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  2. Water polo is a competitive team sport played in the water between two teams. The game consists of four quarters in which the two teams attempt to score goals by throwing the ball into the opposing team's goal. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins the match. Each team is made up of six field players and one goalkeeper. Except for the goalkeeper, players participate in both offensive and defensive roles. Water polo is typically played in an all-deep pool meaning that players cannot touch the bottom. A game of water polo consists of the players swimming to move about the pool, treading water (often using the eggbeater kick technique), passing the ball and shooting at goal. Teamwork, tactical thinking and game awareness are also highly important aspects in a game of water polo. Water polo is a highly physical and demanding sport and has frequently been cited as one of the toughest sports to play. Special equipment for water polo includes a water polo ball, a ball which floats on the water; numbered and coloured caps; and two goals, which either float in the water or are attached to the side of the pool. The game is thought to have originated in Scotland in the late 19th century as a sort of "water rugby". William Wilson is thought to have developed the game during a similar period. The game thus developed with the formation of the London Water Polo League and has since expanded, becoming widely popular in various parts of Europe, the United States, Brazil, China, Canada and Australia. Common techniques and practices Offense strategy Player positioning The most basic positional set up is known as a "3–3", so called because there are two lines in front of the opponent's goal. Another set up, used more by professional teams, is known as an "arc", "umbrella", or "mushroom"; perimeter players form the shape of an arc around the goal, with the hole set as the handle or stalk. Yet another option for offensive set is called a 4–2 or double hole; there are two center forward offensive players in front of the goal. Double hole is most often used in "man up" situations, or when the defense has only one skilled "hole D", or to draw in a defender and then pass out to a perimeter player for a shot ("kick out"). Another, albeit less common offense, is the "motion c", sometimes nicknamed "washing machine offence", in which two "weak-side" (to the right of the goal for right-handed players) perimeter players set up as a wing and a flat. The remaining four players swim in square pattern in which a player swims from the point to the hole and then out to the strong side wing. The wing moves to the flat and the flat to the point. The weak side wing and flat then control the tempo of play and try to make passes into the player driving towards the centre forward who can then either shoot or pass. This form of offence is used when no dominate hole set is available, or the hole defence is too strong. It is also seen much more often in women's water polo where teams may lack a player of sufficient size or strength to set up in the centre forward. The best advantage to this system is it makes man-coverage much more difficult for the defender and allows the offence to control the game tempo better once the players are "set up". The main drawback is this constant motion can be very tiring as well as somewhat predictable as to where the next pass is going to go. Advancing the ball When the offence takes possession of the ball, the strategy is to advance the ball down the field of play and to score a goal. Players can move the ball by throwing it to a teammate or swimming with the ball in front of them (dribbling). If an attacker uses his/her arm to push away a defending player and free up space for a pass or shot, the referee will rule a turnover and the defence will take possession of the ball. If an attacker advances inside the 2-metre line without the ball or before the ball is inside the 2-metre area, (s)he is ruled offside and the ball is turned over to the defence. This is often overlooked if the attacker is well to the side of the pool or when the ball is at the other side of the pool. Setting the ball The key to the offence is to accurately pass (or "set") the ball into the centre forward or hole set, positioned directly in front of the goal ("the hole"). Any field player may throw the hole set a "wet pass". A wet pass is one that hits the water just outside the hole set's reach. A dry pass may also be used. This is where the hole set receives the ball directly in his hand and then attempts a shot at the cage. This pass is much more difficult because if the pass is not properly caught, the officials will be likely to call an offensive foul resulting in a change of ball possession. The hole set attempts to take possession of the ball [after a wet pass], to shoot at the goal, or to draw a foul from his defender. A minor foul is called if his defender (called the "hole D") attempts to impede movement before the hole set has possession. The referee indicates the foul with one short whistle blow and points one hand to the spot of the foul and the other hand in the direction of the attack of the team to whom the free throw has been awarded. The hole set then has a "reasonable amount of time" (typically about three seconds; there is no FINA rule on this issue) to re-commence play by making a free pass to one of the other players. The defensive team cannot hinder the hole set until the free throw has been taken, but the hole set cannot shoot a goal once the foul has been awarded until the ball has been played by at least one other player. If the hole set attempts a goal without the free throw, the goal is not counted and the defence takes possession of the ball, unless the shot is made outside the 5-metre line. As soon as the hole set has a free pass, the other attacking players attempt to swim (or drive) away from their defenders towards the goal. The players at the flat position will attempt to set a screen (also known as a pick) for the driver. If a driver gets free from a defender, the player calls for the pass from the hole set and attempts a shot at the goal. Man-Up (5 on 6) If a defender interferes with a free throw, holds or sinks an attacker who is not in possession or splashes water into the face of an opponent, the defensive player is excluded from the game for twenty seconds, known as a 'kick out' or an ejection. The attacking team typically positions 4 players on the 2 metre line, and 2 players on 5 metre line (4–2), passing the ball around until an open player attempts a shot. Other formations include a 3–3 (two lines of three attackers each) or arc (attackers make an arc in front of the goal and one offensive player sits in the 'hole' or 'pit' in front of the goal). The five defending players try to pressure the attackers, block shots and prevent a goal being scored for the 20 seconds while they are a player down. The other defenders can only block the ball with one hand to help the goalkeeper. The defensive player is allowed to return immediately if the offence scores, or if the defence recovers the ball before the twenty seconds expires. Defense strategy On defence, the players work to regain possession of the ball and to prevent a goal in their own net. The defence attempts to knock away or steal the ball from the offense or to commit a foul in order to stop an offensive player from taking a goal shot. The defender attempts to stay between the attacker and the goal, a position known as inside water. Goalkeeper Even with good backup from the rest of the defenders, stopping attacks can prove very difficult if the goalkeeper remains in the middle of the goal. The most defensible position is along a semicircular line connecting the goalposts and extending out in the centre. Depending on the ball carrier's location, the goalkeeper is positioned along that semicircle roughly a metre out of the goal to reduce the attacker's shooting angle. The goalkeeper stops using his or her hands to tread water once the opponent enters at about the 7 metre mark and starts to lift their upper body using the eggbeater technique to prepare to block the shot. Finally the goalkeeper tries to block the ball down, which is often hard for the longer reaches, but prevents an offensive rebound and second shot. As is the case with other defensive players, a goalkeeper who aggressively fouls an attacker in position to score can be charged with a penalty shot for the other team. The goalkeeper can also be ejected for twenty seconds if a major foul is committed. Also inside the five metre mark, the goalie can swing at the ball with a closed fist without being penalised. Advantage rule If an offensive player, such as the centre forward, has possession of the ball in front of the goal, the defensive player tries to steal the ball or to keep the centre from shooting or passing. If the defender cannot achieve these aims, he may commit a foul intentionally. The hole set then is given a free throw but must pass off the ball to another offensive player, rather than making a direct shot at the goal. Defensive perimeter players may also intentionally cause a minor foul and then move toward the goal, away from their attacker, who must take a free throw. This technique, called sloughing, allows the defense an opportunity to double-team the hole set and possibly steal the inbound pass. The referee may refrain from declaring a foul, if in his judgment this would give the advantage to the offender's team. This is known as the Advantage Rule.
  3. Synchronised swimming, referred to by international governing body FINA as artistic swimming since 2017, is a hybrid form of swimming, dance, and gymnastics, consisting of swimmers performing a synchronised routine (either solo, duet, trio, mixed duet, free team, free combination, and highlight) of elaborate moves in the water, accompanied by music. Artistic swimming is governed internationally by FINA, and has been part of the Summer Olympics programme since 1984. Synchronised swimming demands advanced water skills, requires great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control when upside down underwater. Competitors show off their strength, flexibility, and aerobic endurance required to perform difficult routines. Swimmers perform two routines for judges, one technical and one free, as well as age group routines and figures. Synchronized swimming is both an individual and team sport. Swimmers compete individually during figures, and then as a team during the routine. Figures are made up of a combination of skills and positions that often require control, strength, and flexibility. Swimmers are ranked individually for this part of the competition. The routine involves teamwork and synchronisation. It is choreographed to music and often has a theme. Since the 20th century, synchronised swimming has predominantly been considered a women's sport, with the Summer Olympics only featuring women's duet and team events. However, international, national and regional competitions may allow men to compete, and FINA introduced a new mixed duet competition at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships. FINA officially renamed the sport from "synchronized swimming" to "artistic swimming" in 2017—a decision that has faced mixed reception. Competitions Figures A standard meet begins with the swimmers doing "figures", which are progressions between positions performed individually without music. All swimmers must compete wearing the standard black swimsuit and white swimcap, as well as goggles and a noseclip. Figures are performed in front of a panel of 5 judges who score individual swimmers from 1 to 10 (10 being the best). The figure competition prefaces the routine events. In the United States In the United States, competitors are divided into groups by age. The eight age groups are: 12 and under, 13–15, 16–17, 18–19, Junior (elite 15–18), Senior (elite 15+), Collegiate, and Master. In addition to these groups, younger swimmers may be divided by ability into 3 levels: Novice, Intermediate, and Junior Olympic. Certain competitions require the athlete(s) to pass a certain Grade Level. Grades as of now range from Level one to Level five, and will soon go to Level ten. Seasons range in length, and some swimmers participate year-round in competitions. There are many levels of competition, including but not limited to: State, Regional, Zone, Junior Olympic, and US Junior and Senior Opens. Each swimmer may compete in up to four of the following routine events: solo, duet, combo (consisting of four to ten swimmers), and team (consisting of four to eight swimmers). In the 12 & under and 13-15 age groups, figure scores are combined with routines to determine the final rankings. The 16-17 and 18-19 age groups combine the scores of the technical and free routines to determine the final rankings. USA Synchro's annual intercollegiate championships have been dominated by The Ohio State University, Stanford University, Lindenwood University, and The University of the Incarnate Word. In Canada In Canada, synchronized swimming has an age-based Structure system as of 2010 with age groups 10 & under, 12 & under, and 13–15 for the provincial levels. There is also a skill level which is 13–15 and juniors (16–18) known as national stream, as well as competition at the Masters and University levels. 13–15 age group and 16–18 age group are national stream athletes that fall in line with international age groups – 15 and Under and Junior (16–18) and Senior (18+) level athletes. There are also the Wildrose age group. This is for competitors before they reach 13–15 national stream. Wildrose ranges from Tier 8 and under to 16 and over provincial/wildrose. These are also competitive levels. There are also the recreational levels which are called "stars". Synchro Canada requires that a competitor must pass Star 3 before entering Tier 1. To get into a Tier a swimmer must take a test for that Tier. In these tests, the swimmer must be able to perform the required movements for the level. (Canada no longer uses Tiers as a form of level placement). The Canadian University Synchronized Swimming League is intended for Canadian Swimmers who wish to continue their participation in the sport, as well as offering a "Novice" category for those new to the sport. Traditionally, the top teams hail from McGill University, Queens University and the University of Ottawa.
