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GAMES.

The aim of physical education in schools is to train all children so that by the time they reach the senior grades in the primary schools they are able to take part in all school sport. To achieve this aim it is necessary to keep the child physically tit. to keep his muscles supple and his joints mobile, and to train him in co-ordination and control. At the same time he should be trained in the technique of school sport. The importance of regular training in games practices for all children is not yet fully recognized by all class teachers, and much time is spent in coaching a few children to take part in school sports, while the remainder are more or less neglected. The aim should be to make all children average players, rather than to turn out a few champion athletes.

A considerable amount of practice is necessary before children become sufficiently expert to play school games successfully, and they are successful only if the right kind of training is begun in the infant room and continued right through school life. This is especially so in ball games.

BALL GAMES AND


PRACTICES LEADING TO SC HOOL SPORT.

Boys and Girls: Up to the Age of 7 Years.

Each child should be provided with a ball, a bean bag, or a paper football, and should be given a considerable amount of practice in tossing up, in throwing, in catching, in bouncing, in batting with the hand, and in kicking and dribbling with the foot.

Boys and Girls: Ages 8 to 9 Years.

Play balls, tennis bails, and footballs are suitable for use by children in this group. Ball practices for these children are best introduced as games of the same type as “ Keep Tin Full" (see pamphlet No. 1, The Training of Children in Running), rather than as exercises, although some more or less formal practice as a class activity produces good results. The following practices are suitable for children of these ages :—

Throwing.

Under-arm.—Swing the arm back as iar as possible, then swing it forward, turning the wrist so that the palm faces upward as the ball is thrown.

Overarm.—Hold the ball between fingers and thumb. Stretch the arm as far back as possible, with the body turned side on to direction of flight, the opposite foot forward, and the back leg bent. The ball is delivered bv bending the arm and passing it straight forward and upward till it is fully extended. At the same time, the body is turned and finishes square on to the target. . _ _    .. ^>s

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Catching.

The ball should be watched closely, the hands held ready, in the shape of a cup, and allowed to drop a little as the ball falls into them. The ball should be caught by the fingers, which close over it.

TRAINING IN BALL SENSE: BOYS AND GIRLS.

Ages 9 to 10 Years.

Throwing and Catching Practices.

(a) With one ball each—

Tossing up and catching.

Bouncing and catching.

Kicking.

Heading.

Pat bouncing with right and with left hand.

Tossing up, bouncing, and catching.

Batting.

Batting ball up and taking it on the bounce.

Catching with right and with left hand.

Catching in two hands.

Throwing against a wall.

(b) With one ball between two—

Throwing from one to the other.

Bouncing across to partner.

Throwing and changing places with partner. Throwing and bouncing alternately.

Aiming Practice.

Hitting partner with a bean bag or a ball.

Throwing a ball into a basket or a circle.

Knocking down skittles.—Children may hit, roll, or bowl them. Each child should have a skittle, or they may play in couples with one skittle between the two.

Roiling between obstacles or lines.

Aiming at a wall target—individually or as a team.

Bouncing into a chalked circle—individually or in small groups.

Aiming through a hoop.

Drop throws.—Children stand at varying distances from targets marked on the ground. They aim to hit the targets as often as possible with drop throws. Bean bags are suitable for this practice.

Pat Bouncing.

Pat bouncing across to partner.

Pat bouncing into a circle.

Pat bouncing round obstacles.

Pat bouncing contests.

Batting and Volley Practice with Hand.

Keeping the ball up.

Batting the ball with hand or small bat across to partner. Passing the ball on the volley.—Three children stand in a line. The child at one end throws the ball to the centre one, who hits it on the full to the one at the other end.

Volleying over a rope in twos or in small groups.

Batting, with a bat, over a low rope.

Batting, with hand or bat, against a wall.

Practices and Contests in Small Groups.

Ball Relay Races.—Teams line up behind a starting line. Each player runs up and bounces or pat bounces a ball over a line, in a circle, or in a series of circles before running back and passing the ball to the next player. Hopping, jumping, crow hopping, or running and jumping over a rope may be substituted for the run up.

