How Long Should I Run My Above Ground Pool Pump?

If you’ve sprung for a new model, you may be wondering, “How long should I run my above ground pool pump?” It takes some math, but the easy answer is: It depends. First, you’ll need to figure out the volume of water your pool holds as well as your pump’s capacity to figure out how long your pump needs to run to ensure a clean pool.

How Do I Figure Out How Long Should I Run My Above Ground Pool Pump?

Pool Pump on the ground

Image via pixabay.com

There are a couple of ways to figure out how long to run your pump. But keep in mind that there are a few factors that influence optimal run-time.

Along with knowing how much water your pump filters, you’ll need to keep an eye on the weather, temperature, and the chemical balance in your pool.

There is a minimum run-time, which makes it easy to establish a baseline for scheduling your pump.

Pool Pump Math

If you purchased the correct size pump for the volume of your pool, then you’re in luck. You can find the answer in your owner’s manual. However, if you purchased them separately, you may not find easy answers.

First, calculate the volume of your pool. Because above ground pools only have one depth, it’s easy:

  • For rectangular pools, the formula is: Multiply length by width by depth by 7.5 to get the volume in gallons

  • With circular pools, the formula is: Multiply diameter by the diameter by depth by 5.9 to get the total gallons.

  • For oval pools: Multiply length by width by depth by 5.9 to get the volume in total gallons.

You can also use an online pool volume calculator.

Calculate GPH

Once you know how much water your pool holds, you’ll need to figure out how fast your pump can run that volume through your filter. Knowing this will allow you to calculate how long it will take for your pump to process the entire pool.

The easiest way to find this information is to check your owner’s manual and look for its gallons per hour (GPH) rating. If you don’t have the manual, you may be able to find it online by searching for the make and model. You may be able to find it at an online library of pool equipment manuals.

Finally, if necessary, you can contact the manufacturer.

Minimum Turnover

When you’re researching “how long should I run my above ground pool pump,” you’ll find some conflicting information.

Some experts recommend running your pump long enough to turn over the water at least twice a day. Others recommend just running it through once.

Once again, the correct answer really just depends.

If your pool sees heavy use, it’s going to accumulate more debris. The more people in your pool, obviously, the dirtier your water will become.

However, if you’re not using your pool every day, one turnover will ensure that pool chemicals get distributed, and no algae build-up occurs.

The Secret Formula

Once you know your pool’s volume and your pump’s GPH capacity, the formula to figure run-time for one turnover is simple:

Pool volume divided by GPH = turnover time.

So, if your aboveground pool holds 12,000 gallons of water, and your pump’s GPH is 2,600, then you’d need to run your pump for 4.6 hours to perform a complete filtration of all the water in the pool.

So, still, the answer for “how long should I run my above ground pool pump” really depends on the capacity of your pool and the capacity of your pump.

For example, we’ve had two above ground pools in the last 15 years, with differing sized pumps. While both pools held 10,000 gallons, the GPH on the two different pumps meant running them for different lengths. The 2-horsepower pump was able to turn over the entire pool in about four hours. However, the pump that accompanied our second pool needed six hours of run time.

How Much Does Running My Pool Pump Cost?

Indoor pool

Image via pexels.com

If you’re wondering “how long should I run my above ground pool pump,” you may also be concerned about the cost of running it.

Depending on the size of your pump and the length of your swimming season, electrical costs for maintaining your pool can really add up.

One determining factor for answering the question of “how long should I run my above ground pool pump” might depend on how much it costs you to run it.

Pool maintenance can be time-consuming and expensive. Running your pool through two turnovers a day might be more or less efficient than increasing the use of chemicals or risking a complete algae takeover. You’ll need to weigh the costs vs. the time involved, while also taking chemical sensitivity and environmental impact into consideration.

So, let’s figure out the cost in dollars:

Here are the average electricity use of running a pump by horsepower:

  • 3/4-horsepower pump: 1.26 kWh average

  • 1-horsepower pump: 1.72 kWh average

  • 1.5-horsepower pump: 2.14 kWh average

  • 2-horsepower pump: 2.25 kWh average

  • 2.5-horsepower pump: 2.62 kWh average

  • 3-horsepower pump: 3.17 kWh

Find the horsepower of your pump and multiply that by the hours you need to run it for a complete turnover.

Then, compare it to the chart of average electrical costs per state from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to do the math.

For example, if you need to run your 2-horsepower pump for 4.6 hours per day for a complete turnover, and you live in Ohio, you’ll pay about $1.29 each time you filter your pool. To run it twice during the day, it will cost you $2.58.

Assuming your swimming season lasts from June to August, you’ll spend a total of about $238 over the summer to run two turnovers a day. If you only run it once, it will cost you about $119 for the summer.

How to Decrease the Cost of Running a Pool Pump

Once you’ve found the answer to “how long should I run my above ground pool pump,” you may be wondering how to reduce the cost of that runtime.

Right size

The simple solution to lowering the cost of running your pool pump is to ensure that your pump isn’t bigger or more powerful than you need. As seen above, the higher the horsepower, the more energy it consumes.

Increased efficiency

If you find you have an undersized or oversized pool pump, you may want to consider an upgrade. Choosing a more energy-efficient model best suited to the size of your pool is a good option.

You may also want to opt for a two-speed or variable speed pump. According to Florida Power and Light company, a dual-speed pump can result in an average savings of 24 percent, while a variable speed pump can deliver up to 72 percent savings when compared to a single-speed pump.

Adding a larger or more effective filter is another option. Diatomaceous earth, for example, is more efficient than a sand filter. In some cases, a better filter medium means you only have to run your pump through one turnover to keep it sparkling regardless of how much you use it.

A balanced approach

Making sure that you keep on top of your pool’s chemical profile with regular testing also means you won’t have to run your pump longer than strictly necessary.

Reduce debris

While debris itself only serves as a minor nuisance, it’s the side effects of that debris that increases your pool pump run time. Falling leaves and sticks carry organic matter that can result in increased algae in your pool.

Use a pool cover when you’re not actively using your pool. Not only will it cut down on debris entering the water, but it will also keep sunlight from depleting the chlorine. Pool chlorine degrades rapidly in sunlight.

It will also help prevent rapid evaporation. Why let perfectly clean and conditioned pool water evaporate into the ether?

Swimmers also carry organic matter into the pool with them, including plant matter, oils, and dead skin. Provide a tub for rinsing feet and encourage swimmers to shower before entering the pool.

The magic of moonlight

While swimming under the moon is both romantic and heavenly, night-time is also the best time of day to run your pool pump. And there are several reasons behind this.

First of all, many power companies offer reduced rates for electricity used at night. If you have a pool, contact your provider to find out more.

Secondly, your pool pump disperses chlorine when it’s running. So, to preserve the life span of your pool chemicals, add them at night while running the pool pump. This gives them all night to work without degrading in the morning sun.

Splitting the runtime is also a good option.

Many pool pumps come with timers installed, but if yours did not, you’re in luck. You can find an efficient and inexpensive pool pump timer and connect it directly between your pump and your outdoor outlet.

While you may be tempted to set it for the very small hours, remember that night time is the best time for adding your pool chemicals. And you’ll need to run your pump for several hours afterward. So, you may want to set it to start in the evening before you head off to bed.

Keep It Clean

Pool Cleaning machine

Image via pixabay.com

So, now that you know the answer to the question “How long should I run my above ground pool pump,” you can set your pump timer with confidence. Remember, however, that factors like weather and sun exposure means that you’ll still need to monitor your pool.

Most importantly, stay on top of your testing and conditioning schedule. While filtering goes a long way in keeping your pool clean, the water’s chemical balance still heads the list of priorities for pool owners.

How many hours do you run your pool pump every day? Do you find that you need to adjust it on occasion? Tell us about your pool care routine in the comments.

What Is Racquetball? The Origins and History of the Court Sport

What Is Racquetball?

Racquetball, sometimes called paddleball, is a super fun racquet sport played on an indoor court with a hollow rubber ball. Unlike most racquet sports, racquetball is played without a net or out of bounds areas. All four of the court’s walls along with the floor and ceiling are all legal playing surfaces in racquetball.

​The Origins and History of Racquetball

​While we’re answering the question of what is racquetball, it is important that we talk a bit about the origins and history of the sport.

Racquetball is a relatively new sport. It was created early in the 1900s by combining several popular sports like handball, tennis, squash, and jai alai. The game first appeared in the United States in the 1920s.

A professional handball, tennis, and squash player from Greenwich, Connecticut named Joseph G. Sobek has been credited with the invention of modern-day racquetball. He was working at a rubber factory in the 1940s when he designed the first rubber ball used in the sport today.

In 1952 Sobek founded the Paddle Racquet Association. From there he distributed rules for the game to all of the YMCAs in America. Racquetball quickly gained in popularity. In fact, by 1969 racquetball had become so popular around the world that a man named Robert Kendler founded the International Racquetball Association. That’s when the name of the sport was officially changed to racquetball.

Racquet and the blue ball

                                                      Image Source: Flickr

​Today there are more than 20 million people worldwide competing in the sport.

There has been a world championship held every year for the sport since 1981. And in 1995, the International Olympic Committee approved racquetball as an official Pan American Games sport.

Racquetball enthusiasts have high hopes that one day it will be an official Olympic sport too.

The rules of racquetball are established now but they can vary slightly by region or country. Australia, for example, plays the game in a standard international squash court which measures 32 feet by 21 feet. But Americans play in a court that measures 40 feet by 20 feet. The Australians also consider the ceiling to be out of bounds. In America, the ceiling is legally in play.

​The Objective of the Game

As we answer the question of what is racquetball, let’s talk a little about the game’s objective.

In racquetball, your objective is to win rallies by returning the ball or by serving so that your opponent can no longer keep the ball in play.

A rally will be over when a hinder is called. A rally is also over when a player or team doesn’t hit the ball before it bounces twice or when a player or team is unable to return a ball in a way that it hits the front wall before it hits the floor.

​Types of Racquetball Games

You can play racquetball with either two players (singles) or four players (doubles). There is also a variation of the game that you can play with three players called cut-throat.

When you play cut-throat, one of the players serves to the other two opponents. If the server wins a rally, they earn a point. However, if they lose the rally, then one of the other players becomes the server.

​Points and Outs

You score points in racquetball only when you are serving. A point is earned when you serve an irretrievable shot, called an ace, or when you win a rally.

If you are playing doubles, then when the first server loses his serve, the second player on the team will then serve. It’s side out when the second server loses his serve.

​Match, Game, Tiebreaker

You win a match in racquetball by winning two games.

