false start" (when a player moves before the ball is snapped), "Unsportsmanlike conduct" (when a player does something that doesn't show good sportsmanship, and "clipping" (someone contacted an opposing player other than the ball carrier from behind and below the waist).

  3. Learn the flow of the game. American football is made up of two basic structural elements that guide play. These are the kickoff and the downs system. The opening kickoff - At the very beginning of the game, the head referee flips a coin and the home team captain calls out which side of the coin will be face up. If correct, that captain may choose to kick off or to receive the opening kickoff or allow the visiting team captain to make that choice. Once the kicking and receiving teams are decided, the team captain who lost the coin toss gets to decide which goal his or her team will defend during the first half. This initial play is called the kickoff, and typically involves a long kick down field from one team to the other, with the team that kicked the ball rushing towards the team receiving the ball in order to prevent them from running the ball a long ways back towards the kicking team's end zone. After halftime, there is a second kickoff by whichever team did not perform the opening kickoff. Throughout the second half, the end zones each team defends is the one opposite the end zone that team defended in the first half. Downs - The word "down" is synonymous with the word "chance" or "plays" in American football. The offense is allowed four downs to move the ball at least 10 yards (9.1 m) towards the end zone. Each play ends in a new down. If the goal of 10 yards (9.1 m) from the first down is achieved before the fourth down is over, the count resets to the first down, commonly noted as "1st and 10" to indicate that the standard 10 yards (9.1 m) are once again required to reset to the first down. Otherwise, the downs count from one to four. If four downs pass without resetting to the first down, control of the ball passes to the other team.

  4. Learn about the composition of a team. Each team is allowed to have eleven players on the field at once. Different team members hold different positions and have different duties on the field. Most competitive teams are actually composed of three separate teams of players, each of which is rotated onto the field to perform one type of task. The offensive team includes the following players: The quarterback, who throws a pass to a running back, fullback, wide receiver, or tight end, or hands the ball to a runner. The offensive line, composed of the center, two guards, and two tackles, who collectively defend the other players from the defense while the ball is being handed off or passed. The center is directly in front of the quarterback and "snaps" (tosses the ball backwards) the ball to him. The guards are on either of the center's shoulders, and the tackles line up on the guard's shoulders. Wide receivers, who run over the line of scrimmage and catch the ball if a pass is being thrown. The running back, who takes the ball from the quarterback and runs it towards the end zone. Tight ends, who help defend the outside edges of the line and can also catch the ball in case of a pass. The defensive team comprises the following players: Linebackers, who defend against passing plays and also rush through the line and blitz the quarterback. The defensive line, who keep the pressure on the offensive line. They can also blitz the quarterback. Cornerbacks and safeties, who defend players trying to receive a pass or trying to run the ball down the field past the defensive line. They can also blitz the quarterback. The third team is the special team used any time the ball will be kicked. Their job is to allow the person kicking the ball to make a clean kick without being harassed by the other team.

  5. Keep track of your score. The goal of the game is to score more points than the opposing team. In the case of a tie, an additional 15 minute overtime period is usually played. Scoring is as follows: A touchdown is when the football is successfully carried into the proper end zone by a player (or caught by a player standing in the proper end zone), is worth 6 points. An extra point, wherein a player kicks the football between the goal posts after his team has scored a touchdown, is worth 1 point. When the touchdown play is followed by a passing or running play into the end zone instead of a kick, the play is called a two point conversion, and is worth 2 points. A field goal, is when or where a player kicks the football between the goal posts without having scored a touchdown on the previous play, is worth 3 points. Field goals are commonly seen as last-ditch tactics at the end of close games. A safety, wherein a player is so far down the field that he is in his own end zone and is subsequently tackled while holding the ball, is worth 2 points.

  6. Mastering Gameplay Basics. Fight your way forward with running plays. Generally the most common type of play seen in football is the running play. Running plays tend to yield less yardage per play than passing plays but are much less likely to accidentally transfer control of the ball to the other team. They have the added advantage of getting the football out of the quarterback's hands quickly before an aggressive defense can reach his position and cost the team extra yards. If the ball is dropped during a running play, it is called a fumble. A fumbled ball can be picked up by either the other team, or the team that fumbled it to gain or regain control of it. Pierce the defense with passing plays. Slightly less common than the running play, the passing play is a great way to make up lost yards quickly... if the pass is completed. Short passing plays are often used in combination with running plays as well, to keep the defense on its toes. The great advantage of a passing play is its ability to completely circumvent a tough ground defense. Incomplete passes (wherein nobody catches the ball after it is thrown) stop the clock and end the play. Combine passing and running plays. Your offensive team should plan to use a mixture of both running and passing plays in order to keep the defense guessing. Practice a few different formations with your team and get good at running them. Practice a lot. By far the best way to get better at playing football is to practice regularly. The game uses a special skill set that is not seen very many other places in life, so consistent work is required to improve the way you play. Study strategy. This guide only lists the most basic elements of play. Team formations and strategies go far beyond the information presented here. Read up on some of them and think about how your team can use them to gain an advantage on the field.