Running and Bouncing Relay.—Run forward, bounce the ball in two or three circles, then run back, and pass the ball to the next child.

Running and Passing Relay.—Run with the ball to a line, and on return pass the ball to the next player.

Bob Ball, or Captain Ball, in Files.—Teams line up behind a starting line, with the captains on a line about six feet in front. The captain throws the ball to the first player who throws it back to the captain and crouches down. The captain throws the ball overhead to the next player and so on until all of the team have thrown. This long overarm throw should be encouraged, and quick changes of captains provide plenty of practice in throwing and catching.

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Circle Intercepting.—Players form a circle, with one, two, or three children in the centre. A ball is passed from player to player in the circle, while the children in the centre attempt to touch it. W hen it is touched by a centre player, the last person in the circle to handle it goes to the centre, while the centre player takes the place left in the circle. The object of the players is to keep out of the centre by passing the ball quickly and effectively.

Tower BaU.—Place a tin or basket (the ‘ tower ”) in the centre of a circle formed by the players. One player is in the centre to guard the “ tower ”. The players in the circle attempt to hit the “ tower ”. Encourage the children to pass the ball quickly over the defender's head to catch him on the wrong side of the “ tower ”. When a player hits the “ tower ”, he changes places with the defender.

Practices to Improve Running Ability.

It is necessary to improve running ability to have successful ball games. (See pamphlet No. 1, The Training of Children in Running.)

GAMES PRACTICES: GIRLS, AGES 10 TO 12 YEARS.

If the children in the junior grades have been thoroughly trained in the handling of balls, there will be no difficulty in leading up to the team games played in schools. The girls should now be ready to start training for rounders, basket-ball, volley-ball, and such contests as overhead and cross chase ball ; while the boys should be ready for cricket and football.

Practices Leading Up to Rounders (Tennis Ball).

1.    Catching and Throwing.—Continuous practice in catching and throwing is necessary.

2.    Bob Ball (see page 3 for details).

3.    Time Ball.—This practice is a variation of bob ball. When the leader throws the ball to the first player, she runs around the file and back to her place, throws the ball back to the leader, and then crouches down. The leader then throws the ball to the second girl, who runs forward around the first girl, then around the file, and back to her place, and so on.

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4. Ten Trips.—The players stand in a line. The girl at one end of the line throws the ball to the second girl, who throws it to the third one, and so on, side passing down the line. When the ball reaches the girl at the other end of the line, she throws the ball over the heads of the players back to the first girl, who calls “ one ", and then side passes the ball on again. This continues until the leader calls “ten”, and holds the ball over her head. If the line has a large number of players in it, the ball may be bowled back along the ground to the leader.

5. Intercepting in Threes.—The players stand in groups of three, with one ball ; the two outside players attempt to keep it away from the centre player. When the centre player touches it, she changes places with the last girl to handle it, and the game continues.

6.    Target Practice—throwing in any specified direction at a target.

7.    Fielding Practice—to be taken in the following ways :—

(a)    Throwing in twos and threes ;

(b)    fielding balls hit with a bat;

(c)    fielding on the run—the ball is hit in front of a girl, and she

must run to meet it;

(d)    French cricket.

8. Rules and Technique of Rounders. (See rules in the booklet issued by the V.S.S.A.A.A.)

This booklet, “ Rules of the Game of Rounders ”, is available free from the V.S.S.A.A.A. or from any sports store. It contains all the information on coaching and umpiring that is necessary. In field games it is important that boys and girls should know the rules of the games and the positions on the field.

Practices Leading to Basket-ball.

In addition to “Bob Ball”, “Time Ball”, “Ten Trips”, and “ Intercepting in Threes ”, all of which have been described in previous sections, the following practices are recommended :—

1. Corner Spry.—The teams stand toeing lines, with their leaders out in front. On the word “ Go ”, the leaders throw the balls to the

first girls in the lines, who throw them back. Each leader then throws to the second girl, and so on, until the ball reaches the last girl. She quickly changes places with her leader, and the whole file moves one place to the left. The game continues until the leader comes out in front again, and then she holds the ball above her head.