In racquetball, you play the first two games of the match to 15 points. You only need to win the game by one point. If each player wins one game then you will need to play a tiebreaking game. The tiebreaking game goes to 11 points, and you need to win by at least 1 point.

​Equipment You Need for Racquetball

While we’re discussing what is racquetball, you should be aware of the equipment required. One of the things that we love about this sport is that it doesn’t require a bunch of expensive gear and equipment.

Basically you just need four things:

​Health and Fitness Benefits of Playing Racquetball

While we’re talking about what is racquetball, it’s important that you know that there are many health benefits to playing the game.

For one thing, it burns a ton of calories. On average you will burn between 640 and 822 calories per hour of play.

Another thing that we love about the game is that it works nearly every muscle in your body. Because you are using large muscle groups for sustained repetitive motion, you will burn more fat and calories.

Throughout a typical game, each player works at a constant rate of 75 to 85 percent of their maximum heart rate.

An average racquetball game takes about 20 minutes. And in that 20 minutes each player will run a distance of around 3,650 feet. That means you’ll run more than two miles in one hour!

You will get both aerobic and anaerobic benefits from playing racquetball. You will benefit from the sustained high-level heart rate along with the quick bursts of energy.

​Racquetball Tips for Beginners

Here are a few tips to get you started.

Take advantage of your opponent’s weaknesses

In order to be successful at racquetball, you are going to have to learn how to diagnose your partner. Take time during your warm-up to find out your opponent’s weaknesses. Are they weak in backhand shots? Do they have trouble with low shots?

During the warm-up make sure that you offer a wide variety of shots and speeds so that you can find where your partner’s weaknesses are. Then take advantage of those weaknesses during gameplay.

​Try to stay in the center of the court

​Avoid your opponent

​Hit to the back court

​But avoid the back wall

​Stop hitting balls into the ground

​​Learn from experienced players and videos

​What Is Racquetball? The Bottom Line

Now that we’ve answered the question, “what is racquetball,” hopefully you have a better understanding of this exciting sport.

Before you start practicing you should read through all of the rules of the game. It’s also a good idea to pair up with a more experienced player so that you can learn the proper techniques from the beginning. It’s a lot easier to learn how to hit the right way than to later have to unlearn bad habits.

Now we want to hear from you! Let us know in the comments section below what you think about racquetball. Are you new to the sport? Do you have any great tips for other newbies? Share those with our readers too.

Best of luck with your game!

​Featured Image Source: Unsplash

Here’s How to Play Racquetball for Beginners

The list of racquet sports from around the globe is a lot longer than you might think. But let’s be honest: Few people are sitting around itching to learn Qianball. But many more are probably wondering how to play racquetball.

For those who decide to take up this game, get ready for plenty of challenge and excitement! Once you learn your way around the rulebook and get the right equipment, the sky is the limit.

Racquetball is a game played indoors, usually on courts integrated into larger fitness centers or YMCA buildings. It has a simple set of requirements: Three walls, a rubber ball, and a small racquet (eye protection is a good idea as well).

The modern game dates back to the mid-20th Century. But as we’ll see, learning how to play racquetball is something that you can pick up in just a few sessions.

Brief History of Racquetball

Knowing a little history of the game can help you learn how to play racquetball. The sport has a recent vintage to it, having been created officially in the mid-1940s or early-1950s. Yet it also has connections to more traditional racquet sports, such as tennis and squash.

Virtually every source credits the invention of the game to Joseph Sobek, a professional tennis and handball player from Greenwich, Connecticut.

As the story goes, Sobek and a partner wanted to create an indoor racquet sport that moved fast. He initially called it “paddle rackets,” and it included a set of rules based on squash and handball.

By 1952, Sobek founded the Paddle Rackets Association, finalizing and distributing the rules. As the saying goes, the “game was afoot.”

Players began flocking to the association to learn how to play racquetball.

The game snowballed in popularity. But it didn’t get its official name of racquetball until 1969, when the head of the U.S. Handball Association founded the International Racquetball Association.

Today, an estimated 20 million people play racquetball across around 100 countries. While the U.S. Olympic Committee has recognized it, racquetball has not yet succeeded in earning a spot as an official sport at the Olympic Games.

What Do You Need to Play Raquetball?

You don’t need much to learn how to play racquetball. The first and most essential item is a regulation court. Those typically aren’t hard to find, though there was a period in the 1980s when the game’s popularity waned.

But racquetball courts are typically found in local fitness centers or health clubs, including YMCAs. The standard dimensions of an official court are 20-by-40 feet across and 20 feet high.

An important lesson to learn in understanding racquetball: Every wall surface is in play.

The second-most important item is your racquet. The racquet has evolved over the years to include the oversized face that has become very common. Current rules call for a racquet with a frame that is no longer than 22 inches.

The racquet must also have a wrist cord of about 18 inches long. The wrist cord is crucial for added safety.

The final piece of equipment you need to learn how to play racquetball: The ball itself. Racquetballs consist of hard rubber material. They measure 2.25 inches in diameter and weigh about 1.4 ounces. They also must meet a particular standard: Manufactured to bounce 68-to-72 inches from 100 inches high.

Safety remains an important consideration in learning how to play racquetball. It is a fast-moving game played in very tight quarters with aluminum rackets and hard rubber racquetballs. You also want a pair of the best racquetball shoes.

You might want to put eye protection, such as a pair of safety goggles, on your list as well.

How to Play Racquetball

At this point, you’ve got a sense of the game’s history. You also understand what you need in terms of equipment to play.

What’s left to do? Only one thing, really: Learn the rules, so you know how to play racquetball like a pro.

Then, you need to find an opponent (or opponents). You can play the game one-on-one or in a doubles match.

It won’t take you long to master the game. Racquetball has a relatively simple set of guidelines in terms of how to serve, how to return, and how to score a point.

Objective: Score

You can’t learn how to play racquetball unless you understand the game’s objective. It’s to win, of course, but there’s more to it than just that.

In racquetball, the idea is to score points by making it impossible for your opponent to keep the ball alive and in play.

Players score points in one of two ways. The first happens when your opponent cannot reach the ball to hit it before it bounces twice.

The second scoring action occurs when your opponent does hit the ball, but it doesn’t reach the front wall before touching the floor again. (In other words, the floor is not really in play like the walls and ceiling.)

However, you can use combinations as long as the ball doesn’t go from your racquet to the floor first. That means if you’re strong enough and play the angles well, you can utilize the back or side walls to return a shot.

As long as it hits the front wall without touching the floor, the game proceeds. (Warning: If using the back wall, remember to duck your head out of the way. The ball hurts!)

Put it in play

As in tennis, the trigger to starting a racquetball rally is the serve. And, also like tennis, you have two chances to serve the ball legally.

If playing with a friend, you can determine who serves first any way you choose. Professional racquetball matches use a coin toss.

The server must be within a narrow service zone marked by lines on the court. The service zone is 5-by-14 feet across.

Serving is very straightforward, according to USA Racquetball Events. The server drops the ball within the service zone and hits it after one bounce.

The ball must hit the front wall first. It can only hit one other wall before touching the ground again. So if your serve goes from the front wall and rebounds off the side wall to the back wall, you’ve got a problem. You’ve committed a fault and must serve again.

Other faulty serves include when the ball fails to cross back over the service box in the air.

You’re also not allowed to serve the ball into the ceiling or get too strong and serve the ball all the way to the back wall. And your serve must connect with the front wall first in all cases.

Another fault is when the ball comes back in such a way that the returning player can’t see it. Racquetball rules call this a screen serve.

Of course, proper etiquette comes into play in racquetball. If you serve when your opponent isn’t ready, it is technically a fault (though among friends, you might just call it a do-over.)

Commit two faults, and you lose your serve.

But once you complete a serve legally, it’s good news for all. Because now it’s time to rally!

Land of return

One of the tricks in learning how to play racquetball is understanding where you’re supposed to stand — particularly when returning the serve.

Returners must be positioned initially behind the receiving line, which is about 21.5 feet from the front wall. The court includes obvious markings for the receiving line.

The returning player cannot cross the receiving line with his or her racquet or body until the ball crosses the receiving line. If you’re playing by the letter of the rules, should you break the plane of the line, your opponent gets the point.

You can go past the receiving line with your body or racquet. But you must keep both on the other side of the back of the service box, known as the short line. That is, unless you’re chasing a ball madly from a crazy carom off the back wall.

A permissible return involves hitting the ball either in the air or after one bounce.

The return shot must hit the front wall before reconnecting with the floor. But it can touch one or both side walls (perhaps you have a degree in geometry and can figure that one out on the fly!), or it can hit the back wall or the ceiling or any combination.

Now we’re really having some fun!

Rallies

Once the ball is served and returned, the rally begins. While almost anything goes, you do have to understand a few rally rules.

First, and perhaps most importantly, if you’re thinking of playing ambidextrously, forget it. You can only play the rally with the racquet in one hand or the other. Trying to gain an advantage by switching hands is a no-no.

You can also only hit the ball with the face of the racquet. If you end up hitting the ball with the handle or the hand, you lose the point.

Double hits are also out. You can only hit the ball once. And by hit, we mean, hit. If the ball rests for just a moment too long on the racquet face, you’ve committed a carry. It will cost you a point.

Beyond that, the main rules still apply. If you let the ball bounce twice, you’ve lost the point. If you can’t get the ball back to the wall, your opponent is a point closer to victory.

Players compete to 15 points. It takes two games to win a match. If you’re tied one game apiece, then you get a tiebreaker game of 11 points.

What if?

Some crazy things can happen as you learn how to play racquetball, according to the official rules.

Apparently, there is something called a “crotch serve.” No, it’s not what you think.

A crotch serve occurs when a ball hits the seam between the front wall and the floor, front and side wall, or front wall and ceiling. In those instances, the serve is out, and you either have to re-serve or have committed a double fault.

Some courts are open to an audience. But if the ball sails into the gallery, the player who hit the ball loses the point.

Even if unintentional, if you hit the ball and it strikes another player, you lose the point. If it gets suck in your clothes, you get the same penalty.

In an instance where the ball may be acting funny because it has split open, the point gets replayed. In professional racquetball, the referee makes that determination. It’s a more relaxed situation when you play with your friends.

Finally, racquetball isn’t cutthroat. If you think you might hit your opponent with your ball or racquet, you’re allowed to look out for his or her well-being. The players replay the point.

At the Highest Level

Many who learn how to play racquetball go on to play the game at the highest level. Racquetball organizers pit the best competitors against each other in a range of professional tours for both men and women.

