Tennis Rules and Regulations

Like any sport, tennis is also ruled by some strict rules and regulations. Any tennis player found guilty of breaching these rules is subject to disciplinary action by the governing body of the court where the match is being played. It is expected that all the players know the tennis rules before they go to play professional tennis, anywhere in the world. For the entire set of tennis rules, you may have to grab a copy of the official tennis rules and regulations dossier, of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The ITF has a ‘Rules of Tennis Committee’, which helps it make and implement these rules. Let us have a look at some of the rules and regulations in this article.

Rules and Regulations of Tennis
The rules of tennis extend from court rules all the way to the tennis rules of the game during play. Below is a relatively cropped-up list of tennis rules and regulations, some general and some game related. We will not go into the details of the rules governing the tennis court dimensions, the fixtures on court and the sizes and lengths of various things. We will just get to business and see the rules that you should know as a tennis player.

Tennis Gear
As with most sports, when playing professional tennis, the tennis players are expected to wear proper tennis shoes. This rule was made to protect the tennis court from blemishes and tread marks. Black-soled shoes are not allowed on the court, as they may leave blemishes on the court.

Tennis Rackets
A tennis racket is only legal if it has all the stitches attached and unbroken, does not have any energy source attached that can affect the play and does not have more than one set of stringed patterns on it. Vibration dampening devices are only allowed if they are placed outside the criss-crossed string pattern.

Service or Court
The player that wins the toss is expected to choose either the side from where he prefers playing or the serve. If the toss winner chooses to serve, the other player automatically gets the choice of court side. When a server is serving in a game, the receiver is allowed to stand outside the court lines if he wishes to do so. The players are supposed to change court sides on the completion of every odd game, i.e. the first, third, etc.

All serves that fall in the opponent’s service box and are served from behind the out-of-bounds lines are counted as good serves. In lawn tennis, a server is allowed to make underhanded serves. The service can only be counted as legal when the opponent is ready to receive it. The server loses the point if he makes a double fault on his serve (that is, he cannot get a good serve despite having two chances to do so).

Continuous Play
The game of tennis once started must be in continuous play till the match ends. Twenty seconds are allowed between points and ninety seconds are given for players to change ends at the end of a game. At the conclusion of each set, a maximum of 120 seconds are given to the players.

In a standard game of tennis, the scores are called out keeping the server’s scores first. When both players are on zero, it is termed as a love all start. Having no points are referred to as love while the first, second, third and fourth points are called out as 15, 30 40 and Game respectively. When both the players have won three points, the score is termed as a Deuce and a deuce extends the game by one additional point. That is, after a deuce comes Advantage (awarded to whichever player wins the points) and after advantage comes Game. An advantage game reverts back to deuce if the player fails top convert his advantage into a game. In other words, a player must win two consecutive points after a deuce to win a game.

Other Miscellaneous Rules
There are many other rules and regulations, but mentioning all of them is impossible for the scope of an article. Some miscellaneous tennis rules are listed below:

  • All tennis players must show courtesy and respect towards all the on-court and off-court judges. If this rule is found to be breached, the player can be punished with anything ranging from a fine to a suspension, depending on the severity of the breach.
  • All players are expected to empty their pockets before the game begins, so that anything left in the pockets does not serve as a distraction for either of the players.
  • Before the start of each tour season, all tennis players are asked to submit to a drug test. During the season though, any player can be asked to submit to a random drug test, despite having been cleared in the ‘start of the season’ drug test.

Basic Tennis Shots
Here is a list of some common shots in tennis that every tennis player should be aware of.

  • Serve
  • Forehand
  • Backhand
  • Double-handed Backhand
  • Top Spin
  • Slice
  • Drop Shot
  • Volley
  • Lob
  • Overhead Smash

I hope my synopsis is a good enough ‘first glance’ look at tennis for you. However, if you are a serious tennis lover and these tips are inadequate for your thirst of knowledge, you might want to refer to the compilations given out by any of the major tennis federations around the world.

