How to Fix a Leak in a Basketball

Basketballs go through plenty of wear-and-tear during games and practices, not to mention just shooting hoops in the driveway. As such, it should come as no surprise when your ball begins to leak. If you enjoy fixing things yourself, can’t afford to replace the ball or if the ball has some special value, you may choose to repair rather than replace it. It doesn’t matter if ball itself springs a leak or if the valve is leaking — either way, you can fix it.
Submerge the basketball in a tub of water and rotate it, watching for exiting air bubbles to indicate the source of your leak.
Dry the area off and mark the leak with pencil or tape.
Heat the tip of an old, dull knife by holding it over an open flame, moving it back and forth.
Swipe the hot knife across the leak on the basketball until the vinyl begins to melt.
Allow the vinyl to cool and solidify for at least 5 minutes.
Push the inflator needle into the ball’s valve hole, then re-inflate the ball gently by using a hand pump. Fill the ball to its recommended pressure setting and do not over-inflate.
Insert a wet inflating needle into the valve hole several times to clean dirt from the valve.
Insert a toothpick into the valve hole if the leak persists.
Break off the end of the toothpick, leaving the valve plugged.
Purchase a ball repair sealant with a syringe.
Fill the syringe with the sealant according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Insert the syringe into the ball’s valve hole.
Depress the plunger on the syringe, then bounce ball vigorously.

How to Develop Your Opposite Soccer Foot

Just as most people are either left-handed or right-handed, they also have a dominant foot. In soccer, most players tend to rely on their dominant foot for tasks that require precision and power. While perfectly natural, this means that players may miss opportunities to shoot or pass with their weaker opposite foot. With practice, though, it’s possible to improve the performance of the opposite foot.
Many players don’t notice that the way they touch the ball with their opposite foot, even in routine actions such as dribbling, is different from the way they touch the ball with their dominant foot. Watching this difference during ball-control drills or dribbling can help to close the gap between the two. Try imitating the motion of the dominant foot using the opposite foot and observe how this changes performance. It isn’t always easy to monitor the foot while dribbling; recording the action may be useful.
A simple drill can improve shooting with either foot. A small group of players or coaches is needed. A player begins by running and receiving a pass from a player to the right of the goal, then shooting. Without waiting, she continues running to the left to receive a pass from a player standing by the side of the goal. The first player then shoots with the left foot. The drill should be reversed for players whose dominant foot is the left.
Shooting isn’t the only skill that needs to be developed for both feet. Passing, trapping and even dribbling can all benefit from extra emphasis on the opposite foot. Practice simple drills such as juggling the ball in the air using the opposite foot or bouncing the ball from a wall and then trapping it. Most soccer players do these drills regularly; the only real difference here is that you are concentrating on using them to develop the opposite foot.
Most people spend their lives favoring their dominant foot. This isn’t limited to the soccer field but occurs in all walks of life. As a result, the opposite foot, and the opposite leg in general, are not going to be as strong or coordinated as the dominant leg and foot. It’s important not to expect immediate results; it will take time and practice to produce stronger skills with the opposite foot. The dominant foot may always be stronger, but an improved opposite foot will help make you more versatile.

Rules & Regulations of Cal Ripken Baseball Leagues

The Cal Ripken Baseball leagues are youth baseball organizations named for former Baltimore Orioles star Cal Ripken, a Hall of Fame player who set a major league record by playing in 2,632 consecutive games. The Ripken leagues adopt most standard baseball rules, but they make a few changes to serve the youth community.
The bases are 90 feet apart on standard baseball diamonds with outfield fences at least 300 feet from the plate. The Ripken leagues call for field sizes that suit the age of the players. The Coach Pitch and T-Ball divisions set bases 45 to 50 feet apart with fences about 150 to 175 feet from home. The bases are 60 feet apart and the fences no more than 200 feet in the Rookies division, for kids 8 and younger and the 10-and-under Minors division. The bases are 70 feet apart in the Majors division for players 12 and under.
Mature arms have to pitch a ball 60 feet, 6 inches from the plate on a mound 10 inches high. In the Ripken leagues, the pitcher¡¯s rubber is 6 inches high and 46 feet from the plate in the Minors division. The rubber is 8 inches high and 50 feet from the plate in the Majors division.
Unlike standard baseball rules, a Ripken League starter can leave a game and return once, although some local jurisdictions prohibit pitchers from re-entering the game to pitch again. The pitching rules are set up to protect young arms. Ripken League pitchers may not throw more than six innings in one calendar week, which begins Monday and runs through Sunday. Additionally, pitchers who throw at least three innings in a game can’t pitch again for two calendar days.
Leading off isn’t allowed — base runners have to stay put until the pitch reaches home plate. When a catcher drops a third strike, the batter can’t run to first. Additionally, runners in motion must avoid what Ripken League rules refer to as ¡°malicious¡± contact with defensive players. This is a safety measure to avoid collisions in which a runner tries to knock the ball out of a fielder¡¯s glove.
Batters and base runners must wear helmets at all times. Catchers must wear headgear that includes a helmet, face mask and throat protector and an athletic cup. Bats can’t be larger than 33 inches long and 2 1/4 inches in diameter.