The International Racquetball Tour, or IRT, consists of 300 players and an estimated 70 tournaments across the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Pro and amateur tournaments are even more popular, drawing as many as 700 players at the professional, collegiate, and amateur ranks.

The IRT traces its origins to the earliest days of the sport. But it has picked up in popularity more recently, starting in the late 1980s.

Female players compete in the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour, with similar geography. The LPRT has players in the United States, Mexico, Chile, Canada, Colombia, Japan, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.

Kill Shot

Racquetball is a sport requiring excellent hand-eye coordination, quick feet, and nerves of steel. The game is played in a relatively confined indoor court with a rubber ball that bounces and collides, redirecting off of walls when you least expect it.

Players and the ball move quickly. Game conditions change rapidly. You need to keep your head up and know where you are at all times.

In the end, learning how to play racquetball leads to fun and fitness. So, why not give it a try?

Have you ever played racquetball? What did you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

K2 Coolers Review

If you’re looking for a K2 Coolers review, it’s probably because you’re looking for a quality cooler without spending a lot of money. Having a good cooler with you is a great idea for when you go on your outdoor adventures, and it makes an excellent companion for when you go bow hunting.

K2 is mentioned sometimes as a potential alternative to more popular brands like Yeti or Pelican. But can it really hold its own against these other brands? Or does it fall short of expectations?

Before you take the plunge with one of these coolers, there are a few things you should be aware of. How long does it retain ice? Is it made with quality materials? And of course, how does it compare to the competition? These are a few of the things you should know in a K2 Coolers review.

Comparison Table

What Are K2 Coolers?


K2 Coolers Summit 20 Cooler, Duck Boat Green

  • One piece roto-molded polyethylene construction for extreme durability
  • Extra thick insulation for maximum ice retention
  • Premium features such as padded shoulder strap, ICE vault lid gasket, POSITRAC lid latches, ENDURA integrated hinge…

K2 is a Louisiana-based brand that started in 2011. As you might have guessed, they specialize in outdoor coolers. Virtually all of their coolers feature rotomolding. This technology is a popular trend among coolers today as it allows manufacturers to make coolers that are both more efficient and more affordable.

Even though K2 is a US-based company, they actually manufacture their products in Thailand. This allows them to keep costs down when they’re creating their coolers. As a result, they’re able to make some of the most affordable coolers on the market without sacrificing quality.

Additionally, K2 offers a seven-year warranty on all of their products. So if you do happen to have a problem, you have plenty of time to get your money back.

What Else Do You Need to Know in a K2 Coolers Review?

There’s obviously much more to learn in a K2 Coolers review. There are some additional features to examine that might help you decide if these coolers are right for you.

What are its main features?


K2 doesn’t slouch when it comes to its main features. One of these features is pull-up latches that keep the lid tight. This is a unique feature as most coolers use pull-down latches. The lid also has a commercial-grade rubber gasket that keeps the cold air in and the warm air out.

Furthermore, this cooler uses a single stainless steel pin hinge to connect the lid to the base. This is a smart design choice since the hinge is usually the first thing to break on most coolers. The drain plug on these coolers allows you to drain the cooler with only a partial turn, or you can pull it all the way out to make it drain faster.

These coolers feature both nylon rope handles and integrated handles that are molded into the cooler’s body. This gives you a couple of different options when it comes to carrying the cooler. Lastly, K2 coolers have non-slip rubber feet on the bottom that prevent them from sliding around while you’re driving.

How well does it retain ice?


Of course, this is the main thing you want to know in a K2 Coolers review. Ice retention is the single most important aspect you need to consider when you’re shopping for a cooler. So how well does K2 perform in this regard?

All of our research shows that K2 performs very admirably. Reviewers noted that this cooler will retain ice anywhere from 5 to 14 days, depending on the weather. Needless to say, this is pretty impressive.

Numerous ice tests also showed that it holds its own against many of the more popular brands on the market. All in all, you shouldn’t have to worry about ice retention if you buy a K2 Cooler.

Is it durable?


Almost every K2 Coolers review agrees that these products are incredibly solid and are made with high-quality materials. Testers put them through absurd levels of abuse, and they still will not break.

This is partially because of their rotomolding technology. As we mentioned before, almost every high-end cooler uses this technology today, and for a good reason. It creates extremely durable products.

On top of that, these coolers also feature three layers of insulation. That’s in addition to the extremely durable plastic that constitutes the body itself. And once again, you don’t have to worry about the hinge breaking as you might with other coolers.

What does everyone else think?


So far, we’ve been looking at professional opinions of these products. But what do the actual customers think?

Overall, almost every K2 Coolers review from customers was positive. Most people felt it was a great value when compared to some of the more popular brands. They also loved how durable it is along with its extra features. Additionally, many customers appreciated its ice retention. Several people said it retained ice for at least five days at a time.

However, not everyone was impressed with its ice retention. Some people felt it didn’t last as long as it should’ve and said that more expensive coolers retain ice longer. This was especially true for customers living in desert climates.

Some people suggested pre-chilling your items, which would help avoid this problem. Aside from this one issue, most people were perfectly happy with this product.

How We Formed Our Opinion

For these reviews, we used customer reviews, professional reviews, and the products’ official websites as our main sources of information. Some of the professional resources we consulted include Open Air Life, and Wide Open Eats.

When reviewing these products, we focused on a few key areas. These include durability, ice retention, and extra features. Price was also a major factor in these reviews.

Our opinions were largely informed by a combination of product research and reviews.

Checking out the Competition

Of course, any useful K2 Coolers review should mention the competition as well. There are several other excellent coolers on the market today. Let’s see how K2 measures up.

YETI Tundra 45


YETI Tundra 45 Cooler White

  • The YETI Tundra 45 combines versatility with durability with a capacity of up to 26 cans with a recommended 2:1…
  • Will keep your ice… well ice thanks to up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and an extra thick FatWall design is…
  • The Rotomolded Construction makes the Tundra armored to the core and virtually indestructible so wherever you decide to…

YETI is the brand that all other cooler brands must be compared to, and the YETI Tundra 45 is one of their best products. Like K2 Coolers, this cooler has rotomolded construction that makes it almost indestructible.

It also features T-Rex lid latches that are made of heavy-duty rubber. Likewise, its rope handles are made of military-grade polyester rope. Furthermore, this cooler has three inches of permafrost insulation and an extra thick FatWall design.

Most reviewers said that this cooler is incredibly durable, and it retains ice for a shockingly long amount of time. Customers tend to agree with these opinions. Many people were pleasantly surprised at just how long their items stay cold in this cooler.

On the downside, some customers complained about how heavy it is. This can make it difficult to carry. Also, several people felt that it’s simply overpriced.

On that note, the YETI Tundra 45 costs virtually the same as K2 Coolers. At the end of the day, K2 compares very favorably to this mega-popular brand. Both have very similar properties, and it’s difficult to say that one outperforms the other in any significant way. Which one you decide to buy will largely come down to personal taste.

Pros

  • Extremely durable

  • Incredible ice retention

  • Excellent features

Cons

  • It’s heavy

  • It’s expensive

Pelican 70QT Elite Cooler


Pelican Elite 70 Quart Cooler (White/Gray)

  • VOLUME: True 70 quart internal volume
  • EXTREME ICE RETENTION: 2 inches of polyurethane insulation with a 360 degree freezer-grade gasket delivers extreme ice…
  • FEATURES: Overmolded carry handle, 3 inch locking latches, reinforced lockable hasp, stainless steel bottle opener,…

The Pelican 70QT Elite Cooler is another excellent cooler from one of the most popular brands on the market. It features two inches of polyurethane insulation and a 360-degree freezer-grade gasket. This allows it to retain ice for an incredibly long time.

This cooler also has a few unique features, such as integrated cup holders and a built-in bottle opener. Other features include three-inch locking latches, non-skid rubber feet, an anti-shear hinge system, and an over-molded carry handle.

Reviewers were very impressed by how long this cooler retains ice. They also loved the cup holders and the built-in bottle opener. Customers also loved its ice retention, and they felt its snap latches make it very easy to transport.

Once again, several people simply felt that this cooler is too heavy. Also, many customers had issues with it leaking at the drain plug. Unfortunately, this was a very common problem for most people.

Again, the Pelican 70QT Elite Cooler costs basically the same as K2 Coolers. In this case, we have to recommend K2. The Pelican 70QT Elite is a very good cooler, but the leaky drain plug is a very obvious design flaw. You won’t have this problem with K2 Coolers.

Pros

  • Lots of great features

  • Very durable

  • Excellent ice retention

Cons

  • Drain plug tends to leak

  • It’s very heavy

RovR RollR 60


RovR Wheeled Camping Rolling Cooler with Wheels (60 qt.) (Powder)

  • HIGH PERFORMANCE, PUNCTURE-RESISTANT TIRES! Our coolers ride on 9-inch all-terrain tires mounted on five-spoke aluminum…
  • UP TO 10 DAYS OF ICE! That’s what you get when you combine a rotomolded, elevated body with an airtight gasket and thick…
  • LARGE CAPACITY: Without Deepfreeze dry bin installed: 60 cans and 20lbs. of ice. With Deepfreeze dry bin installed: 40…

Finally, we have the RovR RollR 60. This cooler is unique because you’re able to roll it on nine-inch, all-terrain tires. This makes it extremely easy to transport. It also claims to retain ice for up to ten days thanks to its airtight gasket and thick, foam insulation.

Additionally, this cooler also comes with a dry storage bin. The dry bin features two separate compartments. Without the dry bin, this cooler can hold up to 60 cans and up to 20 pounds of ice.

Reviewers loved this cooler for its numerous extra features, especially its all-terrain tires. This obviously makes it very easy to take wherever you want. Customers felt the same way. They loved the extra attachments you can use with it, and they also felt it was a very strong, heavy-duty cooler.

Despite the tires, some customers still felt this cooler was too heavy for their liking. Also, some people felt it didn’t retain ice as long as some other coolers.

The RovR RollR 60 is somewhat more expensive than K2 Coolers. Your decision will largely come down to transportation versus ice retention. The RovR RollR 60 is easier to transport thanks to its tires. However, K2 Coolers retain ice for longer periods. You’ll have to decide for yourself which of these is more important to you.

Pros

  • Tires make it easy to transport

  • Lots of extra features

  • Very durable

Cons

  • Ice retention isn’t too impressive

  • It’s heavy

K2 Coolers Pros and Cons

As you can see from this K2 Coolers review, there’s a lot to love about these coolers. They’re ridiculously durable, and they retain ice incredibly well. They also come with loads of extra features that make them more convenient to use. And of course, they’re very reasonably priced as well.