Bowling Alley Dimensions

By far the best measure of the soaring popularity of bowling is the fact that it is played by around 90 million people across 90 nations in the world. The sport has come a long way since the introduction of its first standardized rules in New York in 1895. While historical records suggest that it was played in various parts of the world in various forms in the past, the introduction of the set of rules made it fair and more competitive.

One of the most important constituents of this set of standardized rules dealt with the dimensions of the bowling lane, i.e., the straight, narrow surface on which the sport is played. Interestingly, the lanes wherein the bowling ball is rolled on to the pins is also referred to as the bowling alley. However, the term ‘bowling alley’ is also used for the structure which houses the bowling lanes, and that can result in some confusion at times. So, just to be clear, when we say bowling alley, we refer to the bowling lanes, and not the structure.

Bowling Alley

In sports, the basic knowledge of the playing area, especially the dimensions of the same, is helpful for players; bowling is no exception. Being aware of bowling lane dimensions and other important aspects, such as the lane arrows and approach dots, can help you master the game with ease.

Length: The bowling lane measures 60 ft., i.e. 18.29 m, from the foul line to the first pin. The person who bowls is expected to cover this distance, without crossing the foul line, and hit the target on the other side of the lane.

Width: Its width, according to the guidelines set by the International Bowling Federation, is 41.5 in., i.e. 1.05 m. The combined width of the lane plus gutters should not be less than 60 in., or more than 60 1/4 in.

Lane Arrows: Lane arrows, also referred to as guide arrows, are meant to guide you when releasing the ball. This set of arrows is located at a distance of 15 ft., i.e. 4.57 m, from the foul line.

Approach Dots: Like the lane arrows, the lane is also marked with two sets of approach dots to guide you. The first set of dots is marked at a distance of 12 ft., i.e. 3.66 m, and the second at 15 ft., i.e. 4.57 m, from the foul line.

Lane Approach: This is an area measuring 15 ft., behind the foul line, where the player can take a start and move towards the bowling lane to release the ball.

Another important aspect about bowling alley you should know is the area wherein oil is applied to the lane to protect its surface. This extends from a distance of 4 in. from the foul line to 38 ft. down the lane.

You can also own a bowling alley at your home, but that is only if you are ready to shell out a fortune for this costly investment. Home bowling alleys are generally similar to standard alleys, however, you can customize them as per your specifications to suit your taste.

Over the last few years, bowling has come a long way to become an important source of entertainment. If the trend continues, the time is not far when the world will be divided into two groups―those who love bowling and those who don’t.

Ice Hockey For Kids

The game of ice hockey is played on ice rinks, mostly in cold countries of the northern hemisphere. To play this game, ice-cover is the basic necessity. However, with the availability of artificial ice rinks, one can play this game the whole year. Ice hockey is a fast-paced game characterized by aggressive moves. Kids can play this game to become flexible, attain a perfect body balance and also to strengthen muscles.

Kids Ice Hockey

Children can start learning ice hockey at the age of 4 years. Before that, they should learn to skate properly. Three-year old kids can begin with the practice of skating. Initially, kids ice hockey should be played with double-bladed skates; it helps in maintaining the balance properly. The first-impression of parents about ice-hockey is that of a slam-bang sport with high chances of getting injured. However, children can enjoy the game and develop their skills if it is played in a safe manner. Ice hockey for kids requires children to have the following, important qualities: being energetic and a willingness to become a team player.

In the United States of America, kids (from different age groups different age groups) playing the game of ice hockey are classified into levels. Categories in which boys are categorized include the following.

  • Mite: 8 yr. and under 8.
  • Squirt: 10 yr. and under 10.
  • Peewee: 12 yr. and under 12.
  • Bantam: 14 yr. and under 14.
  • Midget Minor: 16 yr. and under 16.
  • Midget Major: 18 yr. and under 18.

Ice Hockey Rules for Kids
The standard rink used for ice hockey has the dimensions 200 feet x 85 feet. The playing area is divided into two halves with a red line. Two blue colored lines further divide these halves. The game is played with 6 members in each team. Shooting the puck (vulcanized rubber disc) in opponent’s goal (to score) is the main objective in this game. The ice hockey terms explained below should help in understanding the game in a better manner.

