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Specifications For Balls Bean Bags Marking Grounds Etc

Source: Games For The Playground, Home, School And Gymnasium

Gas balloons have been found very useful for quite a large
class of games, and are specially suitable for use in the schoolroom
or parlor, though they may also be used out of doors. The balloons are
the regular toy balloons used by children, and are preferably ten or
twelve inches in diameter when inflated, though smaller ones may be
used. In games where two balloons are used it is desirable that they
be of different colors, to distinguish which belongs to each team.
When the gas in a balloon is exhausted, if it be not convenient to
refill the rubber bag with gas, it may be filled with the breath, and
will be found still to float sufficiently in the air for purposes of
the game, though of course the gas-filled balloons with their tendency
to rise are superior.


Baseballs are hard and
preferably leather covered. The required ball for the National
Association of Baseball Leagues is not less than 5 nor more than 5-1/4
ounces in weight, and measures not less than 9 nor more than 9-1/4
inches in circumference. A slightly smaller ball is used in junior
play; that is, for boys under sixteen. The best construction of
baseballs is that in which there is a rubber center wound with woolen
yarn, the outside covering being of white horsehide. Good balls cost
from fifty cents to $1.50 each, but baseballs may be had at five cents

Basket balls are comparatively large, round, "laced"
balls; that is, they consist of a rubber bladder inserted in a leather
case; the bladder is inflated by means of a hand or foot pump; after
it is placed inside of the leather cover the opening in the cover is
laced together. The official ball prescribed by the Amateur Athletic
Union and the Young Men's Christian Association Athletic League of
North America calls for one that measures, when inflated, not less
than 30 nor more than 32 inches in circumference; the limit of
variableness to be not more than 1/4 inch in three diameters; the
weight to be not less than 18 nor more than 20 ounces; the ball when
ready for use to be tightly inflated and so laced that it cannot be
held by the lacing. The best basket balls cost about $6 each.


Bean bags are especially useful for
tossing games with little children and for use in the schoolroom,
where a ball is not easily recovered if dropped; but many bean-bag
games are of great interest even to adult players and are suitable for
almost any conditions
playground, parlor, or gymnasium. Bean bags
should be made of heavy, closely woven material, such as ticking,
awning, duck, or denim, and should be from 6 to 12 inches square when
finished. They are stitched around the outer edge (except for a small
length through which the beans are inserted). The bag should then be
turned and stitched a second time. Hand sewing is preferable, as often
better able to withstand the strain put upon it. The bag is filled
with dried beans or peas. A bag 6 inches square should contain 1/2
pound of these. A larger bag may contain a few more, but the
half-pound weight is good for any sized bag. For little children a 6
or 8 inch bag is very good. It is desirable to have an equipment of
bags made of two different colors, half of the bags, for instance,
being red and the other half blue; or some of striped material and
others of plain. This aids in distinguishing the bags that belong to
opposing teams or groups of players. It is easy to improvise a
substitute for bean bags under almost any conditions. The writer has
known some very good substitutes to be made by placing dried leaves in
a square of cloth, gathering up the corners and tying them with a
string. Bean bags 7 inches square may be purchased for about $2 per

For adults, especially for men, the oat sacks make a very interesting
implement for play, the weight making them a good substitute for
medicine balls. (See _Oat Sacks_.)

This is the same as a hockey ball, but red instead of
white. The official specifications (Marylebone Club) are identical
with those of the American baseball, except for 1/2 ounce heavier
weight. They call for a ball weighing not less than 5-1/2 ounces, nor
more than 5-3/4, with circumference not less than 9 inches nor more
than 9-1/4. The construction and appearance differ from baseballs, the
cricket balls being of heavy rubber, usually, but not invariably,
covered with leather, which is sometimes enameled. The leather is put
on in even hemispheres instead of in shaped pieces, as for a baseball.
Cost, $1.50 to $2 each.

Official footballs are "laced" balls; that is, they consist
of a rubber bladder, which is inflated and inserted in a leather
casing which is then laced firmly to close the opening. Two shapes of
round, and so-called "oval
are official for different
organizations. The round ball is prescribed for the "Association"
games (American Football Association) and for Soccer, the
circumference of the ball to be not less than 27 inches, nor more than
28. The prolate spheroid ("oval") ball is prescribed by the
Intercollegiate and Rugby Associations of America, diameters about
9-1/4 x 6-1/4 in. The cost of best quality balls of both shapes is $5,
and from that down to $1. Cheaper balls may be had (to substitute for
any laced leather balls) made of sealed rubber, or to be inflated like
a water polo ball, some incased in duck, others without casing.

