Podcast #928

I've got the rest of the week off for the Thanksgiving holidays. Time for a podcast about Free Time. Ahhhhh! Sign up for the free podcast to your MP3 player here.

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Ultimate Frisbee

Ultimate is a limited-contact team sport played with a 175 gram flying disc. The object of the sport is to score points by passing the disc to a player in the opposing end zone, similar to an end zone in American football or rugby. Players may not run while holding the disc. Ultimate is distinguished by its spirit of the game — the principles of fair play, sportsmanship, and the joy of play.

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Capoeira from Brazil

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art form that ritualizes movement from martial arts, games, and dance. It was brought to Brazil from Angola some time after the 16th century in the regions known as Bahia, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and São Paulo. Participants form a roda or circle and take turns either playing musical instruments (such as the Berimbau), singing, or ritually sparring in pairs in the center of the circle. The game is marked by fluid acrobatic play, feints, and extensive use of sweeps, kicks, and headbutts.

As students master the basic moves, their game naturally acquires a more cunning slant as they begin to perfect the art of trickery, or malandragem. This involves a lot of improvisation and modifications of basic moves into a flurry of feints and fakes to trick the opponent into responding wrongly. These attempts can be blatant or subtle at discretion of the players. Effective malandragem lies in the development of sharp observation skills and a keen innate ability to anticipate the moves of the opponent and prepare an appropriate response. Some capoeiristas take this aspect of the art to heights akin to the guile of theatrics and drama. Games displaying elaborate performances and even staging skits reenacting historic cultural aspects of capoeira are commonly demonstrated amongst the most learned of the arts.


Capoeira's origins are not clear. It is a combination of African and Brazilian martial arts,
but camps are generally divided between those who believe it is a direct descendant of African fighting styles and those who believe it is a uniquely Brazilian dance form distilled from various African and Brazilian influences. The best working theory is that it's an African fighting style that was developed in Brazil.

Some proponents believe that Capoeira was first created and developed by slaves brought to Brazil from Angola, the Congo, the Gulf of Guinea and the Gold Coast, who used it as a way to practice their martial arts moves while making it appear to be a game or dance. Since the slave-masters forbade any kind of martial art, it was disguised as an innocent-looking recreational dance. Others believe that Capoeira was practiced and used to fend off attacks by Portuguese slavers in Palmares, Brazil's most famous Quilombo maroon colony of escaped slaves.

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Takraw: Kick Volleyball from Southeast Asia

Sepak takraw or kick volleyball is a sport native to Southeast Asia, resembling volleyball, except that it uses a rattan ball and only allows players to use their feet, knee, chest and head to touch the ball. It is a popular sport in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Australia, Philippines and Indonesia.


The sport had already become popular in Malaysia and Thailand by the early 1400s. Back then it was called takraw in Thai or sepak raga (literally "kick rattan ball", because the ball is made of rattan) in Malay and played mainly by men and boys standing in a circle, kicking the ball back and forth between them.

In Bangkok,

murals at Wat Phra Keow depict the Hindu god Hanuman playing takraw in a ring with a troop of monkeys. Other historical accounts mention the game earlier during the reign of King Naresuan of Ayutthaya. The game remained in its circle form for hundreds of years, and the modern version of sepak takraw began taking shape in Thailand sometime during early 1740s. In 1866 the Siam Sports Association drafted the first rules for takraw competition. Four years later, the association introduced the volleyball-style net and held the first public contest. Within just a few years, takraw was introduced to the curriculum in Siamese schools. The game became such a cherished local custom that another exhibition of volleyball-style takraw was staged to celebrate the kingdom’s first constitution in 1933, the year after Thailand abolished absolute monarchy. Later in 1935, the game was first played differently in the state of Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia during the Silver Jubilee celebration of SMK King George V.

By the 1940s, the net version of the game had spread throughout Southeast Asia, and formal rules were introduced. In the Philippines the sport was called "Sipa", in Myanmar, or Burma, it was dubbed "Chinlone", in Laos "Kator", "cầu mây" in Vietnam and in Indonesia "Raga."

International play is now governed by ISTAF, the International Sepak Takraw Federation. The King's Cup World Championships are held every year in Thailand .

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Watch the video first and see if you can figure out the rules. Then click below and read the rules to see if you were right.

In this game originally from India, two teams occupy opposite halves of a field and take turns sending a "raider" into the other half, in order to win points by tagging or wrestling members of the opposing team; the raider then tries to return to his own half, holding his breath during the whole raid. The word "kabbadi" derives from a Hindu word meaning "holding of breath".


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This week Naomi from Wales talks with Dai about a sport that is popular in Wales but relatively unknown in the US. Click here to listen to her interview. The video below demonstrates netball in action:

For over 100 years, women and girls all over the country have enjoyed playing netball. In 2007, the game has excelled both on and off the court. In only its second year an 18 strong super league which features teams from New Castle to Bath and from Cardiff to London has raised standards across the game.

Hello and welcome to Super League Netball exclusively on Sky Sports. Thanks to a groundbreaking deal with Sky Sports, a combined audience of over 2,000,000 people have enjoyed the speed and excitement of the Netball Super League. And if you thought it was a non-contact sport, think again. Sky viewers have witness the bumps, the bruises, the agony and the ecstasy of England's biggest female participation sport. And whilst the fans have enjoyed the roller coaster ride of break neck action, the sponsors and partners of England netball have enjoyed clear, consistent branding delivering millions of pounds of advertising equivalent value: perimeter signage, LED displays, interview backdrops, and onscreen graphics all helping sponsors engage with the netball public and deliver their own brand objectives.

And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, for the first time in 37 years, England beat world number one New Zealand at a pulsating game in the NEM arena. "It's the final whistle! Wooo! England have beaten the world champions New Zealand. Final score: England 50, New Zealand 45."

Performance standards in the game are at an all-time high. The elite players train as full-time athletes and with community projects across the country, the next generation of super stars are just waiting to play in Super Leagues. So if women and girls is your target market, then we'd look for you to be part of the action next season.
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