High-speed sports for the at­ten­tion chal­lenged

No time? No wor­ries. These trimmed-down so­cial sports are per­fect for the pa­tience-poor

Women's Health Australia - - CONTENTS - By Clare Bax­ter

Marathons not your thing? There are plenty of short, sharp sports to love

tTeam sports: sure, they seem like fun, but free­ing up a three-hour chunk of your packed week­end ain’t al­ways gonna to hap­pen. Not when you’ve got food prep to do, brunch with your mates, plus that Bum­ble date to lock into an al­ready packed di­ary. Ac­cord­ing to an Aus­tralian Sports Com­mis­sion study, 28 per cent of women say they don’t have time for the whole team thing. But what if you could play an en­tire netty game, plus shower and change, all in your lunch break? Or tick off a footy match af­ter work? En­ter the hot new breed of speedy sports that ac­tu­ally fit into your life.


THE LOW­DOWN Stan­dard cricket rules have 50 overs (each over has six balls) and it can take all day (stand­ing in the sun for six hours!) to get through a game. Twenty20 is the quickfire ver­sion. With only 20 overs, the aim is to whack each ball as far as pos­si­ble and score as many runs as you can. Not only does this mean there’s al­ways some­thing ex­cit­ing go­ing on but also “in mak­ing [the big hits], more peo­ple get out, which means every­one gets a go [at bat­ting],” ex­plains

Meg Lan­ning, cap­tain of the gun Aussie women’s cricket team, the South­ern Stars. That’s un­like reg­u­lar cricket, where you can spend the en­tire in­nings on the bench.

SKILL UP Bat­ting is great for hand-eye co­or­di­na­tion, es­pe­cially in the game’s shorter for­mat when you re­ally have to go for ev­ery shot. Don’t feel com­fort­able bowl­ing at first? No prob­lem! Only five of the 11 play­ers in a team have to bowl. So you have space to prac­tise be­fore tak­ing cen­tre stage. Win!

PER­FECT IF You don’t have the brain space for sports tac­tics.

“You don’t have to be too tac­ti­cal about [the game], you just go in there and try to score as many runs as you can,” says Lan­ning. “But the longer the for­mat you play, the more tac­ti­cal it be­comes.” Have a whack at play­cricket.com.au


THE LOW­DOWN Take six-minute quar­ters and five play­ers and you have enough for a game of Fast5. Al­though most rules are the same as stan­dard net­ball, there are some changes to make the game more dy­namic. Think: rolling sub­sti­tu­tions (which means you can sub on and off when­ever you like), mul­ti­ple-point shots based on where you shoot from, and each team gets to pick a “Power Play” quar­ter, dur­ing which they earn dou­ble points.

SKILL UP Feel­ing over­whelmed? “The rule where you can sub on and off is def­i­nitely use­ful if you’re just learn­ing the game, [be­cause] you can sub off, sit back and watch,” says Sam Pool­man, who rep­re­sented Aus­tralia in the 2017 Fast5 World Se­ries.

PER­FECT IF You’re a risk taker. “[Peo­ple] who are happy to take the long shot do the best at Fast5,” says Pool­man. “When shoot­ers [get] the three-point­ers it’s awe­some; the whole team just lifts.” Take a shot at play­fast5.com.au


THE LOW­DOWN No fear of get­ting your teeth knocked out with this one: un­like rugby league, touch is tackle-free. How it works? Each team fields six play­ers at a time, who run the ball to the touch­down zone to score while avoid­ing be­ing touched by the other team. Each half is a speedy 20 min­utes, so it’s all over in the space of a Suits episode. SKILL UP Hav­ing to dodge touches means you’ll boost agility, speed and ball skills. Plus, “the ball is smaller [com­pared] to rugby league, so it’s a bit eas­ier to get the use of,” ex­plains Jil­la­roo Mad­die Stud­don, who also plays touch for the Wests Tigers.

PERFECTIF You love a high-in­ten­sity work­out but can’t al­ways gather the mo­ti­va­tion to do it. “In­stead of go­ing to the gym you can go down to the park and play touch – it’s re­ally fast and fun, so you don’t re­alise you’re get­ting fit at the same time time,” says Stud­don. Run wild at touch­foot­ball.com.au

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