A gas ball is a sealed rubber ball filled with gas and very
light in weight, generally used by little children. These are
extremely useful for the schoolroom, where it is desirable to avoid
damage from the hitting of objects by a hard ball, and where it
facilitates play to keep the ball in the air, as it is difficult to
locate balls that roll on the floor. Gas balls measure from 4 to 6
inches in diameter, and cost from ten to forty cents each.

Golf balls are made of gutta percha, painted white. The
interior construction varies. The surface is made uneven with lines,
dots, or dimples, to give greater buoyancy to the strokes. Size,
about 1-5/8 inches in diameter. Cost, from $2 to $9 per dozen.

The term "handball" is generally used to designate any ball
that can be caught easily in one hand, as distinguished from larger

balls, such as basket, foot, and volley balls. Technically, the term
"handball" applies to the balls used in the game of Handball.

In selecting a ball for general games, including Handball Drills as
herein given, it is desirable to have one slightly larger than for the
official game and to get one with considerable resiliency; that is, a
ball that will rebound from a hard floor to a height of about 3 feet
when dropped from a height of about 6 feet. A good ball for this
purpose will measure about 2-1/4 inches in diameter and weigh 2-1/2
ounces. They are of hollow rubber, sealed. Such balls will cost about
$5 per dozen. For children's play of course cheaper balls can be had.

_Official Handballs_ used for the game of Handball differ somewhat in
America and Ireland, where this is the national game. The American
balls are made both of rubber and leather. The specifications for the
balls of the Amateur Athletic Union of America call for a ball
measuring 1-7/8 inches in diameter, with a weight of 1-5/8 ounces.

The Irish official handball is smaller and heavier than that of
America and is generally made of rubber. The official ball called for
by the Gaelic Athletic Association of Ireland is hard, covered with
sheepskin or any other leather, and is not less than 1-1/2 ounces nor
more than 1-3/4 ounces in weight. Handballs suitable for the game of
that name may be had of leather and rubber, ranging in price from
twenty-five cents to $1 each.

_Field Hockey_ is played with the same kind of ball as
Cricket, but white instead of red. This is usually but not invariably
covered with white leather, the latter sometimes enameled, put on in
even hemispheres instead of in shaped pieces like the covering of a
baseball. The dimensions are the same as for a baseball but the weight
usually about 1/2 ounce greater. Field Hockey balls measure 9 inches
in circumference and weigh 5-1/2 ounces. The official rules of the
American Field Hockey Association specify merely "an ordinary cricket
ball painted white." Hockey balls cost from $1 to $2.75 each; practice
balls of solid rubber, fifty cents.

_Ice Hockey_ is played with a "puck," solidly cylindrical in shape and
smaller than the ring for Ring Hockey. The official specifications for
the American Amateur Hockey League require a puck of vulcanized rubber
one inch thick throughout, 3 inches in diameter, weight not less than
7-6/16 ounces nor more than 7-9/16 ounces. These cost fifty cents;
practice pucks, twenty-five cents.

_Ring Hockey_ or _Indoor Hockey_ is played indoors with a ring of
flexible rubber, 5 inches in diameter, with a 3-inch hole through the
center. The official rules specify a weight of not less than 12 ounces
nor more than 16 ounces. Rings cost from $1 to $1.25 each.

Indoor baseballs are specially constructed for
indoor play, being much larger and more elastic than those for outdoor
play. This ball is generally composed of a core of packed leather
strips, around which is placed curled horsehair tied on with string.
The cover is of leather, preferably horsehide, somewhat softer in
quality than that used on the outdoor baseball. The dimensions of the
ball vary from 15 to 17 inches in circumference, or about 5 inches in
diameter. The weight is from 8 to 8-3/4 ounces. The official ball
specified by the National Indoor Baseball Association of the United
States is not less than 16-3/4 nor more than 17-1/4 inches in
circumference; made of yielding substance; not less than 8 nor more
than 8-3/4 ounces in weight; and is required to be covered with white
skin. The color of the ball naturally assists in indoor play where
lights vary. Most of these balls have red stitching on the seams,
which makes them even plainer to be seen. Good balls cost from eighty
cents to $1.25 each.