  • Icing: It is a rule which prevents the defending team from just hitting the puck towards the red line. It generally happens that defending teams, in order to escape the pressure of an imposing attack just hit the puck randomly and towards the opponent’s area.
  • Penalties: Players are punished with a penalty if any of the rules are violated. Checking other players when they are facing the boards is punished with a penalty called boarding. Obstructing the movements of other players with the hockey stick leads to a penalty called hooking. ‘Holding’ is name of the penalty being called when a particular player grabs the other player or his stick.
  • Offside: In the game of ice hockey, offside is called when an offensive player enters the attack zone before the entry of puck.

Ice Hockey Equipment for Kids
The main equipment used in playing ice hockey include the puck and a hockey stick (with long handle and having a blade). Protective gear used by players include the following: helmet, neck guard, hockey gloves, elbow pads, shoulder pads, garter belt, jockstrap, hockey pants, ice skates, mouth guard and shin guard. The equipment used by goalies has few additional features; most important functionality of the equipment is to protect the goalie against frontal impacts. Chances of stopping pucks are increased if extra protection is provided to the goalie. Stick used by the goalie has a wider shaft and larger blade (and curved in shape).

The cost of equipment and coaching fees can at times become difficult for parents to bear. In such cases, one should go for resale items; it is also possible that one needs to swap a particular equipment. Such deals may often turn out to be profitable. The annual fees (team/league fees) for kids hockey could be in the range of $600-$3000.

The rules and regulations regarding ice hockey for kids and the equipment to be used are presented in short, in the article above. It is possible to know more about different aspects of kids ice hockey through information presented in the article.

Skeet Shooting Technique

Skeet shooting, an American sport, is a recreational activity, pursued as a hobby by some and harbored as an interest by some. There is no secret tip or trick that will make you the best of shooters. However, a few basic guidelines if followed can help you excel at the sport.

The Basic Technique

Point 1 – Stance and Prelude
To begin with, let your stance be narrow, as it will help a smooth swing and a good follow through. The feet have to be positioned in way that the line extending from your rear heel till the leading foot is in the direction where you will break the target.

Point 2 – Call the Disk and Track
Once you are ready with a comfortable stance, call the clay disk in action by calling out “pull” loud and clear. Then follow and track the disk with a steady and a smooth swing with both your eyes open,while you actually move the barrel of the firearm in front of the trajectory of the clay disk. Lead the target, this is what this is called.

Point 3 – Trigger it Up
Avoid jerking the trigger even after you have anticipated the direction of the movement of the disk. Rather, pull the trigger. Then even after you have fired, keep on tracking the expected flight of the skeet. Akin to other shooting sports, this too demands a follow through.

This is the primary method for shooting skeet. Now is the time to get some tips on shooting skeet!

The Better Technique

For those who have not done skeet shooting earlier, might not relate to this completely, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot check these tips out!

Mirror Mirror on the Wall
Experts say that practicing swinging and mounting an unloaded gun to your face in front of a mirror will be of great help. Just remember that mount the gun to the face and not the shoulder. Further mount the gun from the same starting position every time you mount it.

Mount of Comfort
Be it shooting skeet and trapping them, or simply shooting them, finding and discovering your own comfortable mount position is absolutely essential. Either you can keep the gun low and way from your body or you can choose to mount it high and close the body. Find the position which suits you the best for mounting, as it will help you take accurate shots.

Focus, Focus
Don’t take a shot in the dark. What I meant to say is it is essential to focus on the target, rather than on the barrel of the gun. I mean that is what you would be shooting for, right? So keep an eye on the target and do not let it waver.

Couple Trouble
When you are looking to shoot skeet doubles, an important thing is to decide which one are you going to shoot first. Make this decision before you actually get to take the aim. That way you will save time and not miss the shot. This focusing will help you in hunting endeavors too, eventually.

