Monday, July 12, 2010

Confusion

I am not a major fan of sports, although with a granddaughter who excels in cycling, I have had to learn some of the jargon, such as "podiumed", meaning that the rider was one of the first three (or more, in certain instances) who appear on a podium to receive their medals.

As I write this, the Soccer World Cup is in progress. British readers may be surprised to learn that when the final score is even, American papers call it a "tie". Brits would call it a "draw".

In British soccer, competition for most of the year is in "league" play. Towards the end of the season, in professional soccer (known as "football" in the UK) the matches they play are known as "cup ties", as they vie to win the prestigious FA (Football Association) Cup. Feet don't play much part in American "football" after the kick off and until an attempt is made (usually, but not always) by kicking, to add the "point after", very rarely unsuccessful. In rugby football, a "try" is not the attempt, but the way in which points are scored by carrying the ball across the goal line. Then there is a chance to "convert" by kicking the ball over the horizontal bar, when the "try" becomes a "goal". (In most sports, a "goal" is scored when the ball (or "puck") passes under the bar.

As a small child, I did not understand why there was so much interest in a "test match". I thought it was the equivalent of a so-called "friendly". When would there be a real match? Americans should know that "test matches" are very serious affairs. Many years ago, the final cricket Test Match, when England played Australia, was played to a finish. Happily, these contests appear to be limited to five days at most.

In the UK, and in other parts of the world where cricket is played, the area between the wickets is called a "pitch". In the US, a "pitch" is made when a ball is thrown to the batter. If the "bowler" throws a ball in cricket, the umpire will call "no ball". (That adds a run to the score of the batting side, although the "batsman" is permitted to strike it and to increase the number of runs to be scored.)

A "bowler" in cricket is the one who projects the ball. In the US, a "bowler" is a participant in an indoor sport, a version of what I once knew as "Ninepins". In the UK, "bowls" refers to what those of us on the western side of the Pond would call "lawn bowls". "Bowls" in the US are end of season contests between College football teams, played by highly recruited young men on "athletic scholarships".

Confusing, certainly, but always entertaining.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Dad,
    I don't understand this part below; do you mean if the bowler bends his arm and "throws" rather than "bowls?" I mean, the bowler is throwing the ball every time he bowls.

    If the "bowler" throws a ball in cricket, the umpire will call "no ball". (That adds a run to the score of the batting side, although the "batsman" is permitted to strike it and to increase the number of runs to be scored.)

    I'm enjoying reading Rentonia

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nick, Certainly the ball is "thrown" in a sense, but in cricket the delivery has to be with the arm extended. You can bowl underarm (chiefly done by children) or overarm. If the elbow is bent, that is counted as having been "thrown".

    Thanks for writing.

    ReplyDelete