2. Circle Gap Passing.—The players stand in circles, with a leader in the centre of each circle. The players in the circles must be far enough apart to allow for a gap between them. The leader of each circle throws the ball to the first girl, who starts to run around her circle,

First Girl (starting position)

throwing the ball back to the leader through the first gap, receiving the ball from the leader through the second gap, passing it back through the third gap, and so on, until she reaches her place again. The leader then throws the ball to the second girl, and so the game goes on, each girl completing her circuit, catching the ball through one gap, and passing it back through the next one.

To vary the game the running girl may stand still in each gap, catch the ball, throw it back, and then run on to the next gap. When she reaches her place again, she changes places with the leader, and the game continues until each girl has been leader in turn.

3. Circle Intercepting (see page 4 for details).

4. Dodge Ball in Circle.—This game may be played in a variety of ways, with a play ball or a soft basket-ball. The simplest method is to arrange the players in a large circle, with one or more of them

in the centre, according to the number of balls available—for example, three balls, three centre players. The players on the edge of the circle then attempt to knock out the centres, by hitting them below the waist with a basket-ball. As soon as a girl in the centre is out, the girl who hit her takes her place.

Note.—Until girls learn to throw accurately in games of dodge ball, insistence on aiming the ball to strike an opponent below the waist keeps down rough play.

A second method of playing this game is to divide the group into three teams. One team plays in the centre, the other two play on

the edge of the circle. The girls on the circumference of the circle put the centre team out by hitting them with the ball or balls. As soon as a girl is out, she joins the other teams on the circle and helps to knock out the girls left in the centre. When there is only one girl left in the centre, she is declared the winner for her team. Then another team takes the centre position and the game is repeated.

5.    End Ball (see page 9 for details).

6.    Three Court Dodge Ball (see page 10 for details).

7.    Rules and Technique of Basket-ball (see rules in the booklet issued by the V.S.S.A.A.A. ; and see note on the “ Rules and Technique of Rounders ”, page 5).

Team Contests.

1.    Corner Spry—with cross chase ball throw.

2.    Cross Chase Ball (see the booklet issued by the V.S.S.A.A.A.).

3.    Rolling Chase Ball (see the booklet issued by the V.S.S.A.A.A.).

4.    Arch and Tunnel Ball.—The teams line up as for overhead chase ball. The ball passes down the file, each girl tipping it on with her hands held overhead. When the last girl in the file receives it, she runs to the head of the file, and each girl steps back one pace and jumps to feet astride position. The ball is then passed down through the legs, and so the game goes on, alternating overhead passing with passing through the legs.

5. Over and Under Relay.—The teams are placed as in arch and tunnel ball, but the ball is passed overhead from player No. 1 to player No. 2 who bends her knees and passes the ball upwards between her legs to player No. 3, who catches it about waist high. She passes it overhead to player No. 4. The passing continues so, until the ball reaches the last player, who runs up to the head of the team and passes it overhead. The game ends when the leader has worked her way back to her original position at the head of the file.

Team Games.

1. End Ball.—The court, with dimensions as large as 60 ft. by 30 ft., may be marked out as shown in the diagram. The players of

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each team occupy the larger spaces in the centre, and the catchers are in the smaller spaces at the ends. The arrangement is shown in the diagram, where one team is marked by “ X ” and the other by “ 0 The game is started by bouncing the ball between two centre players. The one who secures it then throws it over the heads of her opponents to her catchers. If the ball is caught on the full a point is scored by the catcher’s side, but the point can only be scored if the catcher is in her base when she takes the ball. The catcher then throws the ball back to her players, and the move is repeated. If the opponents intercept the ball, it is their turn to attempt to score. The game goes on, passing and intercepting, until one side scores eleven points.

Note.—A player must throw the ball from where she catches it; she cannot run forward. If the ball goes out of bounds one catcher, whose end it is near, may retrieve it, and standing on her back line throw it to her players.

2. Three Court Dodge Ball.—An area of 60 ft. or 70 ft. by 30 ft. is divided into three equal courts. The girls are divided into two teams—one team plays in the centre space, and the other team is divided, half at one end and half at the other end. The team that

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occupies the ends attempts to score as many hits as possible on its opponents in the centre court, out of a possible of 20 throws—each end has 10 throws. The teams then change places, and the game is repeated.