  4. Canoe polo, also known as Kayak polo, is one of the competitive disciplines of kayaking, known simply as "polo" by its aficionados. Each team has five players on the pitch (and up to three substitutes), who compete to score in their opponents goal which is suspended two metres above the water. The ball can be thrown by hand, or flicked with the paddle to pass between players and shoot at the goal. Pitches can be set up in swimming pools or any stretch of flat water. Kayak polo combines boating and ball handling skills with a contact team game, where tactics and positional play are as important as the speed and fitness of the individual athletes. The game requires excellent teamwork and promotes both general canoeing skills and a range of other techniques unique to the sport. The kayaks are specifically designed for polo and are faster and lighter than typical kayaks which give them superior maneuverability. The blades of a polo paddle have thick rounded edges to prevent injury. Paddles are also very lightweight and designed with both pulling power and ball control in mind. Nose and tail boat bumpers, body protection, helmets and face-guards are all compulsory. In International Canoe Federation nomenclature used in some European countries, chiefly the United Kingdom, the term canoe can refer to a kayak too. The boats in this game are paddled with a double-bladed paddle and are called "kayaks" Features The game is now played in many countries throughout all inhabited continents, for recreation and serious sport. The sport has World Championships every two years and European, Asian, African, and PanAmerican Continental Championships held every year in between World Championship years. Internationally the sport is organized by the Canoe Polo committee of the International Canoe Federation, as one of the disciplines of the sport of canoeing. The game is often described as a combination of water polo, basketball and kayaking. The tactics and playing of the game are not unlike basketball or water polo but with the added complexity of the boats, which can be used to tackle an opposition player in possession of the ball, or jostle for position within 6 meters of the goal. Officials There are two referees (one on each side-line) and they are on foot rather than in boats. The score is kept by the scorekeeper and the timekeeper monitors the playing time and sending-off times. The goal lines are monitored by two line judges. Before play commences scrutineers check all kit for compliance with regulations. Pitch Canoe polo is played either indoors in swimming pools or outdoors on a pitch which should measure 35 meters by 23 meters. The boundaries of the pitch are ideally marked using floating ropes (similar to lane markers in swimming), although for smaller venues the edges of the pool are frequently used. The area approximately 6 meters in front of each the goal can be defined as the Zone. This area is where defending players create formations to defend the goal from attackers. Timing The game is officially played as a 14- to 20-minute game consisting of two 7- to 10-minute halves. The teams change ends at the half-time period, which is 1 to 3 minutes long. Each half begins with a "sprint" where each team lines up against its goal-line and the ball is thrown into the middle of the pitch by the referee. One player from each team sprints to win possession of the ball. Shot clock A shot clock may be used to speed up the game. The attacking team have 60 seconds to have a shot on the goal or they lose possession. The shot clock is reset when the ball is intercepted by the opposing team or the attacking team loses possession. The shot clock is a recent addition to the rules, and due to the expense and complexity of the equipment is not used universally. Tactics There are several attacking and defensive tactics all with different variations. Offensive Overload: 1 or 2 players attack the side of the zone, pushing the defensive players together and creating space for a 3rd player to sprint into the newly created space, receive a pass from the 4th player and take a direct shot on the goal. Box player: A player positions themselves directly under the goal, next to the keeper. The aim is to keep this position and to receive a quick pass and then have a short, direct shot at the goal or pass to another player who takes the opportunity to break through the defence. Star: The players position themselves around the zone and sprint in consecutively, a defensive player moves to block each player as they sprint in, the attacking team move the ball around as the players sprint in, threatening to take a shot. If done correctly the fifth player is able to sprint into the zone, will have no defensive player to block them, receive the pass from the 4th player and be able to take a direct shot on goal. Defensive 3–1: Three players form a row above the goal keeper, 1 to each side and 1 directly above the keeper. This formation can provide a very solid defensive line, by protecting the sides and the middle. The remaining player patrols the top of the zone with the aim of pressuring the ball and stopping players running into gaps in the defensive line. 2–2: Two players position themselves in front, and to the side of the goal keeper, and block attacking players threatening the goal from the side. The two other players go further forward and towards the middle with the aim of stopping players running in to the zone and to place pressure of the attackers. Looked on from above, it is not dissimilar to a Christmas tree formation. The aim is to force long-shots and errors from the attackers to win the ball back, while protecting the goal. Five or out: Every player, including the goal keeper, marks a player and pressures the ball and every pass, trying to force a mistake or gain an interception.
  5. Diving is the sport of jumping or falling into water from a platform or springboard, usually while performing acrobatics. Diving is an internationally recognized sport that is part of the Olympic Games. In addition, unstructured and non-competitive diving is a recreational pastime. Diving is one of the most popular Olympic sports with spectators. Competitors possess many of the same characteristics as gymnasts and dancers, including strength, flexibility, kinaesthetic judgment and air awareness. Some professional divers were originally gymnasts or dancers as both the sports have similar characteristics to diving. Dmitri Sautin holds the record for most Olympic diving medals won, by winning eight medals in total between 1992 and 2008. Competitive diving Most diving competitions consist of three disciplines: 1 m and 3 m springboards, and the platform. Competitive athletes are divided by gender, and often by age group. In platform events, competitors are allowed to perform their dives on either the five, seven and a half (generally just called seven), nine, or ten meter towers. In major diving meets, including the Olympic Games and the World Championships, platform diving is from the 10 meter height. Divers have to perform a set number of dives according to established requirements, including somersaults and twists. Divers are judged on whether and how well they completed all aspects of the dive, the conformance of their body to the requirements of the dive, and the amount of splash created by their entry to the water. A possible score out of ten is broken down into three points for the takeoff (meaning the hurdle), three for the flight (the actual dive), and three for the entry (how the diver hits the water), with one more available to give the judges flexibility. The raw score is multiplied by a degree of difficulty factor, derived from the number and combination of movements attempted. The diver with the highest total score after a sequence of dives is declared the winner. Synchronized diving Synchronized diving was adopted as an Olympic sport in 2000. Two divers form a team and perform dives simultaneously. The dives are identical. It used to be possible to dive opposites, also known as a pinwheel, but this is no longer part of competitive synchronized diving. For example, one diver would perform a forward dive and the other an inward dive in the same position, or one would do a reverse and the other a back movement. In these events, the diving would be judged both on the quality of execution and the synchronicity – in timing of take-off and entry, height and forward travel. Scoring the dive There are rules governing the scoring of a dive. Usually a score considers three elements of the dive: the approach, the flight, and the entry. The primary factors affecting the scoring are: if a hand-stand is required, the length of time and quality of the hold the height of the diver at the apex of the dive, with extra height resulting in a higher score the distance of the diver from the diving apparatus throughout the dive (a diver must not be dangerously close, should not be too far away, but should ideally be within 2 feet (0.61 m) of the platform) the properly defined body position of the diver according to the dive being performed, including pointed toes and feet touching at all times the proper amounts of rotation and revolution upon completion of the dive and entry into the water angle of entry – a diver should enter the water straight, without any angle. amount of splash – many judges award divers for the amount of splash created by the diver on entry, with less splash resulting in a higher score. Each dive is assigned a degree of difficulty (DD), which is determined from a combination of the moves undertaken, position used, and height. The DD value is multiplied by the scores given by the judges. The synchronisation scores are based on: time of take-off height attained synchronisation of rotations and twists time of entry to the water forward travel from the board The judges may also disqualify the diver for certain violations during the dive, including: receiving a score of 0 on all dives performed in the event improper equipment usage (e.g., female divers not using hair ties) Competitive strategy To win dive meets, divers create a dive list in advance of the meet. To win the meet the diver must accumulate more points than other divers. Often, simple dives with low DDs will look good to spectators but will not win meets. The competitive diver will attempt the highest DD dives possible with which they can achieve consistent, high scores. If divers are scoring 8 or 9 on most dives, it may be a sign of their extreme skill, or it may be a sign that their dive list is not competitive, and they may lose the meet to a diver with higher DDs and lower scores. In competition, divers must submit their lists beforehand, and once past a deadline (usually when the event is announced or shortly before it begins) they cannot change their dives. If they fail to perform the dive announced, even if they physically cannot execute the dive announced or if they perform a more difficult dive, they will receive a score of zero. Under exceptional circumstances, a redive may be granted, but these are exceedingly rare (usually for very young divers just learning how to compete, or if some event outside the diver's control has caused them to be unable to perform-such as a loud noise). In the Olympics or other highly competitive meets, many divers will have nearly the same list of dives as their competitors. The importance for divers competing at this level is not so much the DD, but how they arrange their list. Once the more difficult rounds of dives begin it is important to lead off with a confident dive to build momentum. They also tend to put a very confident dive in front of a very difficult dive to ensure that they will have a good mentality for the difficult dive. Most divers have pre-dive and post-dive rituals that help them either maintain or regain focus. Coaches also play a role in this aspect of the sport. Many divers rely on their coaches to help keep their composure during the meet. In a large meet coaches are rarely allowed on the deck to talk to their athlete so it is common to see coaches using hand gestures or body movements to communicate. There are some American meets which will allow changes of the position of the dive even after the dive has been announced immediately before execution, but these are an exception to the rules generally observed internationally. Generally, NCAA rules allow for dives to be changed while the diver is on the board, but the diver must request the change directly after the dive is announced. This applies especially in cases where the wrong dive is announced. If the diver pauses during his or her hurdle to ask for a change of dive, it will be declared a balk (when the diver stops mid-hurdle) and the change of dive will not be permitted. Under FINA law, no dive may be changed after the deadline for the dive-sheet to be submitted (generally a period ranging from one hour to 24 hours, depending on the rulings made by the event organiser). It is the diver's responsibility to ensure that the dive-sheet is filled in correctly, and also to correct the referee or announcer before the dive if they describe it incorrectly. If a dive is performed which is as submitted but not as (incorrectly) announced, it is declared failed and scores zero according to a strict reading of the FINA law. But in practice, a re-dive would usually be granted in these circumstances.
  6. Freestyle is a category of swimming competition, defined by the rules of the International Swimming Federation (FINA), in which competitors are subject to few limited restrictions on their swimming stroke. Freestyle races are the most common of all swimming competitions, with distances beginning with 50 meters (50 yards) and reaching 1500 meters (1650 yards), also known as the mile. The term 'freestyle stroke' is sometimes used as a synonym for 'front crawl', as front crawl is the fastest swimming stroke. It is now the most common stroke used in freestyle competitions. Technique Freestyle swimming implies the use of legs and arms for competitive swimming, except in the case of the individual medley (which is a combination of four different swimming styles—butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle—into one race) or medley relay events. The front crawl is most commonly chosen by swimmers, as this provides the greatest speed. During a race, the competitor circles the arms forward in alternation, kicking the feet up and down (flutter kick). Individual freestyle events can also be swum using one of the officially regulated strokes (breaststroke, butterfly, or backstroke). For the freestyle part of medley swimming competitions, however, one cannot use breaststroke, butterfly, or backstroke. Front crawl is based on the Trudgen that was improved by Richmond Cavill from Sydney, Australia. Cavill developed the stroke by observing a young boy from the Solomon Islands, Alick Wickham. Cavill and his brothers spread the Australian crawl to England, New Zealand and America, creating the freestyle used worldwide today. During the Olympic Games, front crawl is swum almost exclusively during freestyle. Some of the few rules state that swimmers must touch the end of the pool during each length and cannot push off the bottom, hang on the wall, or pull on the lane lines during the course of the race. As with all competitive events, false starts can lead to disqualification of the swimmer. New developments in the sport Times have consistently dropped over the years due to better training techniques and to new developments in the sport. In the first four Olympics, swimming competitions were not held in pools, but in open water (1896 – the Mediterranean Sea, 1900 – the Seine river, 1904 – an artificial lake, 1906 – the Mediterranean Sea). The 1904 Olympics freestyle race was the only one ever measured at 100 yards, instead of the usual 100 meters. A 100-meter pool was built for the 1908 Olympics and sat in the center of the main stadium's track and field oval. The 1912 Olympics, held in the Stockholm harbor, marked the beginning of electronic timing. Male swimmers wore full body suits up until the 1940s, which caused more drag in the water than their modern swimwear counterparts. Also, over the years, some design considerations have reduced swimming resistance, making the pool faster, namely: proper pool depth, elimination of currents, increased lane width, energy-absorbing racing lane lines and gutters, and the use of other innovative hydraulic, acoustic, and illumination designs. The 1924 Olympics was the first to use the standard 50 meter pool with marked lanes. In freestyle events, swimmers originally dove from the pool walls, but diving blocks were eventually incorporated at the 1936 Olympics. The flip turn was developed in the 1950s, resulting in faster times. Lane design created in the early 1970s has also cut down turbulence in water, aiding in the more dynamic pool used today.
  7. Breaststroke is a swimming style in which the swimmer is on their chest and the torso does not rotate. It is the most popular recreational style due to the swimmer's head being out of the water a large portion of the time, and that it can be swum comfortably at slow speeds. In most swimming classes, beginners learn either the breaststroke or the freestyle (front crawl) first. However, at the competitive level, swimming breaststroke at speed requires comparable endurance and strength to other strokes. Some people refer to breaststroke as the "frog" stroke, as the arms and legs move somewhat like a frog swimming in the water. The stroke itself is the slowest of any competitive strokes and is thought to be the oldest of all swimming strokes. Techniques Arm movement There are three steps to the arm movement: outsweep, insweep, and recovery. The movement starts with the outsweep. From the streamline position, the palms turn out and the hands separate to slightly past shoulder width. The outsweep is followed by the insweep, where the hands point down and push the water backwards. The elbows stay in the horizontal plane through the shoulders. The hands push back until approximately the vertical plane through the shoulders. At the end of the insweep the hands come together with facing palms in front of the chest and the elbows are at the side at the body. In the recovery phase, the hands are moved forward again into the initial position under water. The entire arm stroke starts slowly, increases speed to the peak arm movement speed in the insweep phase, and slows down again during recovery. The goal is to produce maximum thrust during the insweep phase, and minimum drag during the recovery phase. Another variant is the underwater pull-down, similar to the push phase of a butterfly stroke. This stroke continues the insweep phase and pushes the hands all the way to the back to the sides of the hip. This greatly increases the push from one stroke, but also makes recovery more difficult. This style is well suited for underwater swimming. However, FINA allows this stroke only for the first stroke after the start and each turn. In late 2005, FINA has also introduced a new rule which permits a single downward kick after the push off the wall. As a variant, it is possible to recover the arms over water. This reduces drag, but requires more power. Some competitive swimmers use this variant in competition. Leg movement The leg movement, colloquially known as the "frog kick" or "whip kick", consists of two phases: bringing the feet into position for the thrust phase and the insweep phase. From the initial position with the legs stretched out backward, the feet are moved together towards the posterior, while the knees stay together. The knees should not sink too low, as this increases the drag. Then the feet point outward in preparation for the thrust phase. In the thrust phase, the legs are moved elliptically back to the initial position. During this movement, the knees are kept together. The legs move slower while bringing the legs into position for the thrust phase, and move very fast during the thrust phase. Again, the goal is to produce maximum thrust during the insweep phase, and minimise drag during the recovery phase. In the recovery phase the lower leg and the feet are in the wake of the upper leg, and the feet are pointed to the rear. In the thrust phase all three parts create their own wake, and the flat end of the feet acts like a hydrofoil aligned to give maximum forward thrust. The resulting drag coefficient (or more precisely the frontal area) is thus doubled in the thrust phase. A fit adult creates a wake. Drag due to a wake is Newtonian drag, increasing with the square of the velocity. For example, if the relative speed between the water and the leg is twice as high on the thrust phase than on the recovery phase, the thrust is four times as high as the drag. Assuming the legs are recovered with a relative speed between leg and body which amounts to the same as the relative speed between water and body, the legs must be kicked back with five times the mean velocity of the swimmer. This limits the top speed. Both effects together, velocity and frontal area, yield a thrust-to-drag ratio of 8 for the legs. As a variant, some swimmers move the knees apart during the preparation phase and keep them apart until almost the end of the thrust phase. Moving both knee and foot outwards like a real frog avoids the extreme rotation in the lower leg. All other variants fail to increase the frontal area, yet swimmers using them still generate some thrust by the velocity variation and do not drown. Another variant of the breaststroke kick is the scissor kick, however, this kick violates the rules of the FINA as it is no longer symmetrical. Swimming teachers put a great effort into steering the students away from the scissor kick. In the scissor kick, one leg moves as described above, but the other leg does not form an elliptical movement but merely an up-down movement similar to the flutter kick of front crawl. Some swimming teachers believe that learning the front crawl first gives a higher risk of an incorrect scissor kick when learning breaststroke afterwards. Breaststroke can also be swum with the dolphin kick in butterfly, but this also violates the FINA rules. One kick is allowed, however, at the start and at the turn, providing that it is part of the body's natural movement. Humans have strong muscles in the legs and would need swim fins (like a frog) to bring all their power into the water and stand with the sole of the feet on the water. Rather the leg grabs almost as much water as the foot and a small amount of water is accelerated to high kinetic energy, but not much impulse is transferred. The toes are bent, the feet point 45° outwards, the sole points backwards, to mimic a hydrofoil. While closing in a V shape to the rear a small “lifting” force can be felt. Unlike in the other kicks, the joints are moved into extrema. Before the kick the knee is maximally bent and the upper leg is rotating along its axis to its extreme outer position and the lower leg is twisted to extreme, at the end of the kick the ankles are maximally turned to the inside so that the soles clap together to achieve a nozzle effect like in a jelly fish. Therefore, training involves getting flexible in addition to fitness and precision. The sudden sideways stress on the knees at the kick can lead to uncomfortable noise and feeling for the beginner and to wear for the senior. Breathing The easiest way to breathe during breaststroke is to let the head follow the spine. When the swimmer's elbows have reached the line of his eye and have begun to rise, his head starts to lift. If he uses his high elbows as a hinge for the inward sweep of his hands and forearms, he will create the leverage he needs to use his abdominal muscles to bring his hips forward. When his hips move forward, his chest, shoulders and upper back will automatically lift up. Breathing is usually done during the beginning of the insweep phase of the arms, and the swimmer breathes in ideally through the mouth. The swimmer breathes out through mouth and nose during the recovery and gliding phase. Breaststroke can be swum faster if submerged completely, but FINA requires the head to break the surface once per cycle except for the first cycle after the start and each turn. Thus, competitive swimmers usually make one underwater pull-out, pushing the hands all the way to the back after the start and each turn. Recreational swimmers often keep their head above water at all times when they swim breaststroke. Body movement The movement starts in the initial position with the body completely straight. Body movement is coordinated such that the legs are ready for the thrust phase while the arms are halfway through the insweep, and the head is out of the water for breathing. In this position the body has also the largest angle to the horizontal. The arms are recovered during the thrust phase of the legs. After the stroke the body is kept in the initial position for some time to utilize the gliding phase. Depending on the distance and fitness the duration of this gliding phase varies. Usually the gliding phase is shorter during sprints than during long distance swimming. The gliding phase is also longer during the underwater stroke after the start and each turn. However, the gliding phase is usually the longest phase in one entire cycle of breaststroke. Start Breaststroke uses the regular start for swimming. Some swimmers use a variant called the frog start, where the legs are pulled forward sharply before being extended again quickly during the airborne phase of the start. After the start a gliding phase follows under water, followed by one underwater pulldown and dolphin kick, then one whip kick as the hands are recovered back to a streamline. This is known as the pull-out. The head must break the surface before the arms reach their widest point on the first stroke after the pull-out. The downward butterfly kick was legalized by FINA, WWF and the NCAA in 2005, and remains optional. The downward fly kick is now allowed in MCSL. Turn and finish For competitive swimming it is important that the wall at the end of the lane is always touched by both hands (known as a "Two-Hand Touch") at the same time due to FINA regulations. The turn is initiated by touching the wall during the gliding or during the recovery phase of the arms, depending on how the wall can be touched faster. After touching the wall, the legs are pulled underneath the body. The body turns sideways while one hand is moved forward (i.e. towards the head) along the side of the body. When the body is almost completely turned, the other hand will be swung straight up through the air such that both hands meet at the front at the same time. At that time the body should also be almost in the horizontal and partially or totally submerged. After the body is completely submerged, the body is pushed off the wall with both legs. Doing this under water will reduce the drag. After a gliding phase, an underwater pull-out is done, followed by another gliding phase and then regular swimming. The head must break the surface during the second stroke. As a variant, some swimmers experiment with a flip over turn similar to front crawl. The finish is similar to the touching of the wall during a turn.
  8. Backstroke or back crawl is one of the four swimming styles used in competitive events regulated by FINA, and the only one of these styles swum on the back. This swimming style has the advantage of easy breathing, but the disadvantage of swimmers not being able to see where they are going. It also has a different start from the other three competition swimming styles. The swimming style is similar to an upside down front crawl or freestyle. Both backstroke and front crawl are long-axis strokes. In individual medley backstroke is the second style swum; in the medley relay it is the first style swum. Technique Arm movement In backstroke, the arms contribute most of the forward movement. The arm stroke consists of two main parts: the power phase (consisting of three separate parts) and the recovery. The arms alternate so that always one arm is underwater while the other arm is recovering. One complete arm turn is considered one cycle. From the initial position, one arm sinks slightly under water and turns the palm outward to start the catch phase (first part of the power phase). The hand enters downward (pinkie finger first) then pulling out at a 45 degree angle, catching the water. During the power phase the hand follows a semi-circular path from the catch to the side of the hip. The palm is always facing away from the swimming direction, while remaining straight as an extension of the arm, and the elbow always points downward towards the bottom of the pool. This is done so that both the arms and the elbow can push the maximum amount of water back in order to push the body forward. At the height of the shoulders, the upper and lower arms should have their maximum angle of about 90 degrees. This is called the Mid-Pull of the power phase. The Mid-Pull phase consists of pushing the palm of the hand as far down as possible with the fingers pointing upward. Again, the goal is to push the body forward against the water. At the very end of the Mid-Pull, the palm flaps down for a last push forward down to a depth of 45 cm, creating the finish of the power phase. Besides pushing the body forward, this also helps with the rolling back to the other side as part of the body movement. During the power phase, the fingers of the hand can be slightly apart, as this will increase the resistance of the hand in the water due to turbulence. To prepare for the recovery phase, the hand is rotated so that the palms point towards the legs and the thumb side points upwards. At the beginning of the recovery phase of the one arm, the other arm begins its power phase. The recovering arm is moved in a semicircle straight over the shoulders to the front. During this recovery, the palm rotates so that the small finger enters the water first, allowing for the least amount of resistance, and the palms point outward. After a short gliding phase, the cycle repeats with the preparation for the next power phase. Variants A variant is to move both arms synchronized and not alternating, similar to an upside down breast stroke. This is easier to coordinate, and the peak speed during the combined power phase is faster, yet the speed is much slower during the combined recovery. The average speed will usually be less than the average speed of the alternating stroke. This stroke is commonly called the elementary backstroke. This elementary backstroke swim was used in the 1900 and 1908 Olympics. The backcrawl swim supplanted the elementary backstroke swim after 1908 as the competitive back swim and it is now the referred to as the backstroke. Another variant is the old style of swimming backstroke, where the arm movement formed a complete circle in a windmill type pattern. However, this style is not commonly used for competitive swimming, as a lot of energy is spent on pushing the body up and down instead of forward. Furthermore, the added strain on the shoulder is considered less than ideal and can lead to injuries. It is also possible to move only one arm at a time (paused stroke), where one arm moves through the power and recovery phases while the other arm rests. This is slow, but it is used frequently to teach students the movement, as they have to concentrate on only one arm. This drill technique can work well with the swimmer holding a float, however it is important not to overuse this drill as a "paused stroke" can easily become habitual and can be challenging to unlearn. Leg movement The leg movement in backstroke is similar to the flutter kick in front crawl. The kick makes a large contribution to the forward speed, while significantly stabilizing the body. The leg stroke alternates, with one leg sinking down straight to about 30 degrees. From this position, the leg makes a fast kick upward, slightly bending the knee at the beginning and then stretching it again in the horizontal. However, there are also frequent variants with four or only two kicks per cycle. Usually, sprinters tend to use 6 kicks per cycle, whereas long distance swimmer may use fewer. Variants It is also possible to use a butterfly kick, although this is rare except after the initial start and after turns. The dolphin kick is essential for many top athletes because it is the fastest part of the race. It may also constitute the majority of the race (i.e., in the 100 yard backstroke the swimmer may kick underwater dolphin for 15 yards per length which equates to as much as 60 yards kicking in a 100 yd race). A great example of this is Olympic gold medallist Natalie Coughlin. Breaststroke kicks are most comfortable if the arms are used synchronized, as the breaststroke kick makes it more difficult to compensate for the rolling movement with alternating arm cycles. The butterfly kick can be done slightly to one side depending on the rolling motion of the body. Breathing Breathing in backstroke is easier than in other strokes, as the mouth and nose are usually above water. Competitive swimmers breathe in through the mouth during the recovery of one arm, and breathe out through the mouth and nose during the pull and push phase of the same arm. This is done to clear the nose of water. Body movement Due to the asynchronous movement of the arms, the body tends to roll around its long axis. By taking advantage of this rolling motion, swimmers can increase their effectiveness while swimming backstroke. The overall position of the body is straight in the horizontal to reduce drag. Beginners frequently let their posterior and thighs sink too low, which increases drag. To avoid this, the upper legs have to be moved to the extreme down position at each kick even with a little help by the back and the foot tips have to be fixed in the extreme lower position and the head is held out of the water to act as a counter-weight. Start The backstroke start is the only start from the water. The swimmer faces the wall and grabs part of the start block or the wall with their hands. Ideally, there are grips on the block for this purpose. The legs are placed shoulder width apart on the wall with both heels slightly off the wall. Just before the starting signal, the swimmer pulls their head closer to the start block, while keeping the knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Some swimmers prefer to keep one foot slightly lower than the other during the start. For the takeoff, the swimmer pushes his or her hands away from the block and swings his or her arms around sideways to the front. At the same time, the swimmer throws his or her head to the back. The swimmer then pushes away from the wall with his or her feet. Ideally, the swimmer's back is arched during the airborne phase so that only the feet and the hands touch the water while the rest of the body is above the water line. This reduces drag and permits a faster start. On September 21, 2005, FINA modified the backstroke start rule regarding toes below the water line. The feet can now be above the water, but not above or curled over the lip of the pool gutter. After the start, the swimmer is completely underwater. Due to increased resistance at the surface, experienced swimmers usually swim faster underwater than at the surface. Therefore, most experienced swimmers in backstroke competitions stay under water up to the limit set by FINA (15 meters after the start and after every turn). Most swimmers use a butterfly kick underwater, as this provides more forward movement than the flutter kick. The underwater phase includes the risk of water entering the nose, so most swimmers breathe out through the nose to stop water from entering. The swimmer's head must break the surface before 15 m under FINA rules. The swimmer starts swimming with one arm, followed by the other arm with half a cycle delay. The swimmer continues in regular swimming style, staying on the back for the entire time except the turns. Turn and finish Approaching the wall has the problem that the swimmer cannot see where he or she is going. Most competitive swimmers know how many strokes they need for a lane, or at least how many strokes after the signal flags or the change in color of the separating lines. Turning the head is also possible, but slows the swimmer down. Prior to September 1992 swimmers had to touch the wall on their back before initiating the turn or rolling off their back in order to turn. After September 1992 when approaching the wall, the swimmer is allowed to turn to his or her breast and make one push/pull phase with one arm or simultaneous double arm pull. Next, the swimmer makes half a tumble turn forward, resting the feet against the wall. The arms are in the forward position at this time, and the swimmer pushes their body off the wall. Similar to the start, the swimmer can remain up to 15 m under water, with most swimmers using a butterfly kick for speed. This rule change allowed for faster turns. For the finish, the swimmer must touch the wall while lying on their back, less than 90 degrees out of the horizontal, and must not be completely submerged.
  9. The butterfly (colloquially shortened to fly) is a swimming stroke swum on the chest, with both arms moving symmetrically, accompanied by the butterfly kick (also known as the "dolphin kick"). While other styles like the breaststroke, front crawl, or backstroke can be swum adequately by beginners, the butterfly is a more difficult stroke that requires good technique as well as strong muscles. It is the newest swimming style swum in competition, first swum in 1933 and originating out of the breaststroke. Arm movement The butterfly stroke has three major parts, the pull, the push, and the recovery. These can also be further subdivided. From the initial position, the arm movement starts very similarly to the breast stroke. At the beginning the hands sink a little bit down with the palms facing outwards and slightly down at shoulder width, then the hands move out to create a Y. This is called catching the water. The pull movement follows a semicircle with the elbow higher than the hand and the hand pointing towards the center of the body and downward to form the traditionally taught "keyhole". The push pushes the palm backward through the water underneath the body at the beginning and at the side of the body at the end of the push. The swimmer only pushes the arms 1/3 of the way to the hips, making it easier to enter into the recovery and making the recovery shorter and making the breathing window shorter. The movement increases speed throughout the pull-push phase until the hand is the fastest at the end of the push. This step is called the release and is crucial for the recovery. The speed at the end of the push is used to help with the recovery. In the recovery, the arms are swung sideways across the water surface to the front, with the elbows straight. The arms should be swung forward from the end of the underwater movement; the extension of the triceps in combination with the butterfly kick will allow the arm to be brought forwards quickly in a relaxed manner. In contrast to the front crawl recovery, the arm recovery is a ballistic shot, letting gravity and momentum do most of the work. The only other way of lifting the arms and the shoulders out of the water would be by dropping one's hips. Therefore, the recovery, at least the acceleration of the arms, is in no way relaxed. It is important not to enter the water too early, because this would generate extra resistance as the arms move forward in the water against the swimming direction, however, during longer distances, this is difficult to avoid, and it is more important to avoid dropping one's hips. A high elbow recovery, as in front crawl, would be disadvantageous because of the natural undulations that are partially caused by the recovery and the relaxed movement caused by the momentum of a triceps extension. Limitations of the shoulder movement in the human body make such a motion unlikely. The hands should enter into the water with a narrow V shape (at 11 and 1 o'clock, if viewed like a clock) with thumbs entering first and pinkies last. The arms enter the water with the thumbs first at shoulder width. A wider entry loses movement in the next pull phase, and if the hands touch, it will waste energy. The cycle repeats with the pull phase. However, some swimmers prefer to touch in front, because it helps them catch water - as long as they can do this efficiently, they are not losing anything. Leg movement The legs are synchronized with each other which uses a whole different set of muscles. The shoulders are brought above the surface by a strong up and medium down kick, and back below the surface by a strong down and up kick. A smooth undulation fuses the motion together. The feet are pressed together to avoid loss of water pressure. The feet are naturally pointing downwards, giving downwards thrust, moving up the feet and pressing down the head. There is no actual stipulation in competitive butterfly rules that a swimmer make a fixed number of pulses in butterfly–the swimmer may kick as little or as much as he or she may wish. While competitive rules allow such a choice, the typical method of swimming butterfly is with two kicks. As butterfly originated as a variant on breaststroke, it would be performed with a breaststroke or whip kick by some swimmers. While breaststroke was separated from butterfly in 1953, the breaststroke kick in butterfly was not officially outlawed until 2001. However a number of Masters swimmers were upset with the change since they came from a time when butterfly was usually swum with a breaststroke kick. FINA was then convinced to allow a breaststroke kick in Masters swimming. Given the option, most swimmers choose to use a dolphin kicking action, but there still is a small minority of swimmers who prefer the breaststroke kick, for recreational swimming and even for competition. Breathing There is only a short window for breathing in the butterfly. If this window is missed, swimming becomes very difficult. Optimally, a butterfly swimmer synchronizes the taking of breaths with the undulation of the body to simplify the breathing process; doing this well requires some attention to butterfly stroke technique. The breathing process begins during the underwater "press" portion of the stroke. As the hands and forearms move underneath the chest, the body will naturally rise toward the surface of the water. With minimum effort, the swimmer can lift the head to fully break the surface. The swimmer breathes in through the mouth. The head goes back in the water after the arms come out of the water as they are swinging forward over the surface of the water. If the head stays out too long, the recovery is hindered. The swimmer breathes out through mouth and nose till the next breath. Normally, a breath is taken every other stroke. This can be sustained over long distances. Often, breathing every stroke slows the swimmer down. (At a certain level, a breathing stroke becomes just as fast as a nonbreathing stroke; therefore, very experienced competitors, such as Michael Phelps, may breathe every stroke.) Other intervals of breathing practised by elite swimmers include the "two up, one down" approach in which the swimmer breathes for two successive strokes and then keeps their head in the water on the next stroke, which is easier on the lungs. Swimmers with good lung capacity might also breathe every 3rd stroke during sprints for the finish. Some swimmers can even hold their breaths for an entire race (assuming that it is a short one). To be able to swim with best results it is important to keep one's head down when taking a breath. If the swimmer lifts his or her head too high the swimmer's hips often drop, creating drag, thus slowing the swimmer down. The closer one's head is to the water the better one swims is the general technique used by swimmers. Body movement Swimming butterfly is difficult if the core is not utilized, and correct timing and body movement makes swimming butterfly much easier. The body moves in a wave-like fashion, controlled by the core, and as the chest is pressed down, the hips go up, and the posterior breaks the water surface and transfers into a fluid kick. During the push phase, the chest goes up and the hips are at their lowest position. In this style, the second pulse in the cycle is stronger than the first pulse, as the second pulse is more in flow with the body movement. Although butterfly is very compatible with diving, the resulting reduction in wave drag does not lead to an overall reduction of drag. In the modern style of the butterfly stroke one does only little vertical movement of the body. Start Butterfly uses the regular start for swimming. After the start a gliding phase follows under water, followed by dolphin kicks swim under water. Swimming under water reduces the drag from breaking the surface and is very economical. Rules allow for 15 m of underwater swimming before the head must break the surface, and regular swimming begins. Turn and finish During turns and during the finish, both hands must simultaneously touch the wall while the swimmer remains swimming face down. The swimmer touches the wall with both hands while bending the elbows slightly. The bent elbows allow the swimmer to push himself or herself away from the wall and turn sideways. One hand leaves the wall to be moved to the front underwater. At the same time the legs are pulled closer and moved underneath of the body towards the wall. The second hand leaves the wall to be moved to the front over water. It is commonly referred to as an "over/under turn" or an "open turn". The legs touch the wall and the hands are at the front. The swimmer sinks under water and lies on the breast, or nearly so. Then the swimmer pushes off the wall, keeping a streamline position with the hands to the front. Similar to the start, the swimmer is allowed to swim 15 m underwater before the head must break the surface. Most swimmers dolphin kick after an initial gliding phase. The finish requires the swimmer to touch the wall with both hands at the same time, in the same horizontal plane.
  10. Guest

    Swimming

    Swimming is an individual or team racing sport that requires the use of one's entire body to move through water. The sport takes place in pools or open water (e.g., in a sea or lake). Competitive swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, with varied distance events in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and individual medley. In addition to these individual events, four swimmers can take part in either a freestyle or medley relay. A medley relay consists of four swimmers who will each swim a different stroke, ordered as backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle. Swimming each stroke requires a set of specific techniques; in competition, there are distinct regulations concerning the acceptable form for each individual stroke. There are also regulations on what types of swimsuits, caps, jewelry and injury tape that are allowed at competitions. Although it is possible for competitive swimmers to incur several injuries from the sport, such as tendinitis in the shoulders or knees, there are also multiple health benefits associated with the sport. Competitive swimming Competitive swimming became popular in the 19th century. The goal of high level competitive swimming is to break personal or world records while beating competitors in any given event. Swimming in competition should create the least resistance in order to obtain maximum speed. However, some professional swimmers who do not hold a national or world ranking are considered the best in regard to their technical skills. Typically, an athlete goes through a cycle of training in which the body is overloaded with work in the beginning and middle segments of the cycle, and then the workload is decreased in the final stage as the swimmer approaches competition. The practice of reducing exercise in the days just before an important competition is called tapering. Tapering is used to give the swimmer's body some rest without stopping exercise completely. A final stage is often referred to as "shave and taper": the swimmer shaves off all exposed hair for the sake of reducing drag and having a sleeker and more hydrodynamic feel in the water. Additionally, the "shave and taper" method refers to the removal of the top layer of "dead skin", which exposes the newer and richer skin underneath. This also helps to "shave" off mere milliseconds on your time. Swimming is an event at the Summer Olympic Games, where male and female athletes compete in 16 of the recognized events each. Olympic events are held in a 50-meter pool, called a long course pool. There are forty officially recognized individual swimming events in the pool; however the International Olympic Committee only recognizes 32 of them. The international governing body for competitive swimming is the Fédération Internationale de Natation ("International Swimming Federation"), better known as FINA. Open water In open water swimming, where the events are swum in a body of open water (lake or sea), there are also 5 km, 10 km and 25 km events for men and women. However, only the 10 km event is included in the Olympic schedule, again for both men and women. Open-water competitions are typically separate to other swimming competitions with the exception of the World Championships and the Olympics. Swim styles In competitive swimming, four major styles have been established. These have been relatively stable over the last 30–40 years with minor improvements. They are: Butterfly Backstroke Breaststroke Freestyle In competition, only one of these styles may be used except in the case of the individual medley, or IM, which consists of all four. In this latter event, swimmers swim equal distances of butterfly, then backstroke, breaststroke, and finally, freestyle. In Olympic competition, this event is swum in two distances – 200 and 400 meters. Some short course competitions also include the 100-yard or 100-meter IM – particularly, for younger or newer swimmers (typically under 14 years) involved in club swimming, or masters swimming (over 18). Dolphin kick Since the 1990s, the most drastic change in swimming has been the addition of the underwater dolphin kick. This is used to maximize the speed at the start and after the turns in all styles. The first successful use of it was by David Berkoff. At the 1988 Olympics, he swam most of the 100 m backstroke race underwater and broke the world record in the distance during the preliminaries. Another swimmer to use the technique was Denis Pankratov at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where he completed almost half of the 100 m butterfly underwater to win the gold medal. In the past decade, American competitive swimmers have shown the most use of the underwater dolphin kick to gain advantage, most notably Olympic and World medal winners Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte; however currently swimmers are not allowed to go any further than fifteen metres underwater due to rule changes by FINA. In addition, FINA announced in 2014 that a single dolphin kick can be added to the breaststroke pullout prior to the first breaststroke kick. While the dolphin kick is mostly seen in middle-distance freestyle events and in all distances of backstroke and butterfly, it is not usually used to the same effect in freestyle sprinting. That changed with the addition of the so-called "technical" suits around the European Short Course Championships in Rijeka, Croatia in December 2008. There, Amaury Leveaux set new world records of 44.94 seconds in the 100 m freestyle, 20.48 seconds in the 50 m freestyle and 22.18 in the 50 m butterfly. Unlike the rest of the competitors in these events, he spent at least half of each race submerged using the dolphin kick.
  11. List of water sports In the water Artistic or Synchronised swimming consists of swimmers performing a synchronised routine of elaborate moves in the water, accompanied by music. Aquajogging Diving, the sport of jumping off springboards or platforms into water Modern pentathlon includes épée fencing, pistol shooting, swimming, a show jumping course on horseback, and cross country running Rescue swimming is swimming with the goal to rescue other swimmers Snorkeling is the practice of swimming at the surface (typically of the sea) being equipped with a mask, fins, and a short tube called a snorkel. Swimming, including pool swimming and open water swimming Synchronized diving Triathlon, a multi-sport event involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance events, usually a combination of swimming, cycling and running Water aerobics is aerobics in the water. Water polo is a sport of two difrrence teams played in water with a ball. On the water Main article: Surface water sports Barefoot skiing is waterskiing without skis Boating is the use of boats Boat racing is the use of powerboats to participate in races Bodyboarding is similar to surfing, but the board is smaller and the person (normally) lies down on the board Cable skiing is similar to wake boarding but with cables for artificial maneuvering Canoeing Canoe polo Dragon boat racing teams of 20 paddlers racing Fishing is the recreation and sport of catching fish Flyboard Flowrider Jet Skiing Kayaking Kiteboating Kitesurfing on flat water using a kite for propulsion Kneeboarding Paddleboarding a person is propelled on a surf style board using a long paddle Parasailing where a person is towed behind a vehicle (usually a boat) while attached to a parachute Picigin, kicking around a small ball on shallow waters. Rafting River trekking Rowing Sailing using the wind for propulsion Sit-down hydrofoiling is riding on the water with a hydrofoil attached to a ski Skimboarding is a boardsport in which a board is used to ride on an incoming wave Skurfing is where the participant "skurfs" behind a boat on a surfboard Standup paddleboarding, a type of surfing in which the surfer stands on their boards and uses a paddle to propel themselves in the water Surfing downhill on ocean waves or artificial waves in a wave pool Wakeboarding is similar to water skiing, but using only one board attached to the feet Wakeskating is similar to wakeboarding, but the board is not attached to the feet Wakesurfing is a mix between wakeboarding and surfing Waterskiing is using skis to slide over the water while being pulled by a boat or other device White water rafting Windsurfing on flat water using wind for propulsion in combination with sails Yachting sailing on yachts, daysailing, cruising or Yacht racing Under water Recreational diving Main article: Recreational diving Cave diving Deep diving Freediving Ice diving Mermaiding Spearfishing Underwater archaeology, particularly activity involving wreck diving Underwater photography, including underwater videography, is photography done under water. Numerous contests worldwide are arranged every year. Digital cameras have revolutionized how many divers participate. Underwater videography Underwater sports Main article: Underwater sports Aquathlon (underwater wrestling) Finswimming Free-diving Sport diving (sport) Spearfishing Underwater football Underwater hockey is a game played underwater which has some similarities to hockey. Two teams of players use short wooden curved sticks to move a heavy puck across the pool bottom to the opponents' goal. Underwater ice hockey Underwater orienteering Underwater photography (sport) Underwater rugby is a game played underwater which has some similarities to rugby football. Two teams try to score goals by sending a slightly negatively buoyant ball into the opponents' goal placed on the bottom of the pool. Underwater target shooting
  12. Skeleton is an apt name for what looks like the most terrifying Winter Olympics event. But despite the confusing name, the sport is pretty simple: Racers take a running start, and then hurtle down an icy track on a sled. Oh, and they do it headfirst. While we know what to expect when it comes to events like skiing or figure skating, skeleton is still a mystery, even to many avid Olympics watchers. Below, we've rounded up what you need to know about the sport—so you don't have to waste time Googling as you watch the Games. 1. Skeleton and luge are siblings but not twins. Both luge and skeleton require riders to dash down an ice track. Both are single-person sports, but skeleton has one key difference: Riders race headfirst, with both face and feet lifted just millimeters off the track. Luge riders go down feet first. A skeleton sled weights about 70 pounds and has no brakes or steering mechanism—it's simply a metal frame covered with carbon fiber—which forces the rider to steer with just her body. The good news? Both sports require helmets. 2. Skeleton is much more complicated than just throwing yourself down a hill. OK, at the end of the day, it is technically throwing yourself down a hill. But sliders train to give themselves advantages, which are crucial as races are usually won by a few hundredths of a second. Sliders take a running start of about 50 meters before hopping onto the sled. The speed of the sprint is important, because it helps athletes build momentum to race down the track even faster. To get in position on the sled, sliders tuck their chins as close to the ice as possible without actually resting on the ground, all while having to look up to see in front of them. “It’s really uncomfortable,” skeleton athlete Katie Tannenbaum told The New York Times. “Try doing it for more than a few seconds.” To steer, athletes adjust their knees and shoulders, which alters their center of gravity and slightly shifts the board. But since any change in momentum will slow down the sled, it's best to steer as little as possible. 3. The sport was invented in Switzerland. Skeleton was born in the winter sport mecca of St. Moritz, Switzerland. According to Thrillist, the creepy-sounding name may come from the fact that the sled is so thin that it resembles an actual human skeleton. The first skeleton track (also in Switzerland, of course) was built in 1884, but the sport didn't enter the winter Olympics until the St. Moritz games in 1928. It's only been a permanent Olympic event since the Salt Lake City games in 2002. 4. To win, you just have to cross the finish line first. Unlike the complicated scoring system involved in figure skating or moguls skiing, the winner in a skeleton race is simply the person with the fastest time. Since timing usually comes down to hundredths of a second, sliders do everything they can to sprint quickly at the beginning and avoid steering shifts throughout. An entire skeleton ride is typically less than a minute, so the phrase "every second counts" means everything to these athletes. 5. The U.S. has won the most skeleton medals of any country. Twenty-one nations sent skeleton teams to the 2018 Winter Olympics. Seven of those nations (Belgium, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Netherlands, Nigeria, and Ukraine) are first-time Olympic skeleton entrants. As for Team USA, Thrillist reports that we have the most Olympic medals in skeleton of any country competing—eight in total, three of which are gold.
  13. Speed skating is a competitive form of ice skating in which the competitors race each other in travelling a certain distance on skates. Types of speed skating are long track speed skating, short track speed skating, and marathon speed skating. In the Olympic Games, long-track speed skating is usually referred to as just "speed skating", while short-track speed skating is known as "short track". The ISU, the governing body of both ice sports, refers to long track as "speed skating" and short track as "short track skating". An international federation was founded in 1892, the first for any winter sport. The sport enjoys large popularity in the Netherlands, Norway and South Korea. There are top international rinks in a number of other countries, including Canada, the United States, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and Kazakhstan. A World Cup circuit is held with events in those countries plus two events in the Thialf ice hall in Heerenveen, Netherlands. In 1992, short track speed skating was accepted as an Olympic sport. Short track speed skating had little following in the long track speed skating countries of Europe, such as Norway, the Netherlands and the former Soviet Union, with none of these nations having won official medals (though the Netherlands won two gold medals when the sport was a demonstration event in 1988). The Norwegian publication Sportsboken spent ten pages detailing the long track speed skating events at the Albertville Games in 1993, but short track was not mentioned by word, though the results pages appeared in that section. Although this form of speed skating is newer, it is growing faster than long-track speed skating, largely because short track can be done on an ice hockey rink rather than a long-track oval. Rules Short track Races are run counter-clockwise on a 111-meter track. Short track races are almost always run in a mass start format in which two to six skaters may race at once. Skaters may be disqualified for false starts, impeding, and cutting inside the track. False starts occur when a skater moves before the gun goes off at the start of a race. Skaters are disqualified for impeding when one skater cuts in front of another skater and causes the first skater to stand up to avoid collision or fall. Cutting inside the track occurs when a skater's skates goes inside the blocks which mark the track on the ice. If disqualified the skater will be given last place in their heat of final. Long track Races are run counter-clockwise on a 400-meter oval. In all individual competition forms, only two skaters are allowed to race at once. Skaters must change lanes every lap. The skater changing from the outside lane to the inside has right-of-way. Skaters may be disqualified for false starts, impeding, and cutting inside the track. If a skater misses their race or falls they have the option to race their distance again. There are no heats or finals in long track, all rankings are by time. The starting procedure in long-track speed skating consists of three parts. First, the referee tells the athletes to "Go to the start". Second, the referee cues the athletes to get "Ready", and waits until the skaters have stopped moving. Finally, the referee waits for a random duration between 1 and 1.5 seconds, and then fires the starting shot. Some argue that this inherent timing variability could disadvantage athletes that start after longer pauses, due to the alerting effect. In the only non-individual competition form, the team pursuit, two teams of each three to four skaters are allowed to race at once. Both teams remain in the inner lane for the duration of the race; they start on opposite sides of the rink. If four skaters are racing one skater is allowed to drop off and stop racing. The clock stops when the third skater crosses the finish line.
  14. Guest

    Ski jumping

    Ski jumping is a winter sport in which competitors aim to achieve the longest jump after descending from a specially designed ramp on their skis. Along with jump length, competitor's style and other factors affect the final score. Ski jumping was first contested in Norway in the late 19th century, and later spread through Europe and North America in the early 20th century. Along with cross-country skiing, it constitutes the traditional group of Nordic skiing disciplines. The ski jumping venue, commonly referred to as a hill, consists of the jumping ramp (in-run), take-off table, and a landing hill. Each jump is evaluated according to the distance traveled and the style performed. The distance score is related to the construction point (also known as the K-point), which is a line drawn in the landing area and serves as a "target" for the competitors to reach. The score of each judge evaluating the style can reach a maximum of 20 points. The jumping technique has evolved over the years, from jumps with the parallel skis with both arms pointing forwards, to the "V-style", which is widely used today. Ski jumping has been included at the Winter Olympics since 1924 and at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships since 1925. Women's participation in the sport began in the 1990s, while the first women's event at the Olympics has been held in 2014. All major ski jumping competitions are organised by the International Ski Federation. Stefan Kraft holds the official record for the world's longest ski jump with 253.5 metres (832 ft), set on the ski flying hill in Vikersund in 2017. Ski jumping can also be performed in the summer on an in-run where the tracks are made from porcelain and the grass on the slope is covered with water-soaked plastic. The highest level summer competition is the FIS Ski Jumping Grand Prix, contested since 1994. Ski jumping techniques The sport of ski jumping has seen the use of numerous different techniques, or "styles", over the course of its more than two-hundred-year history. Depending on how the skis are positioned by an athlete, distances have increased by as much as 200 metres (660 ft) within the past century. Kongsberger The Kongsberger technique (Norwegian: Kongsbergknekk) was created by Jacob Tullin Thams and Sigmund Ruud in Kongsberg, Norway. Developed after World War I, the technique was characterised by the athlete's upper body being bent at the hip, with arms extended at the front in the manner of a "superhero", and skis held parallel to each other. Sometimes the arms would be waved or 'flapped' around vigorously in a bird-like manner. This technique extended jumping lengths from 45 m (148 ft) to over 100 m (330 ft), and was used in ski jumping until being superseded by the Windisch and Däscher techniques in the 1950s. Windisch The Windisch technique, created by Erich Windisch in 1949, was a modification of the Kongsberger technique. The athlete's arms are instead placed backwards toward the hips for a closer, more aerodynamic lean. Parallel/Däscher The parallel style or Däscher technique was created by Andreas Däscher in the 1950s, as a modification of the Kongsberger and Windisch techniques. No longer was the upper body bent as much at the hip, enabling a flatter, more aerodynamic position in the air. This style became the standard for ski jumping as a whole until the development of the V-style. In the 1980s, Matti Nykänen created a variation of the parallel style in which the skis were pointed diagonally off to the side in order to increase surface area, essentially forming a crude "half 'V'". V-style The V-style, sometimes called the Graf–Boklöv technique, remains the sport's most recent significant technique change, with the ski tips spread outwards in a highly aerodynamic "V" shape. It became the predominant jumping technique following the Däscher/parallel style, which was last used in the early 1990s. The originator of the V-style was Mirosław Graf, a Polish ski jumper from Szklarska Poręba. Graf discovered the technique as a child in 1969, but it was not taken seriously by his contemporaries. He was nonetheless aware that the V-style was highly effective, as his jumps became considerably longer. In the early 1980s, Steve Collins used a modified variation of the V-style, or "delta style", with the ski tips held together in front instead of at the rear. Collins was the youngest winner of a World Cup event at the age of fifteen, but his technique never caught on. During this era, any technique aside from the parallel style was considered inappropriate by FIS judges. Although it enabled much longer jumps – up to ten per cent more than the parallel style – judges made it an issue to award poor marks to those who used it. The V-style only became recognised as valid by judges in the early 1990s, following wins and high rankings by Jan Boklöv and Jiří Malec, who insisted on using the technique despite receiving low style points. By the mid-1990s it had become the predominant style of jumping used by all athletes, and was therefore no longer penalised as it had proven to be both safer and more efficient than the parallel style. H-style In the H-style, the skis are spread very wide apart and held parallel in an "H" shape, with minimal or no V-angle. A lesser-used technique as of 2018, it is prominently used by Domen Prevc, Léa Lemare, and Nika Križnar. Major competitions All major ski jumping competitions are organized by the International Ski Federation. The large hill ski jumping event was included at the Winter Olympic Games for the first time in 1924, and has been contested at every Winter Olympics since then. The normal hill event was added in 1964. Since 1992, the normal hill event is contested at the K-90 size hill; previously, it was contested at the K-60 hill. Women's debuted at the Winter Olympics in 2014. The FIS Ski Jumping World Cup has been contested since the 1979–80 season. It runs between November and March every season, and consists of 25–30 competitions at most prestigious hills across Europe, United States and Japan. Competitors are awarded a fixed number of points in each event according to their ranking, and the overall winner is the one with most accumulated points. FIS Ski Flying World Cup is contested as a sub-event of the World Cup, and competitors collect only the points scored at ski flying hills from the calendar. The ski jumping at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships was first contested in 1925. The team event was introduced in 1982, while the women's event was first held in 2009. The FIS Ski Flying World Championships was first contested in 1972 in Planica. The Four Hills Tournament has been contested since the 1952–53 season. It is contested around the New Year's Day at four venues – two in Germany (Oberstdorf and Garmisch-Partenkirchen) and two in Austria (Innsbruck and Bischofshofen), which are also scored for the World Cup. Those events are traditionally held in a slightly different format than other World Cup events (first round is held as a knockout event between 25 pairs of jumpers), and the overall winner is determined by adding up individual scores from every jump. Other competitions organised by the International Ski Federation include the FIS Ski Jumping Grand Prix (held in summer), Continental Cup, FIS Cup, FIS Race, and Alpen Cup.
  15. Snowboarding is a recreational activity and Winter Olympic and Paralympic sport that involves descending a snow-covered slope while standing on a snowboard attached to a rider's feet. The development of snowboarding was inspired by skateboarding, sledding, surfing and skiing. It was developed in the United States in the 1960s, became a Winter Olympic Sport at Nagano in 1998 and eventually was featured in the Winter Paralympics at Sochi in 2014. Its popularity (as measured by equipment sales) in the United States peaked in 2007 and has been in a decline since. Styles Since snowboarding's inception as an established winter sport, it has developed various styles, each with its own specialized equipment and technique. The most common styles today are: freeride, freestyle, and freecarve/race. These styles are used for both recreational and professional snowboarding. While each style is unique, there is overlap between them. Jibbing "Jibbing" is the term for technical riding on non-standard surfaces, which usually includes performing tricks. The word "jib" is both a noun and a verb, depending on the usage of the word. As a noun: a jib includes metal rails, boxes, benches, concrete ledges, walls, vehicles, rocks and logs. As a verb: to jib is referring to the action of jumping, sliding or riding on top of objects other than snow. It is directly influenced by grinding a skateboard. Jibbing is a freestyle snowboarding technique of riding. Typically jibbing occurs in a snowboard resort park but can also be done in urban environments. Freeriding Freeriding is a style without a set of governing rules or set course, typically on natural, un-groomed terrain. The basic allows for various snowboarding styles in a fluid motion and spontaneity through naturally rugged terrain. It can be similar to freestyle with the exception that no man-made features are utilized. Freestyle Freestyle snowboarding is any riding that includes performing tricks. In freestyle, the rider utilizes natural and man-made features such as rails, jumps, boxes, and innumerable others to perform tricks. It is a popular all-inclusive concept that distinguishes the creative aspects of snowboarding, in contrast to a style like alpine snowboarding. Alpine snowboarding Alpine snowboarding is a discipline within the sport of snowboarding. It is practiced on groomed pistes. It has been an Olympic event since 1998. Sometimes called freecarving, this takes place on hard packed snow or groomed runs and focuses on carving linked turns, much like surfing or longboarding. Little or no jumping takes place in this discipline. Alpine Snowboarding consists of a small portion of the general snowboard population, that has a well connected social community and its own specific board manufacturers. Alpine Snowboard equipment is a ski-like hardshell boot and plate binding system with a true directional snowboard that is stiffer and narrower to manage linking turns with greater forces and speed. Shaped skis can thank these "freecarve" snowboards for the cutting-edge technology leading to their creation. A skilled alpine snowboarder can link numerous turns into a run placing their body very close to the ground each turn, similar to a motocross turn or waterski carve. Depending on factors including stiffness, turning radius and personality this can be done slowly or fast. Carvers make perfect half-circles out of each turn, changing edges when the snowboard is perpendicular to the fall line and starting every turn on the downhill edge. Carving on a snowboard is like riding a roller coaster, because the board will lock into a turn radius and provide what feels like multiple Gs of acceleration. Alpine snowboarding shares more visual similarities with skiing equipment than it does with snowboarding equipment. Compared to freestyle snowboarding gear: boards are narrower, longer, and stiffer to improve carving performance boots are made from a hard plastic shell bindings have a bail or step-in design and are sometimes placed on suspension plates to provide a layer of isolation between an alpine snowboarder and the board Slopestyle Competitors perform tricks while descending a course, moving around, over, across, up, or down terrain features. The course is full of obstacles including boxes, rails, jumps, jibs, or anything else the board or rider can slide across. Slopestyle is a judged event and winning a slopestyle contest usually comes from successfully executing the most difficult line in the terrain park while having a smooth flowing line of difficult, mistake-free tricks performed on the obstacles. However, overall impression and style can play factor in winning a slopestyle contest and the rider who lands the hardest tricks will not always win over the rider who lands easier tricks on more difficult paths. Big air Big air competitions are contests where riders perform tricks after launching off a man made jump built specifically for the event. Competitors perform tricks in the air, aiming to attain sizable height and distance, all while securing a clean landing. Many competitions also require the rider to do a complex trick. But not all competitions call for a trick to win the gold; some intermittent competitions are based solely on height and distance of the launch of the snowboarder. Some competitions also require the rider to do a specific trick to win the major prize. One of the first snowboard competitions where Travis Rice attempted and landed a "double back flip backside 180" took place at the 2006 Red Bull Gap Session. Half-pipe The half-pipe is a semi-circular ditch dug into the mountain or purpose-built ramp made up of snow, with walls between 8 and 23 feet (7.0 m). Competitors perform tricks while going from one side to the other and while in the air above the sides of the pipe. Boardercross Boardercross, also known as "Boarder X" and "Snowboard X", is a very popular but relatively recent winter sport, starting in the 1980s and earning its place as an official Winter Olympic sport in the 2006 Turin games. In Boardercross, several riders (usually 4 to 6) race down a course similar to a motorcycle motocross track (with jumps, berms and other obstacles constructed out of snow on a downhill course). Unlike traditional head-to-head races, competitors use the same terrain, sometimes resulting in accidental collisions. Snowboard racing In snowboard racing, riders must complete a downhill course constructed of a series of turning indicators (gates) placed in the snow at prescribed distances apart. A gate consists of a tall pole, and a short pole, connected by a triangular panel. The racer must pass around the short side of the gate. There are 3 main formats used in snowboard racing including; single person, parallel courses or multiple people on the course at the same time (SBX). Competitions Some of the larger snowboarding contests include: the european Air & Style, the japanese X-Trail Jam, Burton Global Open Series, Shakedown, FIS World Championships, the annual FIS World Cup, the Winter X Games and the Winter Dew Tour. Snowboarding has been a Winter Olympic sport since 1998 Winter Olympics. Events have changed through the years. During the 2018 Winter Olympics, the snowboarding events were big air, halfpipe, parallel giant slalom, slopestyle and snowboard cross. Snowboarder Magazine's Superpark event was created in 1996. Over 150 of the World's top pros are invited to advance freestyle snowboarding on the most progressive terrain parks. Part of the snowboarding approach is to ensure maximum fun, friendship and event quality. Reflecting this perspective of snowboarding, you can find "Anti Contests" including are an important part of its identity including The Holy Oly Revival at The Summit at Snoqualmie, The Nate Chute Hawaiian Classic at Whitefish, the original anti-contest, the World Quarterpipe Championships and the Grenade Games. The United States of America Snowboarding Association (USASA) features three different divisions which include alpine, freestyle, and boardercross. Alpine consists of giant slalom and slalom which is a competition in which the agility and ability to make sharp turns of the snowboarders are tested. Freestyle consists of slopestyle and halfpipe. In boardercross, the idea is to be the first snowboarder down the mountain where everyone is racing each other through an obstacle course of harsh turns and wipeout potential is very likely. The USASA has 36 regional snowboard series in which anyone can compete.
  16. Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing, is the pastime of sliding down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed-heel bindings, unlike other types of skiing (cross-country, Telemark, or ski jumping), which use skis with free-heel bindings. Whether for recreation or sport, it is typically practised at ski resorts, which provide such services as ski lifts, artificial snow making, snow grooming, restaurants, and ski patrol. "Off-piste" skiers—those skiing outside ski area boundaries—may employ snowmobiles, helicopters or snowcats to deliver them to the top of a slope. Back-country skiers may use specialized equipment with a free-heel mode for hiking up slopes and a locked-heel mode for descents. Alpine skiing has been an event at the Winter Olympic Games since 1936. Technique A skier following the fall line will reach the maximum possible speed for that slope. A skier with skis pointed perpendicular to the fall line, across the hill instead of down it, will accelerate more slowly. The speed of descent down any given hill can be controlled by changing the angle of motion in relation to the fall line, skiing across the hill rather than down it. Downhill skiing technique focuses on the use of turns to smoothly turn the skis from one direction to another. Additionally, the skier can use the same techniques to turn the ski away from the direction of movement, generating skidding forces between the skis and snow which further control the speed of the descent. Good technique results in a flowing motion from one descent angle to another one, adjusting the angle as needed to match changes in the steepness of the run. This looks more like a single series of S's than turns followed by straight sections. Stemming The oldest and still common form of alpine ski turn is the stem, turning the front of the skis sideways from the body so they form an angle against the direction of travel. In doing so, the ski pushes snow forward and to the side, and the snow pushes the skier back and to the opposite side. The force backwards directly counteracts gravity, and slows the skier. The force to the sides, if unbalanced, will cause the skier to turn. Carving Carving is based on the shape of the ski itself; when the ski is rotated onto its edge, the pattern cut into its side causes it to bend into an arc. The contact between the arc of the ski edges and the snow naturally causes the ski to tend to move along that arc, slowing the skier and changing their direction of motion. Snowplow turn The snowplow turn is the simplest form of turning and is usually learned by beginners. To perform the snowplow turn one must be in the snowplow position while going down the ski slope. While doing this they apply more pressure to the inside of the opposite foot of which the direction they would like to turn. This type of turn allows the skier to keep a controlled speed and introduces the idea of turning across the fall line. Equipment Skis Modern alpine skis are shaped to enable carve turning, and have evolved significantly since the 1980's, with variants such as powder skis, freestyle skis, all-mountain skis, kid's skis and more. Powder skis are usually used when there is a large amount of fresh snow, as the shape of a powder ski is wide allowing the ski to float on top of the snow compared to a normal downhill ski which would most likely sink into the snow. Freestyle skis are used by skiers who ski terrain parks. These skis are meant to help a skier who skis jumps, rails, and other features placed throughout the terrain park. Freestyle skis are usually fully symmetric, meaning they are the same dimensions from the tip of the ski to the backside of the ski. All-mountain skis are the most common type of ski, and tend to be used as a typical alpine ski. All-mountain skis are built to do a little bit of everything; they can be used in fresh snow (powder) or used when skiing groomers. Slalom race skis, usually referred to as race skis are short, narrow skis, which tend to be stiffer because they are meant for those who want to go fast as well as make quick sharp turns. Bindings The binding is a device used to connect the skier's boot to the ski. The purpose of the binding is to allow the skier to stay connected to the ski, but if the skier falls the binding can safely release them from the ski to prevent injury. There are two types of bindings: the heel and toe system (step in) and the plate system binding. Boots Ski boots are one of the most important accessories to skiing. They connect the skier to the skis, allowing them full control over the ski. When ski boots first came about they were made of leather and laces were used. The leather ski boots started off as low cut, but gradually became taller as injuries became more common allowing for more ankle support. Eventually the tied laces were replaced with buckles and the leather boots were replaced with plastic. This allowed the bindings to be much more closely matched to the fit of the boot, and offer dramatically improved performance. The new plastic model contained two parts of the boots: inner boot and outer shell. The inner part of the boot (also called the liner) is the cushioning part of the boot and contains a footbed along with cushion to keep a skier's foot warm and comfortable. The outer shell is the part of the boot that is made of plastic and contains the buckles. Most ski boots contain a strap at shin level to allow for extra strength when tightening the boots. Helmet The purpose of ski helmets are to reduce the chances of getting a head injury while skiing. Ski helmets also help to provide warmth to the head since they consist of an inner liner that traps warmth. Helmets are available in many styles, and typically consist of a hard plastic/resin shell with inner padding. Modern ski helmets may include many additional features such as vents, earmuffs, headphones, goggle mounts, and camera mounts. Competition Elite competitive skiers participate in the FIS World Cup, the World Championships, and the Winter Olympics. Broadly speaking, competitive skiing is divided into two disciplines: Racing, comprising slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom, combined, and downhill. Freestyle skiing, incorporating events such as moguls, aerials, halfpipe, and skicross. Other disciplines administered by the FIS but not usually considered part of alpine are speed skiing and grass skiing.
  17. Cross-country skiing is a form of skiing where skiers rely on their own locomotion to move across snow-covered terrain, rather than using ski lifts or other forms of assistance. Cross-country skiing is widely practiced as a sport and recreational activity; however, some still use it as a means of transportation. Variants of cross-country skiing are adapted to a range of terrain which spans unimproved, sometimes mountainous terrain to groomed courses that are specifically designed for the sport. Modern cross-country skiing is similar to the original form of skiing, from which all skiing disciplines evolved, including alpine skiing, ski jumping and Telemark skiing. Skiers propel themselves either by striding forward (classic style) or side-to-side in a skating motion (skate skiing), aided by arms pushing on ski poles against the snow. It is practised in regions with snow-covered landscapes, including Northern Europe, Canada, Russia, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Competitive cross-country skiing is one of the Nordic skiing sports. Cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship are the two components of biathlon, ski-orienteering is a form of cross-country skiing, which includes map navigation along snow trails and tracks. Competition Cross-country ski competition encompasses a variety of formats for races over courses of varying lengths according to rules sanctioned by the International Ski Federation (FIS) and by national organizations, such as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and Cross Country Ski Canada. It also encompasses cross-country ski marathon events, sanctioned by the Worldloppet Ski Federation, cross-country ski orienteering events, sanctioned by the International Orienteering Federation, and Paralympic cross-country skiing, sanctioned by the International Paralympic Committee. FIS-sanctioned competition The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships have been held in various numbers and types of events since 1925 for men and since 1954 for women. From 1924 to 1939, the World Championships were held every year, including the Winter Olympic Games. After World War II, the World Championships were held every four years from 1950 to 1982. Since 1985, the World Championships have been held in odd-numbered years. Notable cross-country ski competitions include the Winter Olympics, the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, and the FIS World Cup events (including the Holmenkollen). Other sanctioned competition Cross-country ski marathons—races with distances greater than 40 kilometers—have two cup series, the Ski Classics, which started in 2011, and the Worldloppet. Skiers race in classic or free-style (skating) events, depending on the rules of the race. Notable ski marathons, include the Vasaloppet in Sweden, Birkebeineren in Norway, the Engadin Skimarathon in Switzerland, the American Birkebeiner, the Tour of Anchorage in Anchorage, Alaska, and the Boreal Loppet, held in Forestville, Quebec, Canada. Biathlon combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Depending on the shooting performance, extra distance or time is added to the contestant's total running distance/time. For each shooting round, the biathlete must hit five targets; the skier receives a penalty for each missed target, which varies according to the competition rules. Ski orienteering is a form of cross-country skiing competition that requires navigation in a landscape, making optimal route choices at racing speeds. Standard orienteering maps are used, but with special green overprinting of trails and tracks to indicate their navigability in snow; other symbols indicate whether any roads are snow-covered or clear. Standard skate-skiing equipment is used, along with a map holder attached to the chest. It is one of the four orienteering disciplines recognized by the International Orienteering Federation. Upper body strength is especially important because of frequent double poling along narrow snow trails. Paralympic cross-country ski competition is an adaptation of cross-country skiing for athletes with disabilities. Paralympic cross-country skiing includes standing events, sitting events (for wheelchair users), and events for visually impaired athletes under the rules of the International Paralympic Committee. These are divided into several categories for people who are missing limbs, have amputations, are blind, or have any other physical disability, to continue their sport.
  18. Skiing can be a means of transport, a recreational activity or a competitive winter sport in which the participant uses skis to glide on snow. Many types of competitive skiing events are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the International Ski Federation (FIS). Types Alpine Also called "downhill skiing", Alpine skiing typically takes place on a piste at a ski resort. It is characterized by fixed-heel bindings that attach at both the toe and the heel of the skier's boot. Ski lifts, including chairlifts, bring skiers up the slope. Backcountry skiing can be accessed by helicopter, snowcat, hiking and snowmobile. Facilities at resorts can include night skiing, après-ski, and glade skiing under the supervision of the ski patrol and the ski school. Alpine skiing branched off from the older Nordic type of skiing around the 1920s when the advent of ski lifts meant that it was not necessary to walk any longer. Alpine equipment has specialized to the point where it can now only be used with the help of lifts. Nordic The Nordic disciplines include cross-country skiing and ski jumping, which both use bindings that attach at the toes of the skier's boots but not at the heels. Cross-country skiing may be practiced on groomed trails or in undeveloped backcountry areas. Ski jumping is practiced in certain areas that are reserved exclusively for ski jumping. Telemark Telemark skiing is a ski turning technique and FIS-sanctioned discipline, which is named after the Telemark region of Norway. It uses equipment similar to Nordic skiing, where the ski bindings are attached only at the toes of the ski boots, allowing the skier's heel to be raised throughout the turn. Equipment Equipment used in skiing includes: Skis, which may have skins applied or be textured for uphill traction or wax applied for minimizing sliding friction. Twin-tip skis are designed to move forwards or backwards. Boots and bindings Poles Helmets and ski suits Ski goggles Skiing gloves Technique Technique has evolved along with ski technology and ski geometry. Early techniques included the telemark turn, the stem, the stem Christie, snowplough, and parallel turn. New parabolic designs like the Elan SCX have enabled the more modern carve turn. On other surfaces Originally and primarily a winter sport, skiing can also be practiced indoors without snow, outdoors on grass, on dry ski slopes, with ski simulators, or with roller skis. A treadmill-like surface can also be used, to enable skiing while staying in the same place. Sand skiing involves sliding on sand instead of snow, but the skier uses conventional skis, ski poles, bindings and boots.
  19. List of winter sports Note: the Olympic rings next to a sport indicates that this particular sport is included in the Winter Olympic Games, as of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Ice skating Figure skating Short-track speed skating Speed skating Skiing Acroski (no longer part of the Winter Olympics) Alpine skiing Biathlon Cross-country skiing Freestyle skiing Kite skiing Mogul skiing Monoskiing Newschool skiing Nordic combined Ski archery Skiboarding Skibob Skijoring Ski jumping Ski orienteering Snowkiting Speed skiing Speed riding Telemark skiing Winter pentathlon Sledding Sports that use sleds going down ice tracks or pulled by something: Bobsled Dogsled racing Ice blocking Luge Skeleton Wok racing Snowboarding Alpine snowboarding Boardercross Slalom Snowskating Slopestyle Snowmobiling Free style Snocross Recreation Cross-country Hill climbing Team sports Bandy Broomball Curling Ice hockey Ice sledge hockey Ice stock sport Military patrol Ringette Rink bandy Snow rugby Snow snake Snow volleyball Synchronized skating Yukigassen (competitive snowball fight) Other sports Ice climbing Ice racing Ice speedway Snowbiking Ice canoeing Cold-weather biking Snow drifting Cross country running
  20. The Winter Olympic Games (French: Jeux olympiques d'hiver) is a major international multi-sport event held once every four years for sports practiced on snow and ice. The first Winter Olympic Games, the 1924 Winter Olympics, were held in Chamonix, France. The modern Olympic Games were inspired by the ancient Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, leading to the first modern Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896. The IOC is the governing body of the Olympic Movement, with the Olympic Charter defining its structure and authority. The original five Winter Olympic sports (broken into nine disciplines) were bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, Nordic skiing (consisting of the disciplines military patrol, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, and ski jumping), and skating (consisting of the disciplines figure skating and speed skating). The Games were held every four years from 1924 to 1936, interrupted in 1940 and 1944 by World War II, and resumed in 1948. Until 1992, the Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympic Games were held in the same year, and in accordance with the 1986 decision by the IOC to place the Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympic Games on separate four-year cycles in alternating even-numbered years, the next Winter Olympic Games after 1992 were held in 1994. The Winter Olympic Games have evolved since their inception. Sports and disciplines have been added and some of them, such as Alpine skiing, luge, short track speed skating, freestyle skiing, skeleton, and snowboarding, have earned a permanent spot on the Olympic programme. Some others, including curling and bobsleigh, have been discontinued and later reintroduced; others have been permanently discontinued, such as military patrol, though the modern Winter Olympic sport of biathlon is descended from it. Still others, such as speed skiing, bandy and skijoring, were demonstration sports but never incorporated as Olympic sports. The rise of television as a global medium for communication enhanced the profile of the Games. It generated income via the sale of broadcast rights and advertising, which has become lucrative for the IOC. This allowed outside interests, such as television companies and corporate sponsors, to exert influence. The IOC has had to address numerous criticisms over the decades like internal scandals, the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Winter Olympians, as well as a political boycott of the Winter Olympic Games. Countries have used the Winter Olympic Games as well as the Summer Olympic Games to proclaim the superiority of their political systems. The Winter Olympic Games have been hosted on three continents by twelve different countries. They have been held four times in the United States (1932, 1960, 1980 and 2002), three times in France (1924, 1968 and 1992) and twice each in Austria (1964 and 1976), Canada (1988 and 2010), Japan (1972 and 1998), Italy (1956 and 2006), Norway (1952 and 1994) and Switzerland (1928 and 1948). Also, the Winter Olympic Games have been held just once each in Germany (1936), Yugoslavia (1984), Russia (2014) and South Korea (2018). The IOC has selected Beijing, China, to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and the Italian cities of Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo to host the 2026 Winter Olympics. As of 2018, no city in the Southern Hemisphere has applied to host the cold-weather-dependent Winter Olympic Games, which are held in February at the height of the Southern Hemisphere's summer. To date, twelve countries have participated in every Winter Olympic Games – Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. Six of these countries have won medals at every Winter Olympic Games – Austria, Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the United States. The only country to have won a gold medal at every Winter Olympic Games is the United States. Germany (including the former countries of West Germany and East Germany) leads the all-time medal table of the Winter Olympic Games both on number of gold and overall medals won, followed by Norway, Russia (including the former Soviet Union), and the United States. Current sports Sport Years Events Medal events contested in 2014 Alpine skiing Since 1936 11 Men's and women's downhill, super G, giant slalom, slalom, and combined, and parallel slalom. Biathlon Since 1960 11 Sprint (men: 10 km; women: 7.5 km), the individual (men: 20 km; women: 15 km), pursuit (men: 12.5 km; women: 10 km), relay (men: 4x7.5 km; women: 4x6 km; mixed: 2x7.5 km+2x6 km), and the mass start (men: 15 km; women: 12.5 km). Bobsleigh Since 1924 (except 1960) 3 Four-man race, two-man race and two-woman race. Cross-country skiing Since 1924 12 Men's sprint, team sprint, 30 km pursuit, 15 km, 50 km and 4x10 km relay; women's sprint, team sprint, 15 km pursuit, 10 km, 30 km and 4x5 km relay. Curling 1924, since 1998 3 Men's, women's and mixed doubles. tournaments. Figure skating Since 1924 5 Men's and women's singles; pairs; ice dancing and team event. Freestyle skiing Since 1992 10 Men's and women's moguls, aerials, ski cross, superpipe, and slopestyle. Ice hockey Since 1924 2 Men's and women's tournaments. Luge Since 1964 4 Men's and women's singles, men's doubles, team relay. Nordic combined Since 1924 3 Men's 10 km individual normal hill, 10 km individual large hill and team. Short track speed skating Since 1992 8 Men's and women's 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m; women's 3000 m relay; and men's 5000 m relay. Skeleton 1928, 1948, Since 2002 2 Men's and women's events. Ski jumping Since 1924 4 Men's individual large hill, team large hill; men's and women's individual normal hill. Snowboarding Since 1998 8 Men's and women's parallel, half-pipe, snowboard cross, and slopestyle. Speed skating Since 1924 14 Men's and women's 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 5000 m, mass start, team pursuit; women's 3000 m; men's 10,000 m.