The official ball for the game of La Crosse is made
of sponge rubber, sometimes leather covered (white). It is very
slightly smaller in size than a baseball, and about the same weight.
The Intercollegiate La Crosse Association of the United States
specifies a ball weighing about 5-3/4 ounces, with circumference of 8
inches. The National Amateur La Crosse Union of Canada specifies a
weight of from 4-1/2 to 5 ounces, and circumference of not less than
7-3/4 nor more than 8 inches. The best balls cost sixty-five cents

Medicine balls are leather covered and of greater
weight than any others used in the gymnasium. These balls were devised
to give exercise of a vigorous character, particularly for the
abdominal and other trunk muscles, and afford some of the most
hygienic exercise to be had in the gymnasium. Medicine balls vary
considerably in size and weight. The usual balls measure from 10 to 16
inches in diameter, and weigh from 4 to 12 pounds. They cost from
$4.50 to $15, those with laced leather covers being more expensive
than those with sewn covers.

Oat sacks as here described were devised by Dr. R. A.
Clark and Mr. A. M. Chesley, to be used in place of medicine balls for
adult players. In addition they may be used for many bean-bag games.
Oat sacks are made of heavy (10 oz.) duck. They are circular in shape,
14 inches in diameter when finished. Two circles of this size are
stitched around the edge, except for an opening where the oats are
inserted. The bag is then turned and stitched a second time. They are
then filled with four pounds of oats each.

For the game of Playground Ball there is used a ball
that in size is between a baseball and indoor baseball. Usually balls
of from 12 to 14 inches in circumference (of this type of
construction) are called playground balls, and those from 15 to 17
inches, indoor baseballs. Because of their size, these balls cannot be
batted as far as the usual baseball, and this and their softer texture
make them especially useful for limited areas. This same type of soft
ball may be had in the smaller size of the regulation baseball. The
construction is the same as for indoor baseball
a wound ball covered
with soft white leather, the whole being firm, but more elastic and
yielding than a baseball.

The National Amateur Playground Ball Association of the United States
specifies a ball not less than 12 inches nor more than 14 inches in
circumference, not less than 8 ounces nor more than 8-3/4 ounces in
weight, made of yielding substance covered with a white skin.

Good playground balls of any of the sizes here mentioned cost $1 each.

_Polo_ or _Roller Polo_ (on roller skates) is played with
a very hard rubber-covered ball, painted bright red and about the size
of a basebal
9 inches in circumference. Cost, from ten cents to $1

_Equestrian Polo_ is played with a wooden ball, usually of willow,
having no other covering than white paint. The Polo Association of
America specifies such a ball 3-1/8 inches in diameter and not to
exceed 5 ounces in weight. The English rules (Hurlingham) call for a
slightly larger and heavier ball, 3-1/4 inches in diameter and 5-1/2
ounces in weigh
material not specified. Willow balls cost $2 per
dozen; others, $1.25 per dozen.

_Water Polo_ is played with a ball of white rubber, inflated through a
key afterward used to screw shut the opening. The official American
rules for Water Polo call for a white rubber ball of not less than 7
nor more than 8 inches in diameter. Cost, $2 each.

The game of Pushball is played with the largest ball ever
constructed for any game. The ball measures 6 feet in diameter, and
consists of an inflated rubber bladder inserted in a leather cover.
Cost, $200 each.

See _Football_.

See _Football_.

For the game of Squash, a hollow rubber ball is used
similar to a tennis ball, and about the same size. It measures 8
inches in circumference, and is covered with felt, black, red, or
white; some have an overspun cover knitted on the ball in green or
white. Cost, $6 per dozen. Enameled rubber squash balls in black or
gray may be had at twenty cents each.

Tennis balls are of rubber, hollow, and are covered with
white felt. The official specifications call for a ball measuring not
less than 2-1/2 nor more than 2-9/16 inches in diameter, of weight not
less than 1-15/16 nor more than 2 ounces. Tennis balls cost about $4
per dozen.

Volley balls are quite similar to basket balls, but
slightly smaller and lighter. They are suitable for games in which the
ball is batted with the open hand or fist and where it is to be kept
continuously in the air, such as the game of Volley Ball. The ball
consists of a rubber bladder inclosed in a laced leather cover of
white. The official specifications call for a ball not less than 25
nor more than 27 inches in circumference, of weight not less than 9
ounces nor more than 12 ounces. Volley balls cost from $2.50 to $4

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