Note.—When the girls have become accustomed to handling balls, and have developed a certain skill in that direction, it is an excellent idea to allow the dodgers to catch a ball thrown at them. No point is then scored against their side ; in other words, they can save a point by “ marking ” the ball.

An alternative method is to divide the girls into three teams—one team plays in the centre space, and one in each of the end spaces. Each team has a turn in the centre, a score of the number of hits made in

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twenty tries may be kept; or a time limit may be placed on each team—that is, the team scoring the greatest number of hits in one minute or in two minutes is declared the winner.

3. Newcombe.—A light basket-ball or play ball is ideal for this game, which is one of the best net games ; it is quickly learned, and

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provides excellent training in ball sense. The dimensions of the court vary with the size of the class, and the height of the net varies with the age of the children. Children of 10 years should play over a 5 ft. net, of 11 years over a 5 ft. 6 in. net, and of 12 years over a 6 ft. net, while for children over 12 years the net may be raised to 7 ft. The game is started by one member of a team standing on the back line and throwing the ball over the net. The opponents catch the ball and pass it back ; this passing continues until the ball is dropped, then a point is counted to the other team. The ball is then served from the other end, and the game continues. Each team serves alternately, and every point scored counts towards a team’s total.

Note.—The ball may touch any player, and so long as it is held from touching the ground no point can be lost. It may also be passed forward from the back line to the players at the net, to enable them to place the ball over the net to their team’s advantage. If the ball is thrown wildly, and goes over the outside lines on the full, a point is lost.

The following alternative method of scoring may be used :—A team must be serving to score ; that is, if team A is serving, they continue to serve until they drop the ball, or throw it outside their opponent’s playing space, and every point they make adds to their score. When they make a mistake, it is “ side down ”, and their opponents then have the opportunity to serve and score points.

4. Volley-ball.—As the name suggests, the ball is bunted with the hands or the fingers, it is never caught and held. Girls should be encouraged to practise in groups hitting or bunting the ball up in the air or passing it from one to another before the game is attempted.

The game is played on a court 50 ft. by 30 ft., or smaller if desired. The net should be stretched across the centre up to a height of 6 ft., according to the age of the girls. Points are scored in the

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same way as in the alternative method of scoring suggested for Newcombe. To start the game, one player serves the ball from the back line, hitting the ball with the hand—underhand or overhead as in tennis, or with the closed fist.

If the ball touches the net or fails to reach the other team's area, it is “ side down ”, and the other side serves. Once the ball crosses the net the game is on, each team bunting the ball across the net until it goes outside the court or into the net or touches the ground. Each team is allowed to touch the ball three times, and then it must go over the net. This does not mean that it must be touched three times ; any girl may hit it back over the net without passing it to one of her team mates. No player may hit it twice in succession. The placing of the team makes for organization within the team. In ideal play

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a girl in the centre or on the back line bunts the ball to the girl on the right at the net. This girl bunts the ball into the air, and the centre player on the net leaps high to smash the ball down on the ground in her opponent’s area.

Note.—No player must foul the net with her body. If the ball tips the net in play, but not in service, and goes over the net the game is played on.

5. Soft Bali—(The rules are too many to set down in a pamphlet of this type.) Some indication of the game is given here. More detail is given in booklets issued by sports firms.

This game is a modified form of base-ball, and it contains many features of our game of rounders. It is played on a field marked out in the shape of a diamond, with a soft-ball bat and ball.

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The fielders for a right-hand batter are placed as shown in the diagram. If a left-hand batter comes in, the short fielder and the short stop move to the left of second base. The bases are 15 ft. square and are placed as shown in the diagram. The home base “ plate v is a rectangle with a triangle surmounting it, the apex of

which makes one point of the diamond. The pitcher stands on the pitcher’s base, steps forward one step, and delivers the ball, under-arm, to the batter. To be a “ strike ” the ball must pass over the home

base, and must be between the levels of the batter’s shoulder and knee. Any other delivery is a “ball”. Three “strikes” and the batter is out ; four “ balls ” and she takes first base. If the pitcher delivers four “ balls ” when the first and second bases are “ loaded ”, the batter moves to the first base, and the players in the other bases each move on one base. When the ball is struck fairly (“ foul ” hits are the same as in rounders) the game is on, and the batter should try to reach one    base or more, according to the    distances    she    hits the ball.