Impulsive Aggressive Behavior

Impulsive aggressive behavior, or actions that can’t be controlled and are aimed at harming the self or others, can be detrimental to relationships and lives. People suffering from impulsive aggression often feel that they can¡¯t contain their rage and lash out without even thinking about their actions. Environmental situations, genetic dispositions and even impaired brain functioning can cause impulsive aggression. Treatment may be available for sufferers.
Dr. Larry Siever of the Mount Sanai School of Medicine in New York says impulsive aggression is a characteristic of many medically diagnosable personality disorders found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the book psychiatrists use to diagnose mental health disorders. Ranging from borderline personality disorder to narcissistic personality disorder, impulsive aggression can be self-directed, often a result of a hurt ego or severe emotional pain, envy or trauma. Aggression can also be directed at others, leaving some with anti-social personality disorder in jail.
In an article published in the January 2003 issue of Psychiatric News, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association, researchers Antonia New and Siever found that certain systems in the brain that inhibit aggression were impaired in people who exhibited impulsive aggression. Much research shows that when certain areas of the brain– the amygdala, orbital regions of the prefrontal cortex and the temporal lobe–are impaired by lesions, tumors or other obstructions, it can lead to aggressive behavior and rage. According to New, research evidence suggests that serotonin receptors may be impaired in subjects who lack the ability to control aggressive impulses.
In the same issue of the Psychiatric News, another article by Christine Lehmann says impulsive aggression may have a genetic background. Studying twins, the researchers found that genetic makeup can explain up to 65 percent of impulsive aggression. However, Antonia New also said that genetic background is only a small factor when coupled with environmental factors.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a debilitating condition. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it’s characterized by mood swings, unstable relationships, broken self-esteem or self-image and erratic behavior. One of the main symptoms of BPD is compulsive aggression. Because a person with BPD suffers from intense instability, depression, anxiety and anger that can last for moments to days, self-directed aggression is common. BPD causes emotional vulnerabilities that, when touched during an event or situation, can cause a severe and aggressive reaction.
Treatment is difficult when it comes to depression. According to Dr. Martin Korn, MAO inhibitors, SSRIs, lithium, anti-depressants and benzodiazepines all show some positive signs of helping those suffering from impulsive aggression, but all have serious side effects. A new drug called divalproex has been tested at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and it shows promise for use as treatment. Most often, aggression is treated as a symptom of something else. Whether a indication of anger management issues or borderline personality disorder, the disorder itself is treated in the hopes of managing aggression and any other symptoms associated with the disorder.

What Are Three Good Positions in Football for Small Players?

While the common conception of football is that it’s only for tall players, the fact is that the versatility of the game provides an avenue for athletes of all shapes and sizes to shine. Smaller players have three important positions in which they can excel, where elusiveness can more than make up for a lack of width or height. While there are a number of positions where smaller players can contribute, three such positions rise to the top of the list for importance to the execution of offense, defense and special teams.
Small is, of course, a relative term. Depending on what level you intend to play, you may find that you’re smaller than the average teammate in one group, and a powerhouse in another. In college and the professional ranks, 6-foot-2 is the average height, meaning half the players are taller and half are shorter. In high school, the averages are too variable to arrive at a definitive height range, because that age group experiences bursts of growth. However, anything shorter than 5-foot-8 is generally considered small. In general, if you are several inches shorter with a slighter build and less mass than other players on the field, you can group yourself in the ¡°small¡± player segment. If you’re an athlete with speed, agility or even relentless determination, a team can use those skills to outwit the opposing team in some particular phase of the game.
The position of safety is the last line of defense for a football team. When the defense is on the field, a two-safety tandem will often play well back from the line of scrimmage, and their responsibility is to contain offensive players if they have pushed past all other defenders, if the offense is throwing a deep pass, or if the offense needs to use a safety blitz to attack the line of scrimmage. The position requires speed rather than size, and a small player with quick feet can cut the opponent’s progress before it reaches the end zone.
Another position where speed and elusiveness is more important than mass and strength is punt returner. The punt returner plays on a team’s special teams unit. The special teams unit handles what’s considered as transition plays, such as kickoffs and punt returns. Basically, whenever the ball changes possession from one team to the other, barring an in-play turnover, a special teams unit handles the transition. The position requires the punt returner to field a punted ball cleanly, evade the first wave of the opponent’s coverage, then work upfield to gain as many positive yards as possible. Speed, elusiveness and low center of gravity are extremely helpful in evading the opponent’s coverage and in fighting for extra yardage after the catch.
In many offensive systems, a running back can succeed as long long as that player can find gaps, maintain balance, outrun defenders and remain hidden. A small player can excel in the roll of running back, because defenders often lose sight of the smaller player when he is hidden behind his own large offensive linemen. Combine this with an increased chance of pushing through the holes between defensive linemen since the smaller player often will make contact below the shoulders, smaller players can gain significant yardage past the line of scrimmage in the right offensive system.

