This winter, weather for many regions of North America has been, mildly speaking, unpredictable. The erratic rise and fall of temperature and climate conditions has made every day a meticulous “gamble”; will it be warm and calm? Breezy and chilly? Is rain (or snow) to be expected soon? Unfortunately, due to the outdoor playing environment inherent to many sports, recreational participation in a wide selection of them has been impossible to maintain for many Americans this season. Fear not, however! For as many outdoor sports as are being disrupted, there remains many more unaffected by weather. Here are several indoor sports or sporting activities you can participate in if your faith in good weather has been temporarily shaken!
Basketball – Perhaps the most globally-renowned indoor sport, basketball is played across the planet, both competitively and recreationally, and holds its reputation as a reliable sport in virtually any weathering environment or outdoor climate. The only true weakness (which is, arguably, also a strength) of basketball is its dependency on an indoor arena or gymnasium to play. Not only is the sport generally played in an enclosed environment, some of the game’s core mechanics cannot be accomplished outside!
Indoor Cycling – Mountain biking, cycling, and bicycle racing are all fast and fun sporting activities. But if the weather outside is harsh or unfavorable, is there no alternative? Think again! Static bicycle stations offer the full workout and motion of a bike without moving. This, coupled with their compact design, allows them to be placed indoors, sometimes in grouped clusters (as is the case with most gyms). While the scenery might not be as great, modern static cycles also track important information, like distance pedaled, time spent biking, and even the number of calories burned! What better way to keep the competition fresh and alive than with some artificial assistance?
Ping Pong/Table Tennis – The unbound nature of the outdoors sometimes makes tennis impossible to play, but ping pong, or table tennis as it is also known, can be played anytime and anywhere! Perhaps the name “table tennis” is a tad misleading, for although the rules and style of ping pong is comparable to real tennis, it is no substitute. Nevertheless, this indoor sport is still fun, fast-paced, and depending on the intensity of the competition, highly aerobic.
Chess – While not as taxing as other sports from an athletic perspective, chess is a high-stakes one-on-one strategy game that can be played between anyone, anywhere. This game’s recognition as a “sport” comes not from physical demand, but rather its massive cultural following and competitive nature.
Pool/Pocket Billiards – Another indoor sport common both as entertainment in local activity hotspots and also as a sporting activity in organized competitions. Like chess, billiards is a high skill sport with fairly low physical demands. In bad weather, it can be a “relaxing” alternative to a physical, outdoor sport like football or volleyball.
Racquetball – A frantic, boxed-in type of racquet sport (comparable to tennis), racquetball utilizes walls and floor markings as integral components to gameplay and rules. The necessitation of these artificial additions to the environment prompts most racquetball games are played in an indoor court; however, in as much as tennis is commonly played outdoors (but can be fielded in an indoor court) racquetball is its polar counterpart. While it can serve as an alternative to other racquet sports, players must be prepared for more focused, erratic, and overall faster-paced game.
E-Sports – E-sports are gaining rapid popularity with the evolution of mankind’s technology faculties, as are the competitive organization techniques that host and promote such activities. While no substitute for “the classics”, e-sports replicate the competitive and entertaining qualities of most sports while conceding physical requirements and large-scale team-coordinated strategy. While a vastly different ‘flavor’ of sport than most are used to, however, e-sports also remain uninhibited by seasonal and weather changes; in fact, the competitive formatting of most e-sports is scheduled more on a basis of familiar annual timing rather than that of necessary environmental conditions.