First base    is the only    base at which the    batter is    out    if the fielder

catches the returned ball with her foot on the “ plate ”. At all other bases the    runner must    be “ tagged ” with    the ball    held    in a fielder’s

hand. A    batter is out    when she is caught    out, struck out, or run out.

(A “ foul ” hit is a strike.) When three batters are out, it is “ side down ”, then batters and fielders change places. A game consists of seven innings ; runs are scored as each player completes a circuit of the diamond-shaped field. Base-stealing is allowed ; when there is an empty base ahead the runner may move on to it as soon as the pitcher has delivered the ball.

6. Bat Tennis.—The rules are the same as for single-court tennis. The game is really miniature lawn tennis played with bats. The cost of the equipment is small ; the only articles required are tennis balls and timber for bats, “ net ”, and stands. The bats can be constructed from 6 in. by | in. softwood (the ends of a kerosene case are ideal).

The handle may vary in thickness, but the usual thickness will be from l in. to 1J in. The “ nets ” are made from 3 in. by 1 in. hardwood. They are 15 ft. long, and are held 15 in. above the ground in stands constructed as shown below.

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The court area is laid out as shown in the diagram, upon which suggested measurements are marked.

This is only a singles court, but doubles may be played on it. The court surface need not be asphalted ; any flat surface will make a playing area, and many courts can be marked out in a school-ground. The game is good training for tennis, and as children become proficient at it they should move on to the more advanced game.

To start the game, one person serves under-arm from the right side behind the base-line to the opponent’s right service area. Children are taught to drive forehand and back-hand, and they learn the essentials of court-craft; in fact, the only thing that is really missing is the overhead play. They may be allowed to serve overhead, but strong players will score many aces over their weaker opponents if they are allowed to do so.

GAMES PRACTICES: BOYS, AGES 10 TO 12 YEARS.

Practices Leading up to Team Games.

1.    Intercepting in Threes (see page 5 for details).

2.    Team Passing or “Keeping Off” (two teams, one ball).—This is a running and passing game, each team trying to keep the ball away from the other team. The game should be umpired by the teacher, applying the “ hold the man—hold the ball ” rule, as in football. The ball must be passed by throwing or hand-balling.

3.    Throwing and Catching a Hard Ball.—Practise in pairs with a cricket ball or a soft ball.

4.    Juggling with Balls.—This is a good training. Practise spinning a ball in the air or on to the ground. Juggle two or three balls. Throw a ball around the body, over the back, and catch it in front.

5.    Running and Passing.—The football relay is an excellent game for running and passing practice. (See details in the booklet issued by the V.S.S.A.A.A. and in the Education Gazette for July, 1941, page 207.)

6.    Bodging an Opponent.—Boys work in pairs. One boy has a ball, and attempts to move past his opponent and retain possession of the ball. The game may be varied in many ways, but if the boy is securely held by his opponent he is regarded as having lost possession of the ball.

7. Goal Kicking Practice.—All boys should be given constant practice in kicking for goal, even if the ball used is only a paper football.

8.    Fielding Practice (see page 5 for details).

9.    Running and Bouncing Relay (see page 3 for details).

10.    Running and Passing Relay (see page 3 for details).

11.    Corner Spry (see page 6 for details).

12.    Ten Trips (see page 5 for details).

13.    Circle Gap Passing (see page 6 for details).

14.    Tower Ball (see page 4 for details).

15.    Post Ball or Pillar Ball.—The ground is marked out as shown in the diagram, and may be of any area. A circle (diameter 10 to 12 ft.)