In addition to this, using low recoil target loads for practice, proper gun fit, first swinging and then mounting are some more tips regarding how to shoot skeet. This was just a trailer and the tip of the iceberg when it comes to shooting skeet! This is more so when you are looking at skeet shooting in events like Olympics. Last, but not the least, keep fit and practice hard, because practice makes a man perfect! Only that will help you hit the bulls eye! I go off the range here! All the best!

Decathlon Events

Decathlon comprise ten track and field events that test the strength and stamina of the participating athletes. These ten events are divided over a period of two consecutive days of intense competition. Decathlon is widely regarded as the pinnacle of endurance sports, and sees athletes from all over the world participate in this Olympic sport. There is a points system for each event, and the athlete who has the most number of points after the completion of all the ten events is declared the winner. The events are not only a test of a person’s physical attributes’ but also his/her mental make up and attitude.

The name decathlon comes from the Greek words meaning ‘ten’ and ‘contest’. It translates into having ten events in this contest. They are all track and field events that test the speed, agility, and stamina of an athlete. On the first day, there are five events held, and on the second day, the remaining five are completed. Participants are required to take part in all the ten events, so as to gain maximum points.

The rules require that there is at least 30 minutes gap between each event. To conduct a decathlon event, a minimum of three athletes are required. If there are less, the event does not have any recognition. Athletes who are in top physical and mental condition qualify for this event, and most dream of winning the Olympic gold, which is the premier competition for this sport. It is considered to be the Super Bowl of decathlon.

Events in Decathlon100 m Race400 m Race1500 m Race110 m HurdlesLong JumpHigh JumpShot PutDiscus ThrowJavelin ThrowPole Vault
Order of EventsMen’s Decathlon
100 m Race
Long Jump
Shot Put
High Jump
400 m Race

110 m Hurdles
Discus Throw
Pole Vault
Javelin Throw
1500 m RaceWomen’s Decathlon
100 m Race
Discus Throw
Pole Vault
Javelin Throw
400 m Race

100 m Hurdles
Long Jump
Shot Put
High Jump
1500 m Race
Athletes score points in each event as decided by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). The maximum points that can be scored in any event is 1,000 points, which means, there are 10,000 points up for grabs after the completion of the 10 events. Currently, Ashton Eaton of the US holds the world record at 9,039 points. As per the rules, points scored by individuals in each event and their total score has to be announced after the successful completion of every event.

Decathlon events have gained in popularity since their inclusion in modern-day Olympics. It is considered to be a highly prestigious competition, given the overall strength and skill that participants are required to possess.

Volleyball Court Diagram

When it comes to any team sport, the coordination between the players is one of the most crucial factors. The team has to work as a single unit to achieve success. This is where the formation of strategies comes into the picture.

In order to form strategies, various attributes of the sport have to be taken into consideration; the field on which it is played being one of them. In fact, in volleyball, where there are specific rules about the player positions and rotations, it becomes all the more important to get well-versed with the court dimensions.

Volleyball Court
Volleyball is played on an indoor court, which measures 18 m (59 ft) in length and 9 m (29.5 ft) in width. The court is divided into two exact halves of 9 m each by the ‘center line’. A net is suspended above the center line, on the poles located on either sides of the court, in such a manner that its highest point is exactly 7 ft 11? inches above the ground for men and 7 ft 11? inches for women. The teams are supposed to switch the sides of the court after each set.

volleyball court diagram
As you see in this diagram of a volleyball court, the ‘center line’ divides the court into two halves, while the ‘end lines’ mark the end of the court on either sides. These end lines also serve as the point from where the players serve. If the player crosses this line while serving, it amounts to a foul and results in the team losing the service and a point.

Similarly, you will also notice two ‘side lines’ in the diagram. These lines, which are located perpendicular to the center line, demarcate the extent of the area within which you need to hit the ball to score points. If the ball falls outside the side lines, or the end line, the team which made the contact with the ball last loses a point.

Yet another line runs parallel to the center line, at the distance of 3 m, in either halves. This line separates the players in the front row from the players in the back row. According to the rules and regulations of the sport, a player in the back row cannot cross into this 3-m area to ‘spike’ the ball. He can only attempt a jump from behind the 3-m line into the box and spike the ball in midair.