  7. Positions. Quarterback. The offense's backbone. The quarterback is the player that receives the start of play snap. The player often gets to chose whether he should hand it off to one of the running backs, run the play himself, or pass it to one of his teammates. Running backs. The running back is in charge of running the football or helping to block for the quarterback during a pass play. A running back must have quick feet and fast legs to be able to dodge any defenders. Wide receivers. A player who uses his speed and quickness to elude defenders and catch the football. Teams use as many as two to four wide receivers on every play.

Part 6: How to Play Hockey

  1. Hockey is a full-contact sport played on an ice rink between 2 teams made up of 6 players each. You score goals by shooting the puck into your opponent's goal, and the team that has the most goals at the end of 3 periods wins. If you want to play hockey, you will need to get comfortable with the gear and practicing skating quickly and efficiently. With a lot of practice and hard work, you will be able to try all the positions in a hockey game.

  2. Learning the Basic Rules. Wear a helmet, pads, and hockey skates. Since hockey is a full contact sport, you will need to wear protective padding and helmets so you will not get injured if you fall on the ice. Make sure you get pads and helmets that fit your body type and secure them tightly. You will also need a good pair of hockey skates that offer ankle support and mobility. Learn the layout of the rink. The hockey rink is divided into 3 sections marked by the blue lines on the ice. The center section with the thick red line is the neutral zone and the zones with the goals are that respective team’s zones. A thin red lines on the ends of the rink are the goal lines where the goals are located. The semicircle on each goal line represents the crease, or the area where the goalie plays. There are multiple circles on the rink that represent areas where you may have a face-off. The face-off circles are usually used after a penalty. Start the game with a face-off in the center of the rink. The dot in the center of the rink is the starting position where you’ll have a face-off at the start of the game. When the referee drops the puck, use your hockey stick to fight for control of the puck. Once the puck is down, the game clock will start running. Score goals by hitting the puck into the opponent’s goal. The main goal of the game is to get the puck into your opponent’s goal on their side of the rink. Use your stick to shoot the puck into the goal to score 1 point for your team. If you are playing goalie, try to defend your goal from the puck so the other team cannot score. Avoid getting any penalties. Hockey has minor and major penalties that could cause you to get taken out of the game for 2 or 5 minutes. When the referee blows the whistle, stop playing the game and watch the hand signals they give to determine what the penalty was and who it was called on. Common penalties include: Dangerous use of the stick, including slashing or high-sticking. Obstruction penalties, including hooking or tripping. Interfering with or checking a player not in control of the puck. Checking from behind or by targeting the head. Play through 3 periods to complete the game. A period consists anywhere from 12-20 minutes depending on the league you are playing with. When a period is over, take a short break off the ice and talk with your team. During the next period, switch the side of the rink you are playing on and continue the game. After the third period, the team with the most points wins! If the game is tied after the third period, play another overtime period.

  3. Practicing Fundamental Skills. Practice skating forward and backward. Keep your knees bent while you are skating to get the most range and power. Push off of 1 leg and lift the opposite leg to practice gliding on the ice and maintaining your balance. When you want to skate backward, glide your feet back in a C-shape. Move and control the puck with your hockey stick. In your non-dominant hand, hold the ball at the end of the stick handle, centering the stick with your body. Place your dominant hand 2 glove-lengths down from the top. Shuffle the puck back and forth to dribble it so you have the most control. Practice dribbling it while you are standing still before you starting to skate with it. Pass the puck between players to move it quickly. Use a quick sweeping motion to push the puck to another player. Try to keep the puck as low to the ground as you can so it will not lose control. Follow through with the sweeping motion completely to get the speed and angle correct. When you are catching a pass, angle the blade on your stick down so the puck does not jump off the ice. Flick your wrist forward to make quick, accurate shots. Shift your weight onto your back leg and keep the puck as close to the middle of the blade as possible. Sweep the puck forward and flick your wrists at the last minute to give the puck momentum and thrust. When your shot is finished, make sure the end of the hockey stick's blade points in the direction you want to shoot. This will help guide the puck during your follow through.