The only real issue is that some customers weren’t as impressed with the ice retention. This mostly seems to be the case for people who live in very warm climates. Once again, we suggest pre-chilling your items to avoid this issue.

Pros

  • Great ice retention

  • Extremely durable

  • Lots of great features

  • Seven-year warranty

Cons

  • Ice retention is shorter in warm climates

Is This the Cooler You’ve Been Looking For?

two guys drinking beer from k2 cooler

Image Source: Pexels

Now that you’ve read this K2 Coolers review, you should have a good idea of whether or not these coolers are right for you. In truth, these coolers can be a great choice for almost anyone. They retain ice well, they last a very long time, and they have a great range of features. And of course, they have an excellent warranty on the off-chance that something does go wrong.

The only reason you might choose not to get one of these coolers is if you live in a warmer climate. The ice retention isn’t quite as impressive in desert climates. In this case, you might want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, these coolers are a great choice for almost anyone.

But what do you think? Do you have any experience with one of these coolers? Let us know in the comments!

Featured Image Source: Unsplash

How to Rack a Pool Table Like a Pro in a Few Easy Steps

Pool is a game with many different variations, but one thing that stays the same is that a game starts with someone racking the balls. As a result, learning how to rack a pool table is essential for any player. Without racking the balls, you can’t play the game at all.

Pool is a game that is loved by millions of people around the world. It’s played in bars across the globe. Additionally, although it’s a popular recreational sport, there are lots of professional players that compete to be the best every year.

Although pool is very well known, it’s possible that you don’t know what it is. So before you learn how to rack a pool table, let’s cover that.

What Is Pool?

Before you learn how to rack a pool table, we’d like to make sure you know what pool is, so let’s get into it. Although you may think of pool as a specific sport, it isn’t. Instead, pool is a classification of cue sports played on a table with six pockets that you try to knock balls into.

There are several variations of pool, but the most popular game is eight-ball. Eight-ball is the game you likely play at the bar with friends. But people play several other variations of pool every day.

The History of Pool

Before we teach you how to rack a pool table, we’d like to talk about the history of pool a little bit. We think that understanding pool’s history is essential. So, we’ll share a little bit of that information with you before getting into how to rack a pool table.

There are records of some forms of pool dating back to the 15th century in Northern Europe. Pool originated as a game for royalty. Additionally, it started as an outdoor game that players played alongside croquet.

In the late 1600s, the pool cue was perfected and was more or less made into what we have today. Before then, you would hit the ball with something that resembled a mace. It was also around this time that chalk started to be used to increase friction between the cue and the ball.

Initially, the pockets were hazards that were supposed to make it more difficult for players to strike another ball. However, they were quickly changed to be the targets to hit the balls into.

Furthermore, although pool is now the name that categorizes many cue sports, it originated as a term that referenced betting. Billiard tables were another thing to bet on at horse racing events.

What Do You Need to Play Pool?

We’re almost ready to teach you how to rack a pool table, but there’s another thing we need to cover. We need to discuss what you need to play pool.

If you only plan on playing pool at the local bar, there isn’t anything you need to bring. All the equipment you’ll ever need is at the bar. However, if you want to set up a pool table at your home, there’s some equipment you’ll want to purchase.


Set of Aska L2 Billiard Pool Cue Sticks, 58″ Hard Rock Canadian Maple,…

  • 5 (Five) Pool Cue Sticks Set, One of Each – Black 21-Ounce, Blue 20-Ounce, Brown 19-Ounce, Green 19-Ounce, Red 18-Ounce.
  • Cue Length is 58″ (standard pool cue length). Canadian Hardrock Maple 29″ Shaft.
  • Stainless Steel 5/16×18 Joint

You will obviously need the pool table, the cue sticks, and the balls, but there are a few other things that you’ll want to purchase.

Firstly, you’ll want to get a pool cue case. This isn’t essential, but having a little extra protection for your pool cue could save you money in the long run.

Additionally, getting some pool cue cleaner is necessary. Pool cues get dirty quickly, especially when you use chalk on it frequently. As a result, getting some pool cleaner will keep your cue from getting gross over time.


Iszy Billiards Pool Table Billiard Ball Set, Marble/Swirl Style

  • Grade A deluxe quality – 2 1/4″ regulation size and weight
  • Made of polyester resin – 6 ounce balls Marble / swirl style makes a great addition to a table
  • Price shown is for full set of balls including cue ball

You’ll also want hand towels available to you if you’re taking the game seriously. It’s easy for your hands to get sweaty when playing, and this can hurt your game. Having hand towels to wipe off your hands will undoubtedly be useful.

Lastly, if you’re playing in competitions, you’ll need some sort of pocket marker. In eight-ball, you need to call your pocket before you sink the eight ball.

Although in many situations you can get away with calling it verbally, having a pocket marker will settle any disputes you could have before they start. It’s also a rule of the American Pool Association for players to use a pocket marker.

How to Play Pool

As we mentioned earlier, there are several types of pool. As a result, before you can learn how to rack a pool table, you should know how to play the game. Here we’ll discuss five of the most popular types of pool.

American-style eight-ball

In this type of pool, the players use the standard 16 balls used in most games. One player breaks the balls. Once a player gets a ball into a pocket, they are assigned either stripes or solids, depending on which type of ball they got in the pocket.

Once the ball types are assigned, the players alternate shooting until one player gets all their balls into the pockets. If you get a ball in a pocket, you get to take another shot.

The one exception is the eight ball. The eight ball does not count as one of the solid balls. Instead, players pocket it last.

Once a player gets all their balls in, they need to sink the eight ball to win. If a player sinks the eight-ball before this, they lose immediately.

Straight pool

Straight pool is one of the variations of pool that takes the longest. In this game, the players try to get any ball on the table into a pocket. Players need to call the ball and pocket when they take a shot.

Each ball a player sinks is worth one point, and games are played to 100 or 150 points. As a result, the balls need to be re-racked several times in a game. This makes learning how to rack a pool table essential for straight pool.

Carom

Carom is very different from many other types of pool because there are only three balls. There is a white cue ball for each player and one red ball. Additionally, you play Carom on a pocketless table.

The goal of the game is to hit your ball off the red ball and your opponent’s cue ball in one shot. How many points you need varies from game to game, but the most common number of points to win is 50.

Snooker

Snooker has 22 balls in total. There is a cue ball, 15 red balls that are each worth one point, and six differently colored balls with an increasing number of points.

A snooker table is significantly larger than a standard pool table. It measures out to be 12 feet long and 6 feet wide. However, it still has six pockets like a standard table.

A game of snooker starts by the players pocketing any red ball. They then try to pocket the other numbered balls in ascending order. The player with more points at the end of the game wins.

English billiards

The final game we’ll be looking at is English billiards. This is another game where there are only three balls in play. There is a white cue ball, a yellow cue ball, and a red object ball.

When playing English billiards, there are three ways to score. Firstly, you get two points when a cannon happens. A cannon is when your ball hits both other balls.

Hitting your opponent’s ball into the pocket is also worth two points. Finally, hitting the red ball into the pocket is worth three points.

The player with the most points wins the game. The points can be different from game to game, but typically players will play to 300 points.

Learn How to Rack a Pool Table like a Pro

Now that you have a good understanding of pool and many of its variations. It’s time to learn how to rack a pool table. The first thing you do in any game of pool is rack the table, so it’s an essential skill to learn.

Eight-ball game

In an eight-ball game or any game that uses the standard 16 balls, you start the game by racking all the balls except the cue ball. You begin by placing the one-ball at the front of the rack. The front is also called the apex.

Next, you need to ensure that the eight-ball is at the center of the rack. The center is the third row from the top.

Once the eight-ball is in position, you should make sure that the bottom two corners are a stripe and a solid. It doesn’t matter which corner is which, but they need to be different.

Then you can place the rest of the balls in the rack randomly. It’s a common misconception that stripes and solids can’t touch, but this isn’t true. Stripes and solids can touch each other as long as you follow the instructions above.

Once you place all the balls, you should line the apex up with the middle diamond on the side of the pool table. The diamond should be about a quarter of the length of the table away from the edge. Sometimes the table will have a dot instead of a diamond.

Then, before you remove the rack, make sure you’ve packed the balls together tightly. Now you can gently lift the rack off the balls. If you’ve done this successfully, you’ve learned how to rack a pool table correctly.

Nine-ball game

Nine-ball games are rare, but if you ever play one, you’ll need to know how to rack a pool table for this game. Firstly, you’ll need a diamond-shaped rack instead of the usual triangle.

Like in the eight-ball game, you should place the one-ball at the apex of the rack. However, instead of the eight-ball, the nine-ball should be at the center. You can then set the rest of the balls in the rack randomly.

If you’ve followed the instructions above, you’ve successfully learned how to rack a pool table for a nine-ball game.

Get Started Playing Pool Today

Now that you’ve learned how to rack a pool table, you can get started playing pool today. You won’t need to waste time figuring out how to rack the balls every time you go to the bar. This way, you can spend more time playing and less time trying to figure out the rules.

What’s your favorite type of pool to play? Do you understand how to rack a pool table correctly? Let us know in the comments!

What Is Lacrosse? The Origins and History of the Sport

What is lacrosse? While it might just seem like any other sport to somebody who isn’t really into sports or the history behind them, it’s not. Lacrosse is a sport rooted in tradition, which we seem to have forgotten over the years.

What is Lacrosse?

lacrosse game

image by pexels

Lacrosse is a game where the players divide into teams. Though it is popular worldwide, lacrosse is most common in the United States. Over the past few decades, lacrosse has made gains in popularity.

Today, people play lacrosse in most schools around the U.S, whether as an extracurricular activity or a gym class requirement. Even if you’re not positive what lacrosse is, you probably have some rough idea.

How lacrosse is played

Though original lacrosse and lacrosse in the modern-day do have their fair share of differences, the basics are the same. Lacrosse involves teaming up, a ball, some kind of carrying stick, and a goal.

The objective of the game is to get the ball, which is smaller than a soccer ball, into the other team’s goal. You can’t use your hands, though: That’s what the lacrosse sticks are for. You stick the ball in the netted end and throw it to your teammates and, eventually, into the goal.

The History of Lacrosse

One of the earliest accounts of lacrosse comes from a document written in 1612. You can describe the game as similar to field hockey, a popular game in Europe at the time. Interestingly enough, adults originally played the game, but today kids represent the largest demographic among players.

As life evolves, we tend to forget the origins of common things in our lives. For example, do you know where ketchup originated? Do you know why?