This was an attempt to make the game of volleyball easier for you to understand by shedding light on the court measurements. Going through the basic rules is one thing; understanding them is a different ball game altogether. Referring to this court diagram while going through the rules of volleyball will make it easier for you to understand them. This, however, is the theoretical part; the practical part can be only mastered by regular practice.

Lawn Tennis Rules

The sport of tennis is meant for those who are ready to spend a great deal of time and effort training and for those who aim to become professional players. This demanding sport requires extremely high level of fitness. For beginners these forms the guidelines proves to be helpful at the time of implementing whatever they know about playing tennis properly. Whether it is a doubles or singles match also has bearing on the rules invoked and applied. It also affects the playing area of the tennis court in use. The tennis court is 78 feet in length and 36 feet in width. Dividing the court in two halves makes it 39 feet x 36 feet. There are 4.5 feet wide strips along the length of a tennis court. These strips are used only for the doubles/mixed doubles games. It means, the dimensions of playing area for singles matches is 39 feet x 27 feet (36 feet for doubles).

Understanding the rules for tennis is quite easy and not at all difficult in comparison to playing this demanding sport.

Scoring Rules for a Single Point
The server has to serve from behind the baseline. The ball, after serving, should fall in the service box, on the opponents side, that is diagonally opposite from the server’s position. A service is considered wrong if it falls outside this box. The situation in which a player commits two faults one after the other is referred to as double fault; a point is awarded to the opponent in case a double fault is committed. A correct service leads to a rally i.e. exchange of shots. In a single’s game a shot is considered valid if it falls within the tennis court which excludes the 4.5 feet strips that runs along the length of the court. However, these strips are part of the tennis court in case of a doubles game.

Rules for Scoring in a Match
A tennis match is played in a ‘best of 3 sets’ or ‘best of 5 sets’ format. The men’s matches are generally played in a ‘best of 5 sets’ format, while the other format is used for women.

To win a single set, one has to win at least 6 games. However, the difference of games won by the winner and loser of a given set should at least be 2. It means that a set cannot be won at ‘6-5’; upon reaching a situation in which both players win 6 games each, the tie-breaker is employed. It is necessary to score minimum of 7 points in order to win a tiebreaker. Again a difference of 2 points is needed for winning the tiebreaker.

A game is won by winning 4 points. Winning the first point takes a player’s score to 15. The score of 15 is followed by 30, 40 and game. The scoring pattern is a bit weird in a sense that it doesn’t incorporate the pattern of 1, 2, 3 and game. If the score is at 40-40, it is a tie which is referred to as ‘deuce’. In order to win a game after the deuce, one has to score a point referred to as ‘Advantage’ to the winner of the shot. The player who gains the ‘advantage’ can win the game on the very next point. If the opponent scores a point while one has reached/gained advantage, the scores are reset to ‘deuce’.

Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament played on grass. The rules for last i.e. the 5th set played in a Wimbledon match are different from those employed in other tournaments. There is no tiebreaker used if the score for the 5th set stands at 6-6 games. It means that if the difference of 2 games (4-6 or 6-4) in the 5th set is not attained, the set can continue as long as it takes. There are many other aspects of the sport of tennis which makes it interesting to play and watch. Understanding the basic rules should help you enjoy the game in a better manner.

Best Places to Go Heli-skiing

Did You Know?

After the helicopter was perfected and came to be employed in large numbers in the 1940s, heli-skiing arose in the late 1950s. However, it was ahead of time then, and didn’t catch on until the late 1960s.Heli-skiing is an adventure sport that is in vogue with those who can afford it. Considering that a week-long adventure can cost you upwards of USD 50,000, it is quite an expensive sport, and it is surely one of the most exciting ones too.

Helicopter rides are exciting enough for most people, but when you tack on the small matter of a fantastic skiing slope at the end of it, it becomes truly spectacular. This is a list of the best heli-skiing destinations in the world. Cat skis are not included on this list, but they also offer similar opportunities to explore and employ virgin stretches of snow, and are worth a look.