  4. Choosing a Position. Drive the puck to the opponent's side of the rink if you are a forward. The 3 forward positions include the center, the right winger, and the left winger. Stay near the center of the rink and on your opponent's side while you have the puck. Pass the puck between the other forwards for the best opportunity to score. Play a forward position if you want to score goals and be offensive during the game. Keep the puck away from your goal if you are playing defense. Each hockey team has 2 defensemen that stay mostly on their goal's side of the rink. When you are playing defense, cover the members of your opponent's team so it is more difficult for them to score. Chase after the player with the puck to try and steal it from them and make it harder for them to score. When you get the puck, pass it to one of the wingers or the center so they can take it to the other side of the rink. Protect the goal if you are the goalie. The goalie is the last line of defense against your opponent and they can stop the puck from going into the goal. Always pay attention to where the puck is and move to the side of the goal closest to it. When you see a player lining up a shot, watch where the puck is going and try to stop it with your glove, sticks, or pads.

  5. Playing the Game Well. Keep your head up rather than looking at your feet. Instead of looking down at your feet or the puck while you have it, stay alert and look forward to see where other players are. Keep an eye on your opponents as well as your other teammates so you can set up passes and shots. Spread your team out so you can pass between one another. Do not all gather around or chase after the puck. Work together as a team and spread out across the rink so you always have an opportunity to pass. Never stand still in one place or your opponents can easily defend against you. Keep moving and finding new gaps between players where you can pass and shoot the puck. Guide the puck toward the middle lane of the rink. The easiest way to score is going down the middle of the rink toward the goal. Always try to center the puck so you have an easy way to shoot and score against the other team. Start from the outside near the boards and work toward the goal as a team. Protect the puck from other players while you are handling it. If another player is trying to take the puck from you, angle your hockey stick down to cover the puck. If you cannot cover the puck, try to hold them away from your stick with your dominant hand while you guide the puck with your non-dominant hand. Keeping the puck away from the other player will help you develop better control.

Part 7: How to Play Volleyball

  1. Are you looking for a sport that requires a positive team relationship, builds good communication skills, increases upper body strength and delivers an unlawful amount of fun? This article will teach you the basics of how to play volleyball. At the end, you'll be ready to set, serve and spike!

  2. Playing the Game. Choose your players. Ideally, you want at least 6 players per team for a competitive game. You should have 2 rows of players, with the first row closest to the net and the back row closest to the rear boundary of the court. The player in the back right corner will serve the ball. You can rotate players around the court so that you will have a new server for each service game. Determine which team will "serve" the ball first. Toss a coin or form an agreement to find out who will begin the game. Serve the ball from behind the line at the back of the court. If you serve from in front of the line it will be a point for the other team. This is known as a foot fault. The ball has to go over the net (but it can touch), and it has to land within the court for the serve to be good. Return the ball if you're on the receiving team. Thus the rally has begun! A typical play will be bump, set, spike -- but as long as it goes over within three hits, it's good. Continue hitting the ball back and forth across the net until a fault happens. This could be because of any one of the following: The ball hits the ground. This can cause the serving team to score 1 point for their team. The ball goes out of bounds. The team that hits the ball out of bounds loses the point. Someone touches the net. If a player on one team touches the net, then the opposing team picks up a point. Someone's foot goes under the net. When this happens, the opposing team receives the point. Someone hits the ball 2 consecutive times. Players can't strike the ball twice in a row, unless a strike is in the block. A block does not count as a touch. A team hits the ball 4 or more times without sending it over. 3 is the maximum. Catching the ball without bumping it on the acceptance from play. Letting the recipient team receive the ball bump from anything besides their arms or hands can cause the serving team to pick up a point. Returning the ball without allowing the ball to cross over the top of the net will score one point for the serving team. Serve the ball again. The team that won the last point gets to serve the ball. If you're rotating, rotate now. Teams who produce an error or send the ball out-of-play will automatically send the ball over to the other team to serve. No extra score must be added to the "new" serving team. NO penalty may be given in any situation where the ball touches the net then goes over to the other side to be played. The ball continues to be live and playable (unless it comes back towards the recipient team on the volley). Continue playing until you reach a threshold. You can decide how many points you will allow for each game. For instance, you can start a new game when a team earns 15 points.