How Do Energy Force Bands Work?

Energy force bands are popular fashion, and sports, accessories. Manufacturers and marketers of the bands claim they improve balance and athletic performance. Sports superstars, such as NBA basketball player Shaquille O’Neal and Major League Soccer player David Beckham, wear them and say the bracelets help them perform better. Others say that they do nothing to improve performance.
Manufacturers of energy force bands ¡ª also called power balance bracelets ¡ª state that the world is tuned to an electromagnetic frequency. Energy Force USA, a marketer of the bracelets, says that the frequency is 7.3814 hertz. The bracelets claim to assist in tuning your electromagnetic frequency to that same universal frequency. “The totality of our existence,” Energy Force USA says in its marketing material, “depends on the efficient exchange and balance of positive and negative electrical charges called ions.”
The bracelet puts your body’s electrical charges in better balance, according to one bracelet retailer who sells to golfers. Those electrical charges are called ions. The bracelets are said to produce negative ions to reduce the impact on the body of an onslaught of positive ions from computers, pollution, cell phones and other sources that put you out of balance in the first place.
There are multiple benefits that manufacturers claim the bracelets provide by putting you in better balance with the world’s frequency. The bracelets improve physical balance and muscle power. They also claim to give you more range of motion. In addition, there are claims of mental benefits, including greater focus, more intense concentration and improved awareness.
Researchers in a study at the School of Health Science at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology found that energy force bands had “no effect on balance and stability.” Researchers at the school further extrapolated results from the study on 42 subjects to examine claims about the bracelet’s primary benefit, which is improving balance. Because balance didn’t improve in the study, according to the chief investigator, Dr. Simon Brice, “the validity of other purported benefits seems highly unlikely.”

Longest Winning Streaks in Baseball History

A baseball winning streak refers to an uninterrupted number of games won. As a former major league player John Lowenstein stated, ¡°The secret to keeping winning streaks going is to maximize the victories while at the same time minimizing the defeats¡± There may be no other sport out there that has any greater history and tradition than baseball.
The 1916 the New York Giants won 26 games in row, with one tie on Sept. 18, 1916. Major League Baseball rules exclude games that end in a tie from being documented as official statistics. The official MLB longest winning streak belongs to the 1935 Chicago Cubs at 21 games. In the American League the 2002 Oakland Athletics hold the longest winning streak at 20 games.
The NCAA all division single season consecutive win record for baseball is 46 games set by the Division II 2000 Savannah State University Tigers. In NCAA Division I the 1977 Texas Longhorns and the 1999 Florida Atlantic Owls both won 34 consecutive games. In 2008 the Trinity College Bantams set the NCAA Division III record with a 44-game winning streak.
The longest winning streak in the World Championship belongs to the Cuban National team. The streak started in 1984 and ended in 2007, with Cuba winning 9 consecutive World Cup titles. Team Cuba was on display for the entire World to see as the record was established. The streak ended 2007 in Taipei City, as USA defeated Cuba 6-3.
Each winning streak in baseball is meant to have an ending. The records are a part of history and represent the standard set for the next record breaker. An article written by Robert Ayzin in “Baseball Digest” reminds us that, ¡°some parts of baseball record books will stand the test of time remaining unchanged and constant.¡±