The answer is most likely no. It’s not your fault; as things become more widely used and accepted, we naturally stop putting emphasis on their roots. That habit we have is nothing to be proud of, and it’s definitely something to work on, but that’s for another day.

The Native American origins of lacrosse

image by pixabay

If you know the bare bones of the sport, you probably know that it has a Native American origin story. More specifically, lacrosse was first played by the Algonquians and the Powhatans. The two founding tribes were prevalent in and around eastern Virginia, where European settlers first arrived in their efforts for colonization.

Given that fact, it makes sense that they were the first seen playing lacrosse. It’s also why we associate them with the game even though there could definitely have been other tribes who played first. However, original lacrosse and the lacrosse we know today are not as similar as they might seem.

What was the original lacrosse like?

First of all, the game wasn’t originally called “lacrosse.” A French missionary named Jean de Brébeuf provided its current name. The game was actually called “stickball.”

The game involved a stick and a ball if you couldn’t guess. The sticks evolved as the game grew in popularity, going from simple tree branch mechanisms to more complex instruments made from bones, deer sinew, and fishing nets.

The balls had their share of evolution, too. Originally, they were just wooden balls. However, they became balls of sticks and fur, wrapped in deer hide to keep them together.

The original rules

lacrosse girls

image by unsplash

The original rules of lacrosse and the rules today actually aren’t terribly different. Players may not touch the ball with their hands. However, lacrosse players today have boundaries they need to stay inside, unlike the original version.

The ball couldn’t touch another player’s hand, but a player could touch another player. While there are still some allowances of contact in lacrosse, it’s nowhere near what it was. There were very few boundaries as far as gameplay and contact.

Though not technically a rule, the warm-ups for lacrosse were also different Today, players jog around and do exercises before a game. However, that was not always the case.

The players had a celebration the night before the game, complete with dancing and food that was thought to help them win. All in all, the sport was more focused on the community aspect rather than the logistics and best ways of winning.

What is lacrosse about today for the most part? Winning and following the rules, like a lot of sports have become.

What is lacrosse today that it used to be? It’s a great way to build leadership skills; it takes a good leader to win.

The cultural role of lacrosse in Native American traditions

Lacrosse brought people together. People used it as an act of communion, allowing them to play and have fun while exercising. In fact, the crowded games allowed a wide range of players to participate.

Though the game is recreational, it is also great to tone its participants, making them more apt for the hardships of hunting and gathering. Gaining the ability to chuck a ball was training for things like throwing spears or knives.

Players painted their faces and bodies with charcoal. That would help to differentiate between the teams, which would otherwise be too large and confusing to keep track of. Overall, lacrosse was a symbol of union, a symbol of joy, and it has remained that way.

Lacrosse in the Modern World

adult-athletes-athletics

image by pexels

Lacrosse in the modern world differs from lacrosse in the old world. The sticks are more advanced, the balls are made of a different material. In today’s lacrosse, especially for women, referees won’t let you play without proper gear, and they are enforcing safety rules with an iron fist.

Lacrosse underwent name changes, rule changes, and societal changes. However, something that still hasn’t changed is the fact that lacrosse still brings people together. People connect over their love for the sport and form lifetime bonds while they play together.

The modern benefits of lacrosse

Besides being an extremely physical sport that will help to keep you healthy, lacrosse has several different benefits. When you’re trying to choose a sport to play, lacrosse should not be overlooked.

Colleges give out tons of sports scholarships. When you think of them, you may not necessarily think “lacrosse.” You probably think about football, because everybody thinks about football.

In reality, it’s sports like lacrosse or rowing that are in demand with colleges. The sports that students overlook because they’re not as common are the sports with fewer team members. Fewer team members mean more open spots, which could translate to lower tuition.

Another benefit is the extreme amount of self-control lacrosse takes to play. What is lacrosse? A sport that looks like it should be extremely violent, but it just…isn’t.

lacrosse

image by pixabay

What gameplay is like today

Lacrosse still uses a stick and a ball. However, now, there are specific guidelines the players have to follow, such as safety and boundaries as far as gameplay. Lacrosse today is done in teams of no more than nine, while there was no limit in the game’s original version.

Today’s version of the sport is also able to be played indoors. Often times, you’ll see lacrosse players joining teams year-round, even though the game is technically a spring sport. That helps them stay in shape and capable of performing well in the spring season.

lacrosse-college-game

image by pixabay

Lacrosse in pop culture

Lacrosse has had its fair share of influences on pop culture. Everyone knows “Mean Girls.” At the end of the movie, when Regina George decides to start disposing of her anger in a healthy way, what does she play? Lacrosse.

Granted, the game Regina plays is absolutely not what real lacrosse is like; that level of violence in a girls’ lacrosse league is unheard of. If she tried that in real life, she’d be dismissed from the team.

Lacrosse is also compared to Quidditch — the fictional game played by Harry Potter. The resemblance is definitely there; there are sticks, and some type of ball, and goals. However, if you call a Quidditch player a lacrosse player, do not be surprised when you get throat-punched by a superfan.

A Game of Sticks

Lacrosse is a timeless game. It’s an amazing way to release aggression and form friendships, and it has some practical benefits, too. Colleges don’t take sports lightly.

Remembering the game’s origins is important, and yet, it is so often forgotten. The times of old-school stickball seem so far gone, and they definitely are, but what is lacrosse without stickball? It’s nonexistent.

What is lacrosse? It’s yet another sport that has become so widely loved by the American public, especially. It is a sport that has ended up slowly losing touch with its heritage.

It’s time to remember.

What is lacrosse to you? Have you ever played? Let us know in the comments!

The 7 Best Pool Cues For Sinking Every Shot In The Game

Do you really need the best pool cues?

Up until recently, I didn’t think so. As a casual pool player, I use what’s available at the local billiards hall.

A buddy of mine, however, says that using the best pool cues can make a difference in your game. So, like you, I started reading up on the best pool cues, hoping that it would improve the way I play.

​table of comparison

What Is a Pool Cue?

best pool cues on a pool table

​If badminton has its racquets, then pool has its cues. These pool cues are sticks used to strike the cue ball.

You cannot play a game of pool without one. It’s a simple piece of sports equipment, yet you have to consider several things when choosing the best pool cues for you.

​What to Look for When Choosing the Best Pool Cues

close up photo of pool cue and ball

​When selecting a pool cue, your first consideration should be your budget. You can pay a premium for an excellent pool cue, or you can choose from the best pool cues that fall within your budget.

If you’re going to use it at home, opt for a one-piece cue. These pool sticks do not come apart, so they’re not something that you can bring anywhere.

One-piece cues are more affordable, but they may easily warp over time. Conversely, if you are using the pool cue for competitive play or if you take it with you when you travel, then get a two-piece one, which often comes in a carrying case.

​Consider your height

​Weight matters

​Wrap

​Cue tip

​How We Chose the Best Pool Cues

To come up with our list of the best pool cues, we took into consideration the many factors that you need to look for in the best pool cues.

We then researched various products and narrowed down the list of recommended products, so you don’t have to sift through them.

We chose only the highest rated products with excellent customer reviews.

The Best Pool Cues You Can Buy Right Now

​If you’re looking for the best pool cues, then you don’t have to wade through the avalanche of products. You can limit your search to our recommended products and save time.


AB Earth 2-Piece 58 Inches Pool Cue/Pool Stick Ergonomic Design…

  • 4 cues weight include 18oz, 19oz, 20oz and 21oz
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN WRAP: Canadian hard maple butt which hand polished into a wavy shape. Compared with linen butt, our…
  • HANDMADE PAINTING BUTT: Manual painting with trendy colours make each cue looks special.

The AB Earth Pool Cue Stick Billiard is 58 inches long and weighs anywhere from 18 to 21 ounces. One set comes with six two-piece pool cues with a decal maple butt and skidproof linen wrap.

If you are concerned about the tip, then rest easy because it’s easy to replace it. You can choose between screw-on or glue-on tips. The pool cues also have a solid brass ferrule that makes them more durable than similar products with fiber ferrule.

This product is affordable, and it serves the purpose for casual pool players. More than doing the job, this pool cue also excels in the looks department, so much so that it makes a great gift.

However, sometimes the packages come with some of the tips damaged. This might be a problem because there are no extra tips included so you would need to buy them elsewhere.

​PROS

  • ​Pool cues look great

  • ​Suitable for casual players and as house cues

​cons

  • ​May be prone to warping over time

  • ​Poor quality material used for the shaft

  • ​No replacement tips included in the package


Viper Signature 57″ 2-Piece Billiard/Pool Cue, Hot Pink

  • Constructed from quality hard Canadian Maple wood on the shaft
  • Designed with a 2-piece billiard cue, allowing for easy transportation and storage
  • Features lightweight ABS joints which help provide consistent feedback during play

Billiards and pool are no longer a man’s sport. According to the College Foundation of North Carolina, one in every three billiard or pool player is a woman.

The Viper Signature might be an excellent choice for women who love playing pool and who love feminine colors rather than the drab and boring blue, black, and green that most pool cues have.

This Viper pool cue has a hot pink color and weighs 19 or 20 ounces. It comes with a hard tip.

The manufacturer used top-quality Canadian maple wood for the shaft. Plus, it features a leather tip and a nylon wrap.

This product delivers top performance that can rival that of more expensive pool cues. You will also like the vibrant colors and the quality of the materials used for these cues.

​PROS

  • ​Vibrant colors and material

  • ​Works as well as more expensive cues

​cons

  • ​The hard tips are not easy to replace

  • ​There are complaints that this product warps easily


ASKA Set of 5 Wrapless L3 Billiard Pool Cues, 58″ Hard Rock Canadian…

  • Wrapless 5(Five) 2-Piece Pool Cue Sticks Set, One of Each – Black 21-Ounce, Blue 20-Ounce, Brown 19-Ounce, Green…
  • Canadian Hardrock Maple 29″ Shaft. Cue Length is 58″ (standard pool cue length)
  • Stainless Steel 5/16×18 Joint, Black Rubber Bumper

If you want to spruce up your game room, you can buy this set of five pool cues from Aska. Each cue in the set comes in a different color: blue, brown, black, green, and red.

Each one of these cues also has a different weight from 18 to 21 ounces. These Canadian hard rock maple cues measure 58 inches long with a 29-inch shaft.

Even serious players who bought this set are amazed at how good these cues are. These cues are very well-made and have the perfect finish.

The quality of these cues exceeded their expectations. It may not be something that a professional will use, but they are great house cues.

