Total Tetherball

The Advantages of Tetherball

Tetherball should be among the world's most popular sports, but it has only caught on in selected regions. In the U.S., its popularity varies greatly from one state to the next. When I was in school in Ohio and Massachusetts, for example, the moment the bell for recess rang, we would make a beeline out the door toward the tetherball poles. In the parts of Wisconsin and California I've known, very few kids or adults have ever played.

Tetherball deserves greater popularity because it has so many advantages over most other sports:

  1. Tetherball requires very little space, and can be set up on almost any surface, including pavement, grass, and gravel.
  2. Tetherball is fun for beginners as well as advanced players.
  3. For any given level of skill, tetherball provides a comparatively high level of total body conditioning. I'm not aware of any formal studies measuring the number of calories used per minute of high-level tetherball, but I used to play against the staff at a basketball camp, all of them highly conditioned college basketball players, and most of them would last no more than ten minutes before needing to take a time-out for rest.
  4. Unlike most sports, in which players spend the majority of their time between periods of actual activity, tetherball provides nearly constant action.
  5. Tetherball requires only two players, making it much easier to organize a game.
  6. More so than any other sport, tetherball is easy and fun to practice all by yourself.