Rules of the Game

When I am learning a game, I frequently check the rules, to make sure I am playing it correctly. The rulebooks usually have handy section titles so you can look up the type of rule you are seeking. For my favorite games these usually include names like "the serve," "scoring," and "rallies."

In addition to answering rule questions, these little section titles can tell you a lot about the experience you're going to have while playing. For example, I found this in an online rulebook for Squash:


Followed shortly by:


Now THAT'S a fun game!

Squash also uses some great terminology. In some circles, a player who chases down back court shots (instead of hitting them on the fly as they go by him) is called a "lab." (As in Labrador - because he's a "retriever"...)

Squash players also say that a bad return was "not up." I agree with this terminology completely - it's no good if it's not up. Am I right ladies?

I decided to check the other rulebooks for section titles. In Handball I found:

I. DRY BALLS. (Sounds itchy.)

J. BROKEN BALLS. (That's got to be a penalty, right?)

And Racquetball is just plain scary:


Nothing like that in the Badminton rules, but there is a racquet terminology section that goes into great detail on "head," "throat," and "shaft"...


Big Gay Jim said...

Well there's just too much material here to work with effectively. I have no comment. ;)

WNG said...

Well, Pater, how does it feel to know that you were too much for Big Jim. It's gotta be a great day in your life!
Seriously though, that was pretty damn funny - especially to someone who's never cared too much for rules!

Lil' Tattooed Girl said...

Wow, all I can say is "WOW." I didn't realize that things were so brutal out there. I guess it's a good thing someone invented the cup ;P huh?

Flynn said...

The rule are there for a reason. Our group learned the hard way about eye protection. When we first started playing, each of us caught one or two in the face. We learned very quickly that those rules about bodily harm are there for a reason, and are to be respected. Luckily no one was seriously hurt.

Hell, my last pair of handball gloves, aside from being almost worn through, have a fairly unsightly amount of dried blood on them.

The Pope still holds the record for most juice spilled. Once upon a time, he finished a game literally dripping blood. We had to wipe the floors between each rally...

Teh Dr. said...

Yeah, I think rules about hitting other opponents exist because of guys like me. I'm still sorry bout that whole smashing a squash ball straight into his back.

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