​PROS

  • ​Well-made

​cons

  • ​Not professional quality but good enough for casual players


PureX HXT-65 Antique Birds-Eye Maple with Black and White Daggers and…

  • 12.75mm HXT Low Deflection Technology Shaft topped with a 10-layer laminated leather Kamui Black soft tip
  • Implex joint collar with 5/16 x 18 pin for a firm hit
  • Sleek wrapless handle for a smooth feel

There are two things that you should know about this product from Purex. First is that it comes with a Kamui Black soft tip.

The Kamui Black tip has high elasticity, which gives the ball more spin with less force. It allows you to control the cue ball with more precision.

Second, it has a low deflection technology shaft. This shaft is designed to be lightweight and thus gives you better accuracy and feedback.

What’s more, the product is covered by a lifetime warranty. The manufacturer even replaces your cue if it warps.

You will like the technology, craftsmanship, and performance of this cue. It’s a great starter cue.

​PROS

  • ​Uses a Kamui Black tip

  • ​Looks great, works well

  • ​Has good craftsmanship and playability

​cons

  • ​Finish may have a ripple


CUESOUL 58 Inch 19oz 1/2 Maple Billiard Stick Pool Cue Set 11.5mm/13mm…

  • Including:1*Pool Cue Stick; ;1 Hard Billiard Stick Carrying Case;1*Joint Protector; 1*cue cleaning towel
  • Wrap: linen thread;13mm Glue on tip?length:58 Inch ; weight about:19 Oz
  • Canadian Maple Wood with union design decal butt

CUESOUL uses maple for its two-piece pool cues. This particular product measures 58 inches long and weighs 19 ounces.

The manufacturer also offers the same quality pool cues in different colors, including red, blue, and orange-brown.

You can use this as a breaking cue. It works as advertised and the quality is excellent.

At the very least, these cues are straight and well-balanced.

​PROS

  • ​Well-balanced and well-made

  • ​Comes with a carrying case, joint protector, and cleaning towel

​cons

  • ​Not perfectly straight, but it can do the job well


Viper Junior 48″ 2-Piece Billiard/Pool Cue, Realtree Hardwoods HD…

  • Constructed from quality hard Canadian Maple wood and features edgy tattoo style graphics down the length of the cue
  • Designed with a 2-piece billiard cue, allowing for easy transportation and storage
  • Features lightweight ABS joints help provide consistent feedback during play

The Viper Junior is lighter than standard cue sticks, weighing in at 16 ounces. This makes it perfect for kids or those who like a lighter pool cue.

If you want to impress with edgy designs on your cue stick, then get the Viper Junior. This product has high-definition camo visuals.

As a two-piece cue, you can take this everywhere you want. It’s easy to store as well.

It uses lightweight ABS joints, a Le Pro leather tip, and a nylon wrap. The product also features a rubber bumper.

You will like how straight and lightweight this pool cue is. Because of its shorter length, you can use this cue stick for tighter spaces.

​PROS

  • ​Good looking cues

  • ​You can use this for shooting in tight spaces

  • ​Great for kids

​cons

  • ​The design might be different from the product description

The Players Technology Series HXT15 Two-Piece Pool Cue has a mix of modern and traditional looks. This product also has the latest enhancements, including the Kamui Black tip and the super low-deflection ferrule.

This walnut stained maple cue has an Irish linen wrap. The manufacturer also covers this product with a lifetime warranty for non-wearable parts.

Even serious billiard players are impressed with this product. It’s probably one of the best pool cues you will use.

​PROS

  • ​It can exceed your expectations as it performs better than more expensive cue sticks

  • ​Balanced and straight

​cons

  • ​Warps after a short time of use

  • ​May not be as durable as you would like

​​Buy the Best Pool Cues to Help Improve Your Game

person holding pool cue

Not even the best pool cues can magically turn a terrible player into a world champion. But it can certainly help you advance your skills.

Try any of these best pool cues on our list, and you’ll be certain to play in style.

Have you decided on the best product for you? Tell us all about it in the comments!

Hit the Court with the 8 Best Racquetball Shoes

Racquetball is a very technical sport, and having the best racquetball shoes could drastically improve your performance. It’s a sport where you usually play one on one against another person, so there’s no one to rely on but yourself. As a result, getting every edge you can from your equipment is necessary.

To succeed in racquetball, you need a balance of endurance, speed, and coordination. All three attributes are essential for someone to succeed as a racquetball player. However, you won’t be able to rise to the next level without the best racquetball shoes.

Finding the best racquetball shoes may seem complicated, but if you do the research, you can find a pair that lasts you a long time. As you dig into the variety of available shoes, you may have questions you want to have answered, and many more may arise. So, before you make a purchase, make sure you have all your most pressing questions answered.

Answering Your Most Pressing Questions to Help You Find the Best Racquetball Shoes

You may have a lot of questions about what makes the best racquetball shoes. Having those questions answered correctly could save you money in the long run. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of several questions that we think you should have answered before you buy a pair of racquetball shoes.

What is racquetball?

Racquetball is a cross between tennis and squash, and as a result, it’s often forgotten with many other racquet sports being more popular. However, it’s easier to play than those alternatives, and it’s an ideal sport for the winter. Luckily, if you’re interested, racquetball is a sport you can learn to play in less than five minutes.

Racquetball is played on a squash court, but you use a bigger and bouncier blue ball. You also use a racquet that has a larger head and shorter handle. This makes it easier to use than standard squash or tennis racquets.

Racquetball is an excellent game for people of all ages. Additionally, there is the option to play singles or doubles.

The basic premise of racquetball is that two players each take turns hitting a ball with a racquet into a wall within a large defined area. A red line represents that area at the top and bottom of the wall. Hitting the ball outside the red line is considered out of bounds.

A rally starts like any other racquet sport, with one player serving the ball. If the serve is successful, the opponent will then attempt to return the serve. When striking the ball, it must hit the front wall, but it can hit the side walls first.

However, the ball cannot go out of court, hit an opponent, or touch the floor before reaching the front wall.

A standard game of racquetball consists of three games, and each game is played to 15 points. You play all three games, and the person with the most points over three matches wins.

Conversely, you can play a best of three. In this format, the games are to 21 points. The first person to win two games wins the match.

What’s the difference between racquetball shoes and regular shoes?

The most significant difference between regular tennis shoes and racquetball shoes is a result of the court surfaces. In tennis, the shoes need to provide stability and toe protection on the harder service. Conversely, in racquetball, there’s a lot more starting and stopping, and as a result, the best racquetball shoes will provide extra control and movement.

Both sports have different requirements for player’s shoes to avoid scuffing the court. Tennis players are required to wear shoes without a dark sole. Racquetball players need to wear gum-soled shoes that won’t leave black streaks.

Furthermore, tennis shoes have stronger edges for lateral movement and a blunter toe for stopping after charging the net. Alternatively, racquetball shoes have a breathable rubber on the sole to give players more traction on the slicker racquetball courts.

Finally, injuries are a problem athletes try to avoid in every sport. In tennis, knee and ankle injuries are common because of the quick side-to-side movements, so tennis players wear shoes with more lateral support.

In racquetball, there’s a lot of hard impact from starting and stopping so frequently. As a result, athletes wear shoes with more heel and forefoot cushioning.

What should you look for in the best racquetball shoes?

Before you purchase what you think are the best racquetball shoes, you need to know what you’re looking for in the first place. Racquetball is a sport that requires you to switch from lateral, to forward, to backward movements regularly. As a result, you need shoes that help you in that area.

Running shoes are the worst type of shoes you can wear in a racquetball court. That’s because manufacturers design running shoes for forward movement. As a result, they have minimal ankle support, which is essential for a racquetball player.

Some manufacturers make shoes specifically for racquetball, but you don’t need to wear those shoes. You can also wear basketball and volleyball shoes as they play on a similar surface as racquetball. Additionally, players from those sports move in a similar way to racquetball players.

When looking for the best racquetball shoes, you’ll want shoes that provide a lot of ankle support. You’ll also want a pair of shoes that provides a lot of cushion for the constant impact. Finally, racquetball shoes should have a lot of traction to compensate for the slick surface of a racquetball court.

What other equipment do you need to play racquetball?

The things that are essential to play racquetball are a pair of shoes, a racquet, and a ball. However, there are a few other pieces of equipment that you might appreciate if you plan on playing frequently.

Firstly, eyewear is essential for any racquetball player. Even if you don’t think you’re the strongest person in the world, you’d be surprised how fast the ball can get going. It doesn’t help that the ball fits perfectly into your eye socket.

You won’t need the eyewear until you do, but when you do, you’ll appreciate you had it. No one wants to go blind playing a game of racquetball, so wear your eyewear.

Furthermore, you may also want a pair of gloves. Gloves aren’t essential, but they are useful. They provide extra grip to make your racquet more secure in your hand.

They also help you avoid blisters and calluses that will inevitably form on your hands without gloves.

How We Reviewed to Find Some of the Best Racquetball Shoes

When you purchase a pair of shoes, you’re making an investment. This is especially true when buying racquetball shoes. As a result, we wanted to make sure we only featured some of the best racquetball shoes on the market.

To ensure that we only had high-quality shoes on our list, we looked at professional reviews from websites such as Runrepeat and Dailybadminton.

We also value the opinion of consumers, so we only considered shoes that received high praise from the people that use them the most.

8 of the Best Racquetball Shoes Available

Here we’ll look at eight of the best racquetball shoes on the market. You should note that although this is a numbered list, we did not rank the shoes. Instead, the shoes are listed in alphabetical order.

1. ASICS Gel-Rocket 9

This attempt to create the best racquetball shoes is from ASICS. These shoes are made from synthetic-mesh, and they have a rubber sole. They have a traditional lacing closure to provide enhanced cushioning and shock absorption.

Additionally, the shoes are lightweight and have a foam-padded collar and tongue. The shoes also have a breathable mesh lining and a cushioned footbed for extra cushioning.

2. HEAD Men’s Grid 2.0

These shoes from HEAD are synthetic, and they have a rubber sole. They are made explicitly for racquet sports, including racquetball.

The shoes have an air mesh upper to provide extra breathability. They also have a non-marking gum rubber outsole. This is a requirement for many racquetball courts.

3. HEAD Men’s Sonic 2000

This attempt to create the best racquetball shoes is also from HEAD. These shoes have a non-marking gum rubber, which, as we mentioned earlier, is a requirement on many racquetball courts.

They also have a comfortable EVA midsole. Additionally, the HEAD Heel Energy Frame provides you with extra support.

Finally, the shoes are lightweight, weighing only 11.6 ounces.

4. Huacud Mens Walking Athletic Shoes

These shoes by Huacud are extra comfortable with its soft, breathable upper. The upper is knit for extra comfort. The shoes are also lightweight and have excellent bounce-back and durability.