Best Heli-skiing Destinations
The American and Canadian Rockies are the most prolific in terms of heli-skiing. The European Alps, particularly Switzerland, are also rich in heli-skiing facilities.

Skiing at these resorts costs USD 700-1200 per person per day. This may sound a bit steep, but you get to explore virgin regions not spoiled by the hustle and bustle of regular skiing fans, and, in all fairness, running a helicopter is a pricey business.

Jackson Hole
Swiss Alps
Note: The destinations haven’t been ‘ranked’ in any way. All the resorts have local lodges, which are the ideal places to stay if you intend to make full use of the skiing facilities, and don’t have much interest in other tourist destinations in the region.
Whistler Blackcomb
Already rightly considered among the most incredible ski resorts in the world, Whistler is not far behind the top spot when it comes to heli-skiing as well. Situated in the British Columbia region of Canada, it is one of the most visited ski resorts in the world. It can easily be reached from Vancouver. Here is more information about heli-skiing at Whistler.

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Jackson Hole
jackson hole
Like Whistler, Jackson Hole is considered among the best ski resorts in North America, and is widely considered the best in America. It is situated in Wyoming, and can be reached with ease from Jackson Hole Airport, 7 miles away. It has one of the most suitable snowfall patterns in the U.S., and has now got more than its fair share of infrastructure to exploit it. Here is some more helpful and detailed information about skiing and heli-skiing facilities at Jackson Hole.

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Situated in Colorado, Telluride is considered one of the best skiing destinations in the US, and like Jackson Hole, is just as famous during summer as it is in winter, thanks to its mountain biking, mountaineering, and whitewater rafting facilities. Helicopter services can drop skiers to heights of up to 13,500 feet. Telluride offers all kinds of accommodation, ranging from RVs and campgrounds to full-fledged resorts. Here’s more information on the facilities in Telluride.

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Another gem in the snow-rich region of British Columbia, Golden is perfect for short excursions of a day or two, although it can accommodate skiers for longer. It works great as the working man’s retreat in this rather showoff-y rich man’s game. It is situated about 160 miles west of Calgary. It offers a wide range of accommodation options, as well as a range of activities and tourist destinations not related to snow. Here is some more information about tourism in Golden.

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Situated at Revelstoke, BC, this Canadian ski resort is one of the most advanced and sophisticated in the world. It is situated about 256 miles from Calgary, which means that it is a bit more difficult to reach than many other resorts, but this facility is completely worth it. It is one of the rare facilities in the world to offer heli skiing, cat skiing, and backcountry skiing from the same hub. It is also famous for its Swiss chalets (needless to say, they are the recommended accommodation). When its planned construction is completed, it is expected to be the largest ski facility in North America. Here is more information about heli-skiing in British Columbia.

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Swiss Alps
swiss alps
While the Alps are a prime destination for some of the best ski resorts in the world, the environmental awareness in Europe has resulted in a massive reduction of heli-skiing operations. Some countries have banned it altogether (though loopholes exist), but Switzerland has yet to take that step, which makes it the perfect heli-skiing destination in Europe. Heli-skiing in Europe is a bit different than its American counterpart. European heli-skiing allows you to combine resort skiing with heli-skiing due to its norm of only allowing a few (2-3 is usually too many) helicopter lifts per day. Thus, European heli-skiing is about much more than just skiing, and includes indulging in the local culture and cuisine. Places like Zermatt and Verbier are prime spots. Heli-skiing trips in Europe can be costly, but if you have large groups, you can get group discounts.

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This resort in the Northern Cascades, accessible via the SR-20, is a 300,000-acre ski resort. It consists of runs starting from 7000-9000 feet, and drops starting from 1,500 feet. It also includes varied terrain, such as tree skiing, open ground, and exciting glades.

These are the 7 best destinations to satiate your thirst for adventure. These offer the best combinations of natural weather patterns and infrastructure, and are definitely worth spending some extra dough!