This is an example of one of those things that makes people my age feel like old fogies. Today on the radio I heard that the New York City schools are going to add "Double Dutch" to the official list of sanctioned sports in the high schools.
For anyone who doesn't already know, Double Dutch is a type of jumproping. In my long-ago youth, people did it for fun. There were all kinds of rhymes that were made up to help kids keep the rhythm of the two jumpropes that the participants had to keep jumping over.
Apparently in the 70's they added rules and point-scoring to what had once just been a fun thing to do on a summer day.
Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't think it will be a good sport for kids to play in school. But why does everything in America have to become a competitive sport? It's just one more thing kids will do in a regimented way, under certain rules, on a specific schedule. I guess there will be semi-finals and championship matches. There will be winners and losers. Hearts will be broken, kids will feel like misfits if they can't compete.
Making something a competitive sport doesn't mean it will result in more kids getting exercise. What happens is they get driven to the site where the sport takes place; parents must provide snacks for their kids and their friends to eat afterward; kids jump for a short period of time and then their round is over. It's not like the old days when a bunch of friends would gather in a seldom-used street and jump rope all afternoon just for the fun of it, and get real exercise.
When I was young, my friends and I used to go off in the woods for hours at a time and not come home until it was almost dark. No one worried about us. And we didn't even have cell phones back then to let anyone know where we were!
We played hopscotch in our driveways and jumped rope. We played baseball in the streets. Yes, we had gym class and played basketball and other sports. But when we were home we were also playing outdoors and getting much more exercise than we ever would have done as part of organized sports.
I guess organized sports are better than nothing. Kids don't go play outside by themselves anymore; too dangerous. And anyway, they'd rather be on their computers messaging their friends or playing games. So I understand why they added this "sport" to the physical education classes in schools. But it's sad that so many games are no longer just for fun.
Sigh...I know, I'm getting old.
On a more cheerful subject, we just got back from two nights in the Adirondacks - and we found a place! We're making an offer and as soon as I know if it's been accepted, I'll tell you all about it and post some pictures. I'm superstitious - don't want to jinx anything!
Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!