These shoes also have the added benefit of having a unique design for athletic shoes. This design makes them a viable option for shoes to wear off the court.

The outlook and outsole are specially engineered to keep you feeling fast and light with every step. Finally, the shoes come in four colors.

5. La Moster Men’s Athletic Running Shoes

This attempt to create the best racquetball shoes is from La Moster. The shoes have a rubber sole for extra cushioning. Additionally, the shoes are breathable, lightweight, and comfortable, making them an excellent option for any athletic event.

These shoes are a good option for casual wear so that you can go straight from work or school to the racquetball court. La Moster also has a 24-hour response time if you have any issues with the shoes.

6. LI-NING Men Badminton Training Professional Badminton Sports Shoes

These shoes come in a plethora of colors, and they’re an excellent option for a pair of racquetball shoes. The manufacturer made these shoes with technology that provides breathability and extra traction.

LI-NING also promises that all shoes are made to be high-quality. If the size isn’t right or you aren’t satisfied with the quality, you can send the product back and get your money back.

7. Mishansha Men’s Athletic Court Tennis Shoes

This attempt to create the best racquetball shoes comes from Mishansha. These shoes are synthetic and have portions that are made from mesh. They also have a rubber sole for extra comfort.

The upper is made from composite breathable mesh and synthetic leather to keep your feet dry. The shoes also have a padded tongue to provide you with extra comfort.

Furthermore, the shoes have arch support inside, and a smooth, skin-friendly fabric lining. The midsole is also flexible and cushioned, which helps with shock absorption.

This shoe is an excellent option for racquetball and almost any other sport.

8. PUMA Men’s Cell Surin 2 FM Cross-Trainer Shoe

These shoes from PUMA are 100 percent synthetic. They come in four colors to give you a few customization options. Consumers also found the shoes to be comfortable.

The synthetic upper of the shoes have perforations. This provides you with a little bit of breathability.

Lace-up with the Best Racquetball Shoes on the Market

After reading through our list of eight of the best racquetball shoes on the market, we hope that you’re a little bit closer to finding the best shoes for you. We know that it can be overwhelming, and there’s a lot to consider, but don’t buy the first shoes you find out of frustration. Purchasing a good pair of shoes now will save you money in the long run.

When looking for the best racquetball shoes, remember that you want shoes that provide ankle stability, traction, and cushioning. All factors are essential for a racquetball player. If you find a pair that offers all three, you might have a good pair of racquetball shoes.

We want to tell you what the best racquetball shoes are, but we can’t. Everyone has different needs, so to declare one pair as the best racquetball shoes for you would be irresponsible. However, we can say with confidence that all shoes featured on the list above were received well by consumers.

Have you played racquetball before? What do you think are the best racquetball shoes on our list? Let us know in the comments!

How to Get Gum off Shoes for Footwear That Never Fails

Stepping in a sticky, dirty piece of chewing gum is no fun. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to figure out how how to get gum off shoes in most cases.

What’s more, it only requires some common household items or things you can buy almost anywhere. And it won’t take long before your shoes are gum-free again.

So, if you’ve been freaking out about how to get gum off shoes, you’ve come to the right place. Don’t worry. It’ll be gone soon.

How to Get Gum off Shoes

There are many takes on how to get gum off shoes, but they’re not all interchangeable. Some are universal, but others only work for certain types of shoes or certain parts of the shoe.

If you get gum on a pair of trusty tennis shoes, almost anything will work. But if you’re wearing finer shoes when you step in the sticky mess, it can be a trickier situation.

Materials like suede and nubuck are famously sensitive, so you may need to stick to using a specialized cleaner. Saddle soap is also ideal for leather and similar materials, which may need a touch-up after the gum removal. You’ll also need a good brush, and those are helpful for all types of shoes.

Now, that’s not the only solution. Let’s begin with something simple and universal that should work for virtually all shoes.

Stick It in the Freezer

top-opening-refrigerator

image by pexels

Like most other things, gum hardens if it gets cold. Therefore, using a freezer is a simple solution to how to get gum off shoes.

First, you should stick the shoe in a plastic bag. Surely, you don’t want to get dirt from your shoes in your freezer. Also, this method is far more effective if the gum has something to stick to.

So, use a plastic bag, and make sure to press it against the gum until it sticks. Now it’s ready for the freezer.

After an hour or two, it should be sufficiently frozen. Now, the only thing left to do is to take it out and pull the gum off the shoe.

If it didn’t work, you probably took it out too soon. Putting it back in and waiting longer should do the trick. You can also try scraping off the frozen gum with a butter knife or a similar tool.

Another Job for WD-40


WD-40 Multi-Use Product with SMART STRAW SPRAYS 2 WAYS, 14.4 OZ…

  • Drives out moisture and quickly dries out electrical systems to eliminate moisture-induced short circuits
  • Acts as a corrosion inhibitor to shield against moisture and other corrosive elements to prevent rust
  • Frees sticky mechanisms, loosens rust-to-metal bonds and helps release stuck, frozen or rusted metal parts

If you know some mechanics or people who are really into cars and machinery, you’ve probably seen or heard about the power of WD-40. It’s a mix of lubricants and solvents with countless uses all revolving in getting stuck things to move.

Gum’s no exception to this effect. If you spray some WD-40 onto the gum and around it and then leave it for a couple of minutes, it should come right off.

To remove the gum, you’ll want to use a rag or paper towel. If there’s still some gum residue on the shoe, a second spray should take care of that.

Regarding how to get gum off shoes, few solutions are this simple and effective. However, it’s not suitable for suede and other porous, absorbent materials. The oil will stain fabrics, so be careful.

Also, make sure to rinse and wipe off your shoes after removing gum with WD-40. The active ingredients may react with rubber and plastic materials if left on.

Solving the Problem with Solvents

WD-40 is only one example of common products that can dissolve the gum. If you don’t have it, you may have other household products that can do the job.

Please note the importance of carefully choosing a solvent for the job. Impurities can stain or damage your shoes. Also, you need to make sure that the product won’t dissolve the shoe materials.

Acetone

Acetone is the active ingredient in most nail polish removers, and it also has many other common uses. Having some comes in handy when figuring out how to remove gum from shoes.

If you moisten a rag or paper towel with the liquid, you have a great gum remover. Simply rubbing it against the gum repeatedly should do the trick.

However, acetone is highly flammable and produces harmful vapors. So, you should do this outside or in a well-ventilated spot away from electronics and heat sources.

Also, acetone may dissolve the finish on suede and patent shoes. It’s fine for the soles on most shoes, and it’s fine to use on cheaper or sturdier materials as long as there’s no soluble finish.

Naphtha or lighter fluid

Naphta is a petroleum-based solvent that works really well for removing paint and lacquer. It’s also very flammable, so it’s a popular lighter fluid. More importantly, it can dissolve chewing gum.

So, how to get gum off shoes with it? Well, you’ll want to drip some onto a rag or paper towel and then rub the gum until it’s gone. Piece of cake!

However, it has most of the same downsides as acetone. It may dissolve more than you wished for, so you shouldn’t use it on lacquered shoes. As the name implies, it’s also very flammable, so be careful.

Certain other lighter fluids may also do the trick. However, they turn into gas very quickly. This makes them both inefficient and hazardous.

Apply Ice

Freezing and dissolving the gum are the best approaches to how to get gum off shoes. But what if you don’t have a suitable freezer and your shoe can’t handle solvents?

If you can get your hands on some ice, it’ll make a fine substitute for a freezer.

First, you’ll want to put the ice in a plastic bag to keep your shoe dry. Then, your shoe with the gummed side up and set the ice bag on top of the gum. Next, seal the shoe and ice bag inside another plastic bag to keep the cold inside.

Now, you’ll have to press the ice down for a while. You must freeze the gum solid before it’ll come off, so give it several minutes.

Next, you can scrape it off. It’s best to use something that’s thin enough to get under the gum but dull enough not to harm your shoe. For example, a butter knife is perfect.

Try Melting It

If you can harden something with cold, you can dissolve it with heat. So, let’s reverse our thoughts on how to get gum off shoes and melt it.

No, we’re not suggesting that you roast your shoes in the oven. What we do suggest is that you use a hairdryer. A heat gun can be more effective, but you must also be careful not to melt or scorch the shoe.

Grab a spoon or butter knife, then start heating the gum. Check the gum’s consistency frequently with the tool, and start scraping it off when it’s soft and less sticky. You can finish it off with a paper towel to get any residue.

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image by pixabay

The Peanut Butter Trick

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when someone gets gum in their hair? Peanut butter, right?

Well, its helpful properties also apply to how to get gum off shoes. You see, the oil in peanut butter can dissolve the sticky compounds. Also, the little particles have an abrasive effect that helps you break the rubbery bonds and scrub everything off.

It’s best to use creamy peanut butter because it’s more effective. You’ll want to apply a thick layer of the buttery goodness on and around the gum for the best effect. Around two tablespoons should be enough.

Now, you need to give it at least 10 minutes to work its magic. Then, you can scrub it off. A hard-bristle brush or some steel wool is ideal. Also, you should scrub with the grooves rather than against them. This reduces the risk of damaging your shoe.

Please note that peanut butter will stain suede, nubuck, and fabrics. So, it’s only suitable for non-absorbent surfaces.

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image by pixabay

Time to Oil Up?

oil-cooking-oil-kitchen-cook-eat

image by pixabay

What do peanut butter and WD-40 have in common? The answer is oil. How does this relate to how to remove gum from shoes?

Well, chewing gum gets its chewiness from rubbery or plastic compounds, which consist of oils. Therefore, many oils can mix with these compounds and ruin the stickiness.

So, regular cooking oil can help you with how to get gum off shoes. You can rub it onto the gum with a cotton ball or rag, and then leave it for a few minutes. Then, you can simply scrub it off.

Again, the oil will stain suede, fabrics, and leather. So, don’t use it on shoes made with those materials. It’s fine if you only use it on the sole, but you must be careful not to let it spill onto the sensitive materials.

Outside? Try Sand

shoes-chinese-men-glue

image by pexels

If you stepped on a pretty fresh piece of gum and noticed it right away, it’s best to deal with it as soon as possible. Thankfully, you can use dry sand and dust from the ground to remove the gum.

First, take off your shoe and set it with the gum facing up. Then, sprinkle some sand onto the gum. Next, grab a stick or other object you can use to scrape it off.

Keep scraping and pouring sand and mixing it into the gum. This will both dry it out and help you scrape it off.

You may not always be able to get everything off with this method. However, it’ll make things much easier when you get home and can use other methods.

Good as New!

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image by pexels

Wasn’t that easy? With your new arsenal of ways how to get gum off shoes, you’ll always be able to enjoy gum-free shoes.

Do you want to stay updated on outdoor games, sports, and general fun? Check out our game list and subscribe to our newsletter to get frequent inspiration for fun things to do.

Featured image by pixabay

How to Play Lacrosse: What You Need to Know to Get Started

Lacrosse is a sport that is often forgotten about internationally because it isn’t as popular as soccer, basketball, or baseball. As a result, not many people learn how to play lacrosse. However, many might enjoy the sport if they ever had the opportunity to play.

Lacrosse is a free-flowing game where each team is trying to score on the opposing team’s goal. Although hockey doesn’t stack up to soccer internationally, both are way more popular than lacrosse worldwide.

It’s a strange phenomenon because lacrosse is like both those sports, so you’d think it would at least compete with hockey in terms of popularity.

Since lacrosse isn’t as well known as many other sports, many kids are growing up without even thinking of it as an option to play.

However, many of the kids would have lots of fun with it if they ever learned how to play lacrosse.

What Is Lacrosse?

Lacrosse is a team sport. Players use sticks with nets on the end to try to get a rubber ball into the opposing team’s net for a goal. Since it’s a free-flowing game, lacrosse is a very athletic sport, and it’s a great test of speed and endurance.

The History of Lacrosse

Men running on a field

VIA: Pixabay

Before you learn how to play lacrosse, we think you must learn a little bit about the history of lacrosse. Lacrosse is one of the oldest sports in the world and the oldest in North America. Additionally, learning a bit of the history may give you a greater appreciation for the sport as a whole.

Origins

The first people to play a form of lacrosse were Native Americans in what is now the United States and Canada. Before official rules were established, it was common for hundreds of players to be on the field at a time. Back then, it was known as stickball.

When lacrosse was still known as stickball, the game was much more violent than it is today. Passing was looked down upon because it was seen as cowardly to try and dodge an opponent.

It was also relatively common for players to die in the giant mob of players that surrounded the ball as it slowly made its way down the field.

Early on in Europe

Although lacrosse dates back further in North America, there are accounts of lacrosse that dates back to the mid-1600s in Europe. And although there isn’t evidence that the reports of lacrosse back then are the exact same sport of what exists today, they were certainly similar.

However, a more modern version of lacrosse was brought over to Europe in the early 1800s by a missionary who spent time in Montreal in Canada. The missionary spent so much time playing lacrosse that it interfered with his attendance at church.

The first game between anglophones and Native Americans took place in 1844. Then in 1856, the first lacrosse club was created, the Montreal Lacrosse Club.

The club wasn’t what you’d think of as a professional league today, but it was organized. In fact, the club hosted a match between two indigenous teams when the Prince of Wales visited Montreal in 1860.

Becoming a modern sport

Within one month of the Prince of Wales’ visit to Montreal, a young dentist named William George Beers wrote down the first set of written rules for lacrosse.

That made it possible for someone to officially learn how to play lacrosse for the first time. Before this, there were no written rules, and they would change from game to game.

Additionally, Beers changed the ball from a deerskin one to a hard rubber ball. As a result, Beers is now known as the father of lacrosse.

In 1867, lacrosse made its first official appearance in Europe when Captain W.B. Johnson organized an event in London. The event included 16 paid players from Kahnawake and amateur players from the Montreal Lacrosse Club. There were 2 subsequent tours in 1876 and 1883.

The place where lacrosse is the most popular worldwide is Canada. Although Canada is known for its love of hockey, there is a lot of love for lacrosse. It hasn’t reached the height of hockey, but it is popular enough that in 1994, it was named the national summer sport of Canada.

The biggest lacrosse league in the world is the National Lacrosse League or NLL for short. It was founded in 1986 and currently consists of 13 teams. There are five teams based in Canada and eight in the United States.

What Do You Need to Play Lacrosse?

Men on a field

VIA: Pixabay

Before you learn how to play lacrosse, you need to purchase the equipment. If you don’t want to play in a league and only plan on playing recreationally, the only equipment you need is a stick and ball. However, if you want to join a league, you will need some more stuff.

Firstly, a helmet is an essential piece of equipment for any lacrosse player. Lacrosse is a dangerous sport where you can get hit in the head by a stick or ball easily. As a result, a helmet is essential, and you won’t be allowed to play in any league without one.

Furthermore, a mouthpiece is vital for protecting your teeth. The last thing you want is to have your teeth knocked out because you didn’t wear one.

Additionally, you will need protective gloves to keep your hands safe every time an opponent tries to steal the ball from you. All players are also required to wear shoulder pads, arm pads, and rib pads. All players also wear protective cups and athletic supporters.

If you plan on being the goalie, you will also need a throat and chest protector. The helmet you wear also may have a slightly different design than the other players.

How to Play Lacrosse

Men wearing helmet

VIA: Pixabay

Now that you have some background knowledge of the sport and know what you need to play, you can learn how to play lacrosse. Here we’ll take through the basics of how to learn lacrosse. We’ll discuss the essential skills you need to learn, as well as the basic rules of the game.

What are the essential skills?

There are several skills that you need to learn as a lacrosse player. However, there are four skills than stand out from the rest, cradling, passing, catching, and shooting. We’ll discuss all four in detail, and we’ll also briefly touch on some other skills you should consider.

Cradling

The first skill you need to learn when learning how to play lacrosse is how to cradle the ball. Cradling is the equivalent of dribbling basketball or soccer. You cradle to control the ball and make it difficult for your opponent to knock the ball out of your stick.

To learn how to cradle, you first need to know how to hold the stick properly. If you’re right-handed, your left hand should be an inch or two from the bottom of the shaft, and your right hand should be about four inches from the head. If you’re left-handed, then you do the same thing but reversed.

Now that you’re holding the stick correctly, you can learn how to cradle the ball. To practice cradling, place the ball in the pocket of your stick. Then move your wrist in a curling motion to move the ball back and forth.

You should start by practicing standing still, but when you feel comfortable, you can start practicing while running around.

The best place to start practicing is in front of the mirror because you’ll be able to see what you’re doing, and more importantly, what you’re doing wrong.

When cradling, you should curl your dominant wrist as far is it can go inward. Once it has gone as far as it can go, bring it back out, and bring your arm to the starting position. If you managed to keep the ball in the net, then you’ve completed your first successful cradle.

Keep practicing and try to get as many cradles in a row as possible. It’s essential to practice this skill because all skills in lacrosse depend on you being able to cradle the ball.

Passing

Passing is a crucial skill to learn in lacrosse. You use it to catch your opponents off guard, and as a result, players pass the ball hundreds of times a game.

To pass the ball, you should lower your dominant hand to about midway down the shaft. Then you should bring the shaft behind your head. However, you need to careful not to hit yourself in the neck.

Once the stick is behind your head, flick the wrist of your dominant hand and pull your bottom hand towards you. Additionally, make sure you follow through with the motion. Following through will give you more power and precision in your pass.

Catching

Learning how to pass goes hand and hand with catching. Catching is the part of lacrosse that requires the most hand-eye coordination. That may sound concerning if you don’t have excellent hand-eye coordination, but you can improve it significantly by practicing.

To catch the ball, you should bring your dominant hand to the top of the shaft. It should be almost touching the head of the stick. That makes it easier to place the stick in a position to catch the ball.

When you catch the ball, you shouldn’t start cradling immediately. Instead, you should loosen your grip so that the momentum of the ball pushes the stick back a bit. That will prevent the ball from bouncing out.

Shooting

You’re never going to win a game if you don’t shoot the ball. As a result, shooting is a critical skill to learn for any lacrosse player. Shooting involves the same basic movement as passing.

To practice shooting, you should practice taking shots at the corners of the goal. It will improve your precision over time, thus allowing you to score easier.

You should also practice bounce shots as these shots can be unpredictable. The unpredictability makes it difficult for the goalie to predict where the ball is going.

Other important skills

When learning how to play lacrosse, there are a few other skills that you should learn. However, these skills you will learn over time as you play the game.

Firstly, you will need to learn how to defend. There are several methods of defending an attacking player, including poke checking and body checking. However, you can’t practice this without playing with other players.

Over time, you’ll also want to improve your ability to read the game. This means that you are improving your ability to know where the ball is going before it gets there. By reading the game correctly, you’ll be able to better position yourself offensively and defensively.

The rules of lacrosse

When learning how to play lacrosse, you need to understand the rules. Lacrosse isn’t the free-for-all it was 500 years ago, so you need to know what you can and can’t do during a game.

Positions

In lacrosse, there are 10 players on the field for each team at a time. There are three attackers, three midfielders, three defenders, and one goalie.

The attackers usually stay on the opponent’s side of the field and are responsible for scoring goals. Midfielders move the entire length of the field, playing offensively and defensively.

The defenders stay on their side of the field and need to defend against attacking players. Goalies remain in the goal and attempt to block incoming shots.

Basic play

The game starts with a faceoff where teams fight for control of the ball. The team then passes the ball around until they can take a shot, or the other team steals the ball. If a goal is scored, another faceoff is taken at midfield.

You should note that attackers cannot enter the opponent’s goal crease, which surrounds the goal.

Timing rules

When a goalie gains possession of the ball, he needs to pass it or move out of the crease in four seconds. If he doesn’t, there is a turnover.

Additionally, once the defense gains control of the ball, they have 20 seconds to get it over midfield. Once the ball has crossed over midfield, that team has 10 seconds to get the ball into the attack area.

Possession and offsides

When either team gains possession, all players can move towards midfield. However, both sides always need three players above midfield and four defenders behind midfield.

A defensive offside takes place when there are less than four players behind their midfield line. There is an offensive offside when there are less than three players above their midfield line.

Penalties

A penalty sends a player to the penalty box for a set amount of time. Personal fouls send a player to the penalty box for one to three minutes, depending on the infraction. However, specific penalties can result in an ejection.

Furthermore, there are technical fouls that do not result in a man disadvantage. However, they do result in a loss of possession. These fouls include offsides and crease violations.

Objective and game time

The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team. At the professional and college level, the game is 60 minutes long. It is broken up into four 15-minute quarters.

However, in high school, the game length is reduced to 48 minutes, with the quarters being 12 minutes each.

Do You Understand How to Play Lacrosse?

After reading through our article, we hope you have a better understanding of how to play lacrosse. We know it’s complicated, but you don’t need to learn it all at once. And you should give it a try because you might like it!

Have you played lacrosse before? Do you understand the basics of how to play lacrosse? Let us know in the comments!

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