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is drawn at each end of the area and a stick, a tin, or a jumping stand is placed upright in the centre of each circle. A backman guards the goal, and he is the only one allowed in the circle. The players are divided into two teams, and play in pairs as shown in the diagram. The game is started by throwing the ball up between two centres, each of whom strives to knock the ball to one of his own team, who acts as a rover. The throw pass is used, and the “ hold the man— hold the ball ” rule applies as in football. When the players of a team are near enough to their opponents' goal, they attempt to score by hitting the goal with the ball, but they must not step into the goal circle. The defending back may kick the ball if he wishes, but he is the only player who is permitted to do so. If a penalty throw is given for stepping inside the goal area, for rough play, or for holding the ball, the throw is taken from the spot where the incident occurred.

16. Skittle Ball.—This game is a variation of post ball. The ground is divided into halves, and the players must keep to their respective

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sides of the playing space. The game may be further changed by having four or six goal bases.

17.    Three Court Bodge Ball (see page 10 for details).

18.    Newcombe.—See details given on page 11, with the following additions :—

(a) The ball must be thrown from where it is caught ;

(b) If the net is lowered, a dead space may be introduced as shown in the diagram. The boys are not allowed to move into or to “ kill” the ball in this space. The lower the net is placed, the wider the dead space should be.

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19.    Volley Ball (see page 11 for details).

20.    Team Hand-ball.—A play ball or a basket-ball is required. The court is set out as shown in the diagram; the teams should be

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limited to nine players or fewer. The net should be 3 or 4 ft. high ; in fact, when the children are learning the game it may be lower. A child starts the game by serving the ball from the back line. The ball must cross the net on the bounce ; in other words, it must hit the court before it crosses the net to the opponent’s area. It is then hit either on to the ground, or batted into the air, the idea being to keep it on the move. All players may touch the ball, and any one player may hit it as many times as he wishes. When the ball rolls along the ground, goes outside the court, or fails to cross the net a point is scored. Each side serves in turn ; every point scored adds to a team’s total. One rule must be adhered to : the ball must never be held in the hands ; it must be kept on the move.

21. Deck or Quoit Tennis.—Use a rubber quoit, a rope quoit, an improvised quoit of rope bound with rags, or a piece of rubber hose joined with a metal hose clip. Teachers may improvise the apparatus, but it is best if it is flexible and not hard. For this reason the rope quoit is not so effective as the other quoits suggested. The court (suggested measurements—25 ft. by 15 ft.) is marked out as for a

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singles tennis court. The net should be 5 ft. high. A player commences the game by toeing the back line and serving the quoit into the opponent’s right serving area. The game is played as in tennis ; the quoit is thrown over the net. When delivering the quoit the hand must not rise above the shoulder. When being served the quoit must not twist, it must be correctly thrown. The quoit must be caught cleanly in one hand ; it must not be fumbled, nor must it touch another part of the body. Scoring may be done as in tennis, or the alternative method of scoring for Newcombe (see page 11) may be used.

22. Dodge Ball.—A basket-ball is required. The area may be of anv size., according to the number of players. Place the teams as shown

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in the diagram. The captains stand facing across the centre line, and the back men are on the opponents’ back lines. The area is absolute ’, if a player steps outside his area he is out. The game is “dodge and hit ; each team attempts to knock the other team out. A player may save himself by “ marking ” the ball thrown at him. The game is started by bouncing a ball on the centre line between the captains. 'W hen the first person is knocked out, the back man takes his place in the square. This is the only change. When a player is out, he runs to the back line of his opponents’ area, and continues to knock out his opponents whenever the ball comes over the line he is standing on.

Every man hit by the ball is out, and he cannot return to his team's playing area.

Team Games.

From the age of 11 years onward the technique of football, cricket, basket-ball, volley-ball, tennis, soft ball, and other games should be taught by the teacher. Football and cricket are our national games, and yet very few children know the placement of the field in football or how to bowl an in-swinger in cricket. When the weather makes it impossible for outside physical activities, the children could be given talks on the technique of sports and of games. Teachers should study the articles published in the Education Gazette for July and August, 1941—“ The Teaching of Football Fundamentals ”, page 207 ; ” Cricket ”, page 243.

By Authority: H. E. Daw, Government Printer, Melbourne.



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