Walking Shoes & Foot Pain

Correcting foot pain associated with walking could be as simple as investing in a new pair of shoes. Foot pain during walking is not a sign that your shoes need to be broken in. The right pair of walking shoes should be comfortable from the start, according to outdoor outfitter REI.com.
Walking is a low-impact, effective exercise option that requires minimal investment. Wearing improper shoes during walking, however, can lead to injury and discomfort. According to the Big Peach Running Co., “The three most common causes of injury in runners and walkers are doing too much too soon, not stretching enough and improper footwear.” Selecting walking shoes that are right for your gait is your first defense against foot pain and injury. A visit to a specialty shoe store can help you identify whether your foot collapses to the inside, outside or falls in a neutral position when walking. This pronation determines the type of shoes you need, the Big Peach Running Co. says.
According to REI.com, “72 percent of Americans wear shoes that don’t fit properly,” and “up to 40 percent of these people get foot problems as a result.” Even if you’ve been fitted for shoes before, factors including age, pregnancy, changes in weight and an increase in athletic activity can lead to a change in foot size. To get the right fit, wear the same style sock you plan to walk in, try on both shoes and walk around the store. If possible, walk outside. The shoes should fit comfortably without shifting on your heel.
A common cause of heel pain for walkers is plantar fascitiis, an inflammation of the plantar fascia that runs along the foot’s sole, according to John Hopkins Medicine. The onset of plantar fasciitis is associated with an increase in walking, or, in some cases, aging. Recovery time might be as long as six to 12 weeks, according to John Hopkins Medicine, and treatments require cutting back on walking distance or switching to activities such as swimming or cycling that reduce stress on the feet. Other possible sources of pain in the feet include, but are not limited to, bone spurs, black toe and fallen arches. If pain in your feet continues after you switch to the right style of walking shoe, visit a physician.
Walking shoes are designed to last 400 to 500 miles. Signs of excessive wear include stretched heels and worn outsoles. According to REI.com, “pain in your feet, legs, hips or back” after walking could signify that it’s time for a new pair of shoes. REI.com advises that to extend the life of your walking shoes, you should use them only during exercise and unlace your shoes each time you remove them.
Even though walking is a low-impact form of exercise, you still need to increase your mileage gradually. Walking long distances without a proper investment of time and training could lead to injury. Add a few minutes to your walk each day until you reach your distance or time goal. Invest in socks made from breathable, moisture-wicking fabric, and wear them every time you walk to avoid blisters. Replace socks that are thinning or that are beginning to develop holes.

Preventing Numb Feet When Using the Elliptical Trainer

The elliptical trainer offers a low-impact, cardiovascular-improving and non-weather-dependent workout. You seek out an elliptical for your home or gym workouts to improve muscle tone in your legs and protect your knees from the jarring impact of other aerobic activities. With all these benefits, you may find yourself wondering why your feet go numb when you’re improving your health.
A simple reason for foot numbness on an elliptical and a easy change is to wear larger shoes. You don’t have to change to clown-sized waders, but speak with a shoe professional about your numb feet and increase a half a size. Your feet swell during exercise, and the larger room in your shoe prevents the numbness that occurs when your shoes are too tight.
Your feet do not take all the responsibility for going numb. The elliptical keeps your foot stationary and on a flat pedal. If this is the cause for your decreased sensation, look for a different type of machine. Some ellipticals have foot pads that pivot to move your heels and toes up and down. This can reduce the chance of foot numbness.
The placement of your feet on the foot pads makes a difference. Your whole foot remains in contact with the foot pads throughout the elliptical motion. If you find your weight moving forward into the balls of your feet, you may experience numbness. Slide your feet forward or backward on the pedals until you feel comfortable with blood flow returning to your toes. Keep your weight in your heels instead of forward on your toes as you push down on the pedals.
The elliptical machine keeps your feet in one position, which is the reason it is a low-impact workout. Unfortunately, this lack of movement can lead to numb toes. Another way to reduce your discomfort is to slightly lift your foot from the pedal and wiggle your toes. If lifting your foot throws off your rhythm, wiggle your toes inside your shoes to increase the circulation to the smallest of your little piggy’s.

How Does a Soccer Game Begin?

A soccer game begins with much pageantry at the World Cup Final level and just a bit of happy chatter among teammates at an informal league game. Still, regardless of the level of play, a number of basic steps are fundamental to kick off in according with the rules of the game.
In a standard league soccer match, there is relatively little preamble before the actual kickoff. The players take to the field of play as soon as the captains and the lead referee complete the coin toss. For international matches, though, the singing of each team¡¯s national anthem is standard. After walking out often hand in hand with child mascots, the players line up in in a row along the middle of the pitch while each anthems is played in turn.
The match referee and two team captains go to the center of the field for the coin toss. One of the team captains chooses heads or tails before the referee tosses the coin. In accordance with the FIFA Laws of the Game, the team that wins the toss decides which goal it will attack in the first half of the match. The team that loses the coin toss takes the kick-off to start the match.
All the players must be in their own half of the field when the kick-off is taken. The rules state that the opponents of the team taking the kickoff must be at least 10 yards, from the ball until the kick-off is taken. The 10-yard circle in the center of the pitch helps to ensure that no opposing players enter this area before the kickoff is taken.
The ball is placed on the center spot within the 10 yard center circle. As soon as the referee blows his whistle, the team taking the kickoff can kick the ball. The player taking the kick-off cannot touch the ball again until it has been touched by another player, generally one of his team-mates standing nearby. The referee¡¯s whistle also signals that the ball is in play, at which point the opposing team can enter the center circle to challenge for the ball.
Infringements rarely occur during a kickoff. But if the player taking the kickoff touches the ball twice before it has been passed to another player, then a free kick is awarded to the opposing team. Any other infringement of the kickoff procedure requires that the kickoff be taken again.