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Sports and Entertainment

Basketball

ImageDo you love to see a slam-dunk, a fadeaway jumper, or an alley-oop pass? How about a three-pointer, which the announcer says is from “way downtown”? If you do, you’re a basketball fan. Perhaps you’ve tried some of these plays yourself.

Basketball is one of the world’s most popular sports. It’s played in more than 200 countries, in playgrounds, school gyms, and sports arenas. All you need is a ball and a hoop.

WHAT IS BASKETBALL?

Basketball is played by two teams of five players. Players score points by throwing a ball through a hoop 10 feet (3.1 meters) above the ground. The team that scores the most points wins.

Football

ImageWhat’s the most watched single sports event on television most years? It’s the Super Bowl! More than 100 million people worldwide typically watch the championship game of the National Football League (NFL).

Fall is football season in the United States. After the football season ends, the best teams meet in bowl games. College teams usually play 11 or 12 games during the regular football season—before the bowl games. Professional teams play 16 games.

Ice Hockey

ImageIt’s been called the fastest game in the world. It’s certainly one of the roughest. Players on ice skates collide at great speeds. Shots streak toward the goal at more than 100 miles per hour (161 kilometers per hour)!

The game is ice hockey, a sport invented in Canada. Today, ice hockey is played in many other countries, including the United States. But it’s still especially popular in Canada, earning it the nickname “Canada’s game.”

WHAT IS ICE HOCKEY?

Ice hockey is played by two teams of six players. It can be played indoors or outdoors. Most games are played indoors on an ice hockey rink. Near each end of the rink, a goal with a meshed net is attached to the ice.

Gymnastics

ImageAthletes swing their bodies around bars and beams with precision. They perform acrobatic routines while dashing across floor mats or jumping on trampolines. This is gymnastics, a sport filled with graceful moves and breathtaking leaps.

Gymnastics is one of the most beautiful and demanding of all sports. Gymnastics helps athletes develop strength, rhythm, balance, flexibility, and agility.

Ice Skating

ImageA young woman leaps and turns on the ice. The crowd gasps as she goes into a spin. They roar as she executes a difficult triple axel followed by a double loop.

This champion figure skater is competing before a huge audience. But millions of people skate just for fun, on frozen ponds or indoor skating rinks.

WHAT IS ICE SKATING?

Ice skating is a way of moving across ice. Skaters push and glide on steel runners attached to the bottom of special boots.