  3. Learning the Shots. Learn the basic stance. When you're not serving, it's common to take on a basic volleyball stance. Your feet should be placed slightly wider than your shoulders, your weight should be forward on your toes, and your knees bent. Make sure your hands are palms-up and resting comfortably on your knees. Practice your serve. A basic serve gets the ball over the net and into the other court to start the rally. This can be done anywhere behind the serve line. A serve that immediately scores a point (only touches the server's hands) is referred to as an "Ace." Most commonly, this is done by hand, fist or arm. "Bump" the ball. This is the most commonly used shot for returning a serve. Ideally, you would "pass" it to the setter on the team. The bump is the first in a 3-move play. Make a fist with your left hand and wrap your right hand around it. Both thumbs should be flat against the top of your hands with your thumbnail facing upward. Rotate your elbows until the flat side of your forearm is facing upward. Your arms should be straight out in front of you at a slightly downward angle, and your elbows should be locked. Move so that the ball is directly in front of you. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and wait until the ball is at the same level as your waist. Allow the ball to strike your forearms about 2 to 6" (5 to 15 cm) above your wrists. When the ball makes contact with your forearms, push up with your legs and angle your "platform" toward your target. Practice setting. Typically, you will not set the ball on the return of serve. Instead, you will use the set to get the ball into the air so that another player can bump it or spike it. Know how to spike. This is also known as the "attack." Approach the ball and lift your dominant hand. Your hand should be curved into the shape of the ball, and your elbow should be bent. Jump up and strike the ball with your palm. Reach as high as you can for maximum power. The ball should travel over the net but sharply downward so that it is difficult for the other team to return it. Be ready to block. For the (three) players at the net, this is used to stop an attack, or spike. There are two types of blocks: An offensive block aims to keep the ball on the opponent's side of the court. The timing must be exactly right to jump up, predict the trajectory of the ball, and slam it back onto the opponent's side. Ideally, it sends the ball straight to the floor. A defensive, or soft, block is used just to stop the power behind the ball to make it easier to send back. The ball hits the blocker's palm, rolls along their fingertips (losing power) and is received by another player. Dig. This is mainly a term for a dive -- a spectacular play where the player saves the ball right before it hits the ground. It involves a great level of reflex and agility. In diving, players land on their chests with their arms stretched out. It is very important to do this safely as injury is likely if done wrong. Seasoned players employ a rolling technique to minimize the risk of injury.

  4. Employing Strategy. Have designated setters. Setting is a definite skill and maintains the offensive for the team. They must be able to operate in tandem with the hitters and place the ball exactly where it needs to be for the attacker to strike the ball effectively. Use a "libero." If you're getting up there in skill, using a libero may be a strategy your team wants to employ. This is not counted as a substitution -- this player wears a different color. This player receives the attack or serve and must have cat-like reflexes. They are a "defensive specialist." They usually replace the middle blocker or center when they are supposed to rotate into the back row. If you have a player that is great at receiving attacks, put 'em in as the libero. Employ middle, opposite and outside hitters. Each designation of hitter has their strong points. Look at your team and see who falls into what category: Middle hitters must perform fast attacks and be decent blockers. They are playing offense and defense constantly. Opposite hitters (or right-side hitters) are a back-up setter and primarily work on defense. They must provide a good block at all times because they are essentially blocking the opposing team's outside, or strong-side, hitter. Outside hitters should be the most consistent hitter on the team as that's generally where all the serves go. They are also often employed if a first pass goes astray from the middle. Substitute players. Though some leagues will allow unlimited substitutions, international rules say that you can have a maximum of 6 (not including the libero). Consider different formations. We'll be assuming you're working with 6 players here. If you're not, adapt your number of players and their skills to other various formations. However, with six, there are generally three to choose from (the numbers refer to positions, not to number of players): 4-2 formation. This has four hitters and two setters. Generally speaking, the setters position themselves on the right; they are the two front attackers. This is generally only used in beginner's play. 6-2 formation. This is where a player comes up from the back and acts as a setter. The front row is all poised to attack. All players will be hitters at some point or another. 5-1 formation. This has only one player as a setter, regardless of where they are positioned in the rotation. Obviously then, there are sometimes 2 and sometimes 3 attackers in the front row. The setter can then change up their strategy as they rotate and even just dump the ball lightly over the net at times. It's very setter-centric! Always try to pay attention! The ball could come at you at any time. Be prepared and stay on your guard.

  5. Setting Up Your Own Game. Purchase a volleyball. The best volleyballs are made of leather or synthetic leather. Also, the ball should have an inner bladder made of rubber. Buy a net. Make sure that the supports for your net are made of galvanized metal or treated wood. Also, consider padding the poles to protect the players. Measure your court. An official volleyball court is 29 feet (8.8 m) 6" (9 m) wide and 59 feet (18 m) (18 m) long. Gather your friends. Now that you have all the necessary equipment, get a group together! Volleyball can be played with two people, but it's more fun with a dozen or so. Take the number that you have and figure out your formation -- how will you rotate (if you rotate at all) and account for skill?

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