A - Z of Sports
Badminton is one of the UK's favourite sports. Probably because it's fun and skillful and playing badminton is a fantastic way to get fit. It can be played by people of all ages in a variety of places. Badminton racquets are very light which means it's an ideal sport for younger children, and it's a game to be enjoyed whatever your age. Whether you'd like to hire a court at the local sports centre or play in the garden or park, just pick up a racquet and have a go! Sports centres and clubs across the country offer badminton courts for hire, and can arrange lessons. Clubs are a great way to hone your game by playing against people at the same level.
BADMINTON England is the sport's governing body. Many categories of membership are available, from supporters, through club and county players to the World Class squad. The website offers information about the game and details on coaching courses and tournaments from county to international level.
Find out more: BADMINTON England
Basketball goes from strength to strength and is played in sports clubs, leisure centres and on courts across the country. It's fast, skilful and fun. It is popular with both sexes and most age groups. And there's no requirement to be seven feet tall to enjoy the sport of basketball though if you'd like to play professionally it might certainly help! Never played basketball? Teams of five active players each try to score points against one another by throwing a ball through a 10 foot high hoop (the 'basket'). You can get the ball to the opponents end of the court by bouncing the ball forward, which is called dribbling, or by passing the ball between teammates. Disability basketball also continues to grow and develop amongst girls and boys, men and women. All basketball clubs welcome new members.
There are also lots of courts in parks and 'recs' across the country where you can play informally with friends or shoot hoops and practise your skills.
Find out more: English Basketball
Baseball is perhaps the quintessential American sport. And it's not just popular in the UK we're proving to be quite good at it too. It's a sport played between two teams usually with nine players in each. It is played with a baseball bat and baseball a pitch called a diamond (which is a 90 foot square). The rules are quite straightforward and esy to learn. The pitcher throws the ball (or 'pitches' it of course) towards the batter. The batter hit the ball and players run past the four bases on the corners of the square 'diamond'. Teams play nine innings there's no set time period. Both teams bat and score runs; a team's half-inning ends when three of their team are out. BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK) is developing baseball and softball in the United Kingdom.
Since 2000, BSUK has provided services to the sports' governing bodies, the British Baseball Federation (BBF) and British Softball Federation (BSF) with the aim of developing and increasing the levels of participation, skill and achievement in UK baseball and softball. The sports are growing at both junior and adult levels, from school and grassroots through domestic adult clubs up to the Great Britain national teams. The sports are popular in youth and sports clubs and increasingly in the workplace.
The British Baseball Federation (BBF) governs baseball in this country. Baseball clubs pay play in the BBF Leagues and Junior Leagues. There is also a full Great Britain Baseball Programme which comprises the Great Britain Baseball Academy, junior national teams and Great Britain 'Seniors' Baseball Team.
Find out more: British Baseball Federation / British Softball Federation
Boccia is a sport for athletes with a disability which is hugely popular worldwide. It's similar to bocce and it's a Paralympic sport. Boccia can be played by individuals, pairs, or teams of three. The aim of the game is to throw leather balls - as close as they can to a white target ball, or jack. The jack is thrown first, then each side takes turns to propel their ball towards the jack.
The balls can be moved with hands, feet, or, if the competitor's disability is severe, with an assistive device. There are sports centres and clubs offering Boccia across the country new players are always welcome. Get started now and you could end up representing Great Britain in 2012! You'll certainly have huge fun along the way.
Find out more: English Boccia Association
Bowls is an ancient sport. A game of some kind was probably played in the Stone Age. Sir Francis Drake was a famous player and both William Shakespeare and Samuel Pepys make reference to the game. Today the sport is popular with boys and girls, men and women; and it's played across the country.
Find out more: Crown Green Bowls
Boxing is an ancient sport and discipline. Nowadays two participants of similar weight fight each other with their fists in a series of one to three-minute intervals called 'rounds'.
Boxing training is also a great way to get fit, involving running, skipping, weights and agility workouts. It's a real aerobic work out. The Amateur Boxing Association of England Ltd (ABAE) is the sport's national governing body. As a national governing body, the ABAE is responsible for all the administration, development and promotion of amateur boxing throughout the country. Boxing clubs welcome new members from all communities and social groups.
Find out more: Amateur Boxing Association of England