Thursday, July 7, 2022

11th World Games, Birmingham 2022

So Matthew and Troy Vincent have been saying all along (All Along™) that flag football is going to be a big deal, and it turns out that the sport is already part of the deal--along with and breaking, drone racing, fistball, parkour and wushu, among 56 disciplines--at the 11th World Games, which is scheduled to begin today in Birmingham, Alabama:

The World Games 2022 Birmingham is the new generation of global sport competition, welcoming elite athletes from all over the world to compete for gold in 34 unique, multi-disciplinary sports. Featuring 3,600 athletes from more than 100 countries, the international event will unite global fans with the Birmingham community in 25+ venues around the greater metropolitan area. The World Games 2022 Birmingham, which marks the 40th anniversary of the event, will take place from July 7-17, 2022 and will generate an estimated $256 million in economic impact. The World Games was established by the International World Games Association, an organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee. The World Games 2022 is organized with the support of the International Olympic Committee. 

I'm looking forward to looking in on this over the next couple of weeks, and I'm especially gratified that we don't have to deal with any Russia (or Belarus) jive when it comes to putting together the medal standings. Comments flow ...


  1. A Birmingham 2022 media fact sheet says there are 34 sports to be competed at the World Games:

    — Air Sports
    — Archery
    — Billiards
    — Boules Sports
    — Bowling
    — Canoe
    — DanceSport
    — Duathlon
    — Finswimming
    — Fistball
    — Floorball
    — Flying Disc
    — Gymnastics
    — Beach Handball
    — Ju-Jitsu
    — Karate
    — Kickboxing
    — Korfball
    — Lacrosse
    — Lifesaving
    — Muaythai
    — Orienteering
    — Powerlifting
    — Racquetball
    — Roller Sports
    — Softball
    — Sport Climbing
    — Squash
    — Sumo
    — Tug of War
    — Water Ski and Wakeboard
    — Wheelchair Rugby
    — Wushu
    — Flag Football Presented by the NFL

    All of the capitalization and word forms and stuff are all how the World Games media people have worked it out with their powers that be. That’s no easy task, so I’m going to acknowledge their consensus-building efforts here. That said, I’ll just call it “flag football” from here on, without the caps and NFL credit.

  2. Here were the 10 previous World Games:

    — Wroclaw 2017 (that’s in Poland)
    — Cali 2013 (Colombia)
    — Kaohsiung 2009 (Taiwan)
    — Duisburg 2005 (Germany)
    — Akita 2001 (Japan)
    — Lahti 1997 (Finland)
    — The Hague 1993 (Netherlands)
    — Karlsruhe 1989 (Germany)
    — London 1985
    — Santa Clara 1981 (California, in the United States)

  3. I flipped on the World Games' YouTube stream a few seconds ago, and Sheila E was finishing her big "Glamorous Life" finale, and now we've moved on to Alabama doing "Play Me Some Mountain Music." This is, of course, from last night's opening ceremony.

    I haven't yet found a place to watch actual competitions, but medals are already being awarded today. A woman from Colombia won the women's speed skating 200m time trial this morning, earning the first gold medal of Birmingham 2022.

  4. OK, has some live powerlifting for us! This is being competed in the 2,835-seat Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) Concert Hall. It looks really nice--cushy red theater seating, dark, plenty of room to spread out ... I'll be the air conditioning feels fantastic. It's 93 degrees and getting hotter in Birmingham right now.

  5. We’re watching some lightweight and middleweight women’s squats. The Russians “won” both the men’s and women’s lightweight at Wroclaw 2017, so we’ll have two new gold medalists in those two events. Russia, in fact, was awarded the bulk of the Wroclaw 2017 medals—28 gold, 21 silver and 14 bronze. Second was Germany at 17, 10 and 14, and third was Italy with 16, 13 and 13. Team USA came in ninth among the 63 medaling nations—at seven, 10 and five.

  6. So there’s a squat, bench press and deadlift score that go into figuring out the powerlifting results per weight class. There’s also a fractional “factor” that is worked into the mix, but even the commentator told viewers “don’t ask” about the formula for computing standings. Anyway, after the squat in women’s lightweight, it’s Zuzanna Kula of Poland in first, followed by Tetiana Bila and Anastasiia Derevianko of Ukraine. Karen Hesthammer of Norway actually lifted more weight than either of the Ukrainians did in the squat, but she is listed in fourth place, probably because of her lower factor of 0.2050 (compared to Bila’s 0.2167 and Derevianko’s 0.2088). I guess this is why we were advised to not ask.

  7. That speed-skating stuff is rollerskating. That sounds like fun. I'd like to be watching the 500m women's race right now, but tells me, "This video does not exist or is not available in your country." Boo!

    Also happening now: Israel vs. Japan in men's lacrosse. "This video does not exist or is not available in your country," however. Boo!

    Back to the powerlifting ...

  8. CBS Sports Network is reportedly doing an hourlong highlights show each night at 10 throughout the World Games, so I might try to check that out in the moments that Trevor Noah and Stephanie Ruhle align on commercial breaks.

  9. The powerlifting is about to move to the third and final leg of its women’s lightweight event, but I’ve tuned in to live Canada-Finland floorball action on YouTube. “Due to issues at the venue, we are unable to provide graphics,” reports the International Floorball Federation feed, so I’m uncertain who is leading or anything. But this looks great. It looks pretty much exactly like the hockey games we played in the gym in P.E. class at Concord Elementary after we had collected enough Post cereal box tops to acquire the equipment.

  10. Canada is clobbering Finland, 11-0, through two periods of floorball. During the halftime (or whatever), some people have come out with brooms, but then they appear to have let spectators on the floor to try floorball for themselves. I might be in love with floorball.

    1. Confirmed on the spectators. I joined the live chat to ask, and the International Floorball Federation people quickly and happily replied, "​Yes! We want to introduