Sun. Jan 24th, 2021

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The sporting world has so many different types of sports and games that there is something to please everyone. My particular favorite branches of all sports are racquet sports. There is such a variety in racquet sports itself, and I have to admit that I love them all. Each of the different racquet sports has its own unique qualities and characteristics, and they are all great games in their own right.

I find it very difficult to pick favorites from amongst all of the different racquet sport varieties. Over the course of my many years on this beautiful green earth, I have been lucky enough to learn, participate and somewhat compete in all of the different types of racquet sports. When I say all of the different types, perhaps I should clarify that as I’m sure that there are certain categories of sports that I have either never heard of, or just haven’t really played.  I’m really just speaking of the top 5 varieties of games played with a racket in hand, and a ball, or in one case a shuttlecock. These are the most popular games played with rackets, at least here in the United States. These games include tennis, racquetball, squash, badminton and table tennis, or as some people call it, ping pong. All of these sports are highly competitive games that are played all over this great land of ours. Many of these games are played competitively professionally, and also competitively at the college and university levels. Everybody that you speak to will have some sort of preference for one game over another. Generally speaking, tennis players like tennis and squash players like squash etc. Crossing over from one of these sports to another is somewhat problematic for most players. People get set in their ways and don’t like to mix as they say, apples and oranges. Personally, I think it’s a shame. I could understand that it could be a lot more difficult if you were a football player trying to cross over and play ice hockey. Going from running cleats to ice skates is a lot more of a major challenge and transformation, than from changing from a tennis racquet to a racquetball racket.

There are so many similarities in the games, yet so many differences. This is what makes these sports so exiting. They are all challenging and exciting in their own way, yet they are all equally similar in so many facets. Perhaps the only exception to this rule is in the game of table tennis. Ping pong, as I always referred to it growing up as a kid is the only one of these sports that perhaps can be enjoyed by all of the other sporting participants without affecting their main games. Being that the racket in ping pong is tiny in comparison to a tennis racquet or a badminton racket, perhaps people look at this as a totally different kind of sport and not a racket sport.  Nothing can be farther from the truth. Ping pong is as much as a racket sport as any of the other racket sports. I think that a lot of the folks who play the “major” racquet sport games such as tennis and squash feel that table tennis is more of a recreational game, somewhat like a Monopoly game or a card table that sits in your basement unused until some friends or company arrives and you have to entertain them for awhile. The reality is, that although there is some truth to the ping pong table in the basement theory with some households, ping pong is a major sport played all around the world both for leisure and competitive reasons. Who can forget the times back in 1971 when we were all amazed by the Chinese table tennis players and their amazing prowess during a time that some people called Ping Pong Diplomacy between the United States and China?

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