  21. Winter sports or winter activities are competitive sports or non-competitive recreational activities which are played on snow or ice. Most are variations of skiing, ice skating and sledding. Traditionally, such games were only played in cold areas during winter, but artificial snow and artificial ice allow more flexibility. Artificial ice can be used to provide ice rinks for ice skating, ice hockey, and bandy in a milder climate. Common individual sports include cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, snowboarding, ski jumping, speed skating, figure skating, luge, skeleton, bobsleigh, ski orienteering and snowmobiling. Common team sports include ice hockey, curling, and bandy. Based on the number of participants, ice hockey is by far the world's most popular winter sport, followed by bandy. Winter sports have their own multi-sport events, such as the Winter Olympic Games and the Winter Universiade.
  22. Guest

    Equipment

    Stick The lacrosse stick has two parts, the head and the shaft. There are three parts to the head: the scoop, sidewall, and pocket. The scoop is the top of the stick that affects picking up ground ball as well as passing and shooting. The sidewall is the side of the head that affects the depth of the head and the stiffness. The pocket is the leather or nylon mesh attached to the sidewall and scoop. A wider pocket allows an easier time catching balls, but will also cause less ball control. A narrower pocket makes catching harder, but allows more ball retention and accuracy. Shafts are usually made of hollow metal. They are octagonal, instead of round, in order to provide a better grip. Most are made of aluminum, titanium, scandium, or alloys, but some shafts are made from other materials, including wood, plastic, carbon fiber, or fiberglass. Stick length, both shaft and head together, is governed by NCAA regulations, which require that men's sticks be from 40 to 42 inches (100 to 110 cm) long for offensive players, 52 to 72 inches (130 to 180 cm) long for defensemen, and 40 to 72 inches (100 to 180 cm) long for goalies. Women's sticks must be an overall length of 35.5–43.25 inches (90.2–109.9 cm). The head must be seven to nine inches wide and the top of the ball must remain above the side walls when dropped in the pocket. The goalkeeper's stick must be 35.5–48 inches (90–122 cm) long. The head of the goalie's stick can up to 12 inches (30 cm) wide and the pocket may be mesh. Men's field protective equipment Men's field lacrosse protective equipment contains a pair of gloves, elbow pads, shoulder pads, helmet, and mouthguard. Pads differ in size and protection from player to player based on position, ability, comfort and preference. For example, many attack players wear larger and more protective elbow pads to protect themselves from checks thrown at them while defenders typically wear smaller and less protective pads due to their smaller possibility of being checked and goalies usually wear no elbow pads due to the very limited opportunities of being checked. A goalkeeper must also wear a large protective chest pad to cover their stomach and chest and a plastic neck guard that connects to the chin of their helmet to protect them from shots hitting their windpipe. In addition, male goalkeepers are required to wear a protective cup. Men's box protective equipment Men's box players wear more protective gear than field players due to the increased physical contact and more permissive checking rules. Cross-checking in the back is allowed by the rules. Runners wear larger and heavier elbow pads and stronger shoulder pads that extend down the back of the player. Most players wear rib pads as well. Box goalies wear equipment very similar to ice hockey goalies, the leg blockers are somewhat smaller, although the shoulder pads are bigger than ice hockey pads. Women's field protective equipment Women's field players are not required to wear protective equipment besides eyegear and a mouthguard. Eyegear is a metal cage covering the eyes attached with a strap around the back of the head. In recent years, there has been discussion about allowing or requiring padded headgear to protect against concussions. Women goalies wear a helmet, gloves, and chest protector.
  23. Major League Lacrosse Major League Lacrosse (MLL) is a semi-professional field lacrosse league started in 2001 with six teams in the Northeastern United States. The league currently has nine teams in the Eastern United States and Denver playing a 14-game season from April to August. MLL rules are based on NCAA men's rules with several exceptions, such as a 16-yard 2-point line and a 60-second shot clock. MLL venues range from small stadiums with under 10,000 capacity to an NFL stadium in Denver that seats 76,000. Overall league average attendance is around 4,000 per game, but Denver has averaged around 10,000 per game since its founding in 2006. The rookie salary is $7,000 per season and most players make between $10,000 and $20,000 per season. Therefore, players have other jobs, often non-lacrosse related, and travel to games on the weekends. The Chesapeake Bayhawks, who have played in the Annapolis–Baltimore–Washington, DC area since 2001, are the most successful franchise with five championships. National Lacrosse League The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is a men's semi-professional box lacrosse league in North America. The NLL currently has nine teams, five in the United States and four in Canada. The 18-game regular season runs from December to April; games are always on the weekends. The champion is awarded the National Lacrosse League Cup in early June. Games are played in ice rinks with artificial turf covering the ice. Venues range from NHL arenas seating 19,000 to smaller arenas with under 10,000 capacity. In 2017, average attendance ranged from 3,200 per game in Vancouver to over 15,000 in Buffalo. Overall, the league averaged 9,500 people per game. With an average salary around $20,000 per season, players have regular jobs, mostly non-lacrosse related, and live in different cities, flying into town for games. Canadians and Native Americans make up over 90% of the players. The NLL started in 1987 as the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League. Teams in Philadelphia, New Jersey, Baltimore and Washington, DC, played a 6-game season. The league operated as the Major Indoor Lacrosse League from 1989 to 1997, when there were six teams playing a 10-game schedule. The current NLL name began in the 1998 season, which included the first Canadian team. The most successful franchises have been the Toronto Rock and the now-defunct Philadelphia Wings, each has won six championships. Premier Lacrosse League In October 2018, former MLL player Paul Rabil branched away from the MLL and created the Premier Lacrosse League. The PLL focuses on being a traveling lacrosse league that will bring the best players in the world to different cities in the United States. United Women's Lacrosse League The United Women's Lacrosse League (UWLX), a four-team women's lacrosse league, was launched in 2016. The teams are the Baltimore Ride, Boston Storm, Long Island Sound and Philadelphia Force. Long Island won the first two championships. Women’s Professional Lacrosse League The Women's Professional Lacrosse League is a professional women's lacrosse league with 5 teams that started in 2018.
  24. Men's college lacrosse Collegiate lacrosse in the United States is played at the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and club levels. There are currently 71 NCAA Division I men's lacrosse teams, 93 Division II teams, and 236 Division III teams. Thirty-two schools participate at the NAIA level. 184 men's club teams compete in the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association, including most universities and colleges outside the northeastern United States. The National College Lacrosse League and Great Lakes Lacrosse League are two other lower-division club leagues. In Canada, 14 teams from Ontario and Quebec play field lacrosse in the fall in the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association. The first U. S. intercollegiate men's lacrosse game was played on November 22, 1877 between New York University and Manhattan College. An organizing body for the sport, the U. S. National Lacrosse Association, was founded in 1879 and the first intercollegiate lacrosse tournament was held in 1881, with Harvard beating Princeton 3–0 in the championship game. Annual post-season championships were awarded by a variety of early lacrosse associations through the 1930s. From 1936 to 1972, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association awarded the Wingate Memorial Trophy to the best college lacrosse team each year. The NCAA began sponsoring a men's lacrosse championship in 1971, when Cornell took the first title over Maryland, 12–6. Syracuse has 10 Division I titles, Johns Hopkins 9, and Princeton 6. The NCAA national championship weekend tournament draws over 80,000 fans. Women's college lacrosse There are currently 112 Division I women's lacrosse teams, 109 Division II teams, and 282 Division III teams. There are 36 NAIA women's lacrosse teams. The NCAA started sponsoring a women's lacrosse championship in 1982. Maryland has traditionally dominated women's intercollegiate play, producing many head coaches and U.S. national team players. The Terrapins won seven consecutive NCAA championships from 1995 through 2001. Princeton's women's teams have made it to the final game seven times since 1993 and have won three NCAA titles, in 1993, 2002, and 2003. In recent years, Northwestern has become a force, winning the national championship from 2005 through 2009. Maryland ended Northwestern's streak by defeating the Wildcats in the 2010 final, however, Northwestern won the next two titles in 2011 and 2012. Maryland again claimed the national championship in 2014, 2015, and 2017. The Women's Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA) is a collection of over 260 college club teams that are organized by US Lacrosse. Teams are organized into two divisions and various leagues.
  25. Olympic Games Field lacrosse was a medal sport in the 1904 and the 1908 Summer Olympics. In 1904, three teams competed in the games held in St. Louis. Two Canadian teams, the Winnipeg Shamrocks and a team of Mohawk people from the Iroquois Confederacy, plus the local St. Louis Amateur Athletic Association team representing the United States participated. The Winnipeg Shamrocks captured the gold medal. The 1908 games held in London, England, featured only two teams, representing Canada and Great Britain. The Canadians again won the gold medal in a single championship match by a score of 14–10. In the 1928, 1932, and the 1948 Summer Olympics, lacrosse was a demonstration sport. The 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam featured three teams: the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. The 1932 games in Los Angeles featured a three-game exhibition between a Canadian all-star team and the United States. The United States was represented by Johns Hopkins in both the 1928 and 1932 Olympics. The 1948 games featured an exhibition by an "All-England" team organized by the English Lacrosse Union and the collegiate lacrosse team from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute representing the United States. This exhibition match ended in a 5–5 tie. Efforts were made to include lacrosse as an exhibition sport at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia and the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, but they were not successful. An obstacle for lacrosse to return to the Olympics is insufficient international participation. To be considered for the Olympics, a sport must be played on four continents and by at least 75 countries. Lacrosse is played on all six continents, but as of August 2019 when Ghana joined, there are only 63 countries playing the sport. Other The European Lacrosse Federation (ELF) was established in 1995 and held the first European Lacrosse Championships that year. Originally an annual event, it is now held every four years, in between FIL's men's and women's championships. In 2004, 12 men's and 6 women's teams played in the tournament, making it the largest international lacrosse event of the year. The last men's tournament was in 2016, when 24 countries participated. England won its ninth gold medal out of the ten tournaments played. 2015 was the last women's tournament, when 17 teams participated in the Czech Republic. England won its sixth gold medal, with Wales earning silver and Scotland bronze. These three countries from Great Britain have dominated the women's championships, earning all but three medals since the tournament began in 1996. There are currently 29 members of the ELF, they make up the majority of nations in the FIL. The Asia Pacific Lacrosse Union was founded in 2004 by Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. It currently has 12 members and holds the Asia Pacific Championship for both men's and women's teams every two years. Lacrosse was played in the World Games for the first time at the 2017 World Games held in Poland. Only women's teams took part in the competition. The United States won the gold medal defeating Canada in the finals. Australia won the bronze medal match. The Haudenosaunee Nationals women's lacrosse team could not participate.
  26. International lacrosse Lacrosse has historically been played for the most part in Canada and the United States, with small but dedicated lacrosse communities in the United Kingdom and Australia. Recently, however, lacrosse has begun to flourish at the international level, with teams being established around the world, particularly in Europe and East Asia. World Lacrosse In August 2008, the men's international governing body, the International Lacrosse Federation, merged with the women's, the International Federation of Women's Lacrosse Associations, to form the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL). The FIL changed its name to World Lacrosse in May 2019. There are currently 62 member nations of World Lacrosse. Tournaments World Lacrosse sponsors five world championship tournaments: the World Lacrosse Championship for men's field, the Women's Lacrosse World Cup for women's, the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship for box lacrosse, and the Under-19 World Lacrosse Championships for men and women. Each is held every four years. The World Lacrosse Championship (WLC) began in 1968 as a four-team invitational tournament sponsored by the International Lacrosse Federation. Until 1990, only the United States, Canada, England, and Australia had entered. With the expansion of the game internationally, the 2014 World Lacrosse Championship was contested by 38 countries. The WLC has been dominated by the United States. Team USA has won 9 of the 12 titles, with Canada winning the other three. The Women's Lacrosse World Cup (WLWC) began in 1982. The United States has won 8 of the 10 titles, with Australia winning the other two. Canada and England have always finished in the top five. The 2017 tournament was held in England and featured 25 countries. The first World Indoor Lacrosse Championship (WILC) was held in 2003 and contested by six nations at four sites in Ontario. Canada won the championship by beating the Iroquois Nationals 21–4 in the final. The 2007 championship hosted by the Onondaga Nation included 13 teams. Canada has dominated the competition, winning all four gold medals and never losing a game. The Iroquois Nationals are the men's national team representing the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy in international field lacrosse competition. The team was admitted to the FIL in 1987. It is the only First Nations team sanctioned for international competition in any sport. The Nationals placed fourth in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Lacrosse Championships and third in 2014. The indoor team won the silver medal in all four World Indoor Lacrosse Championships. In 2008, the Iroquois women's team was admitted to the FIL as the Haudenosaunee Nationals. They placed 7th at the 2013 Women's Lacrosse World Cup.
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