Tennis or Something · 21 May 2011

My two younger sons made up a game that somewhat resembles tennis. It is called Run-Around-Like-a-Chicken-with-Its-Head-Cut-Off-and-Hit-the-Tennis-Balls-to-the-Other-Side-of-the-Net-without-Regard-for-What-the-Other-Person-Is-Doing-and-Keep-Doing-It-Until-Both- Competitors-Are-So-Tired-That-They-Fall-Down-From-Exhaustion. It is a great game for kids and should be learned by all.

Even though it hardly resembles the real thing, we still call this new game tennis. After all, even though the name is also its description, Run-Around-Like-a-Chicken-with-Its-Head-Cut-Off-and-Hit-the-Tennis-Balls-to-the-Other-Side-of-the-Net-without-Regard-for-What-the-Other-Person-Is-Doing-and-Keep-Doing-It-Until-Both- Competitors-Are-So-Tired-That-They-Fall-Down-From-Exhaustion is much too long a name for any game. I suppose that we could create a name, but an acronym would be out of the question. (I cannot even pronounce RALCIHCOHTBOSNRWOPIDKDIUBCASTTTFDFE or break it into recognizable words.) So for now, I will just call it “the tennis-like game with the really long name” or just tennis.

The kids invented the game on a rare sunny day this spring. They like to go to the neighborhood tennis court and hit the ball around. Usually, I hit the ball to them and they hit it back. Or at least try to do so. On that particular day though, they decided to create their new game. I was already exhausted from playing basketball that day and was just sitting on the side watching them hit the ball around. They were not getting warmed up (we had already done that playing basketball while waiting for the tennis court to become unoccupied), they just got on the court and played the crazy game with the long name.

It was great fun to watch. The boys took three balls and just kept hitting them over the net to each other. When a ball came over, they would try to hit it back, but if they missed, they would pick it or another ball up and hit it across the net. Balls were flying every which way. Interestingly enough, they were mostly going over the net. It was great fun, but exhausting. Even to watch.

I really think that this new game will take off with the younger crowd and should be taught in schools. After all, the long name of the game does give all the pertinent information about playing the game. There is no complicated scoring like in tennis because there is no scoring. As a bonus, love still means something instead of nothing. Also, since everybody wins just because they participated, kids could do it in P.E. class. If schools had tennis courts.

I know that I am just being a bit silly here, but in all seriousness, I know the activity of running around like a chicken with its head cut off is a good thing for kids (see How to Stay Healthy – Act Like a Child). There is also great benefit in just hitting a tennis ball with a tennis racquet – I saw the boys hit better and better shots as the time went on. But perhaps the greatest benefit of the game is that the kids truly are exhausted when it is over. After all, the name says the game should end when the players fall down exhausted. When the kids made up the game, we did not stay until its completion. We had to go home before then because I was exhausted just watching them play.

I really do think that all kids should learn to play Run-Around-Like-a-Chicken-with-Its-Head-Cut-Off-and-Hit-the-Tennis-Balls-to-the-Other-Side-of-the-Net-without-Regard-for-What-the-Other-Person-Is-Doing-and-Keep-Doing-It-Until-Both- Competitors-Are-So-Tired-That-They-Fall-Down-From-Exhaustion. Or at the very least they should all run around until they fall down from exhaustion. We all probably should.

© 2011 Michael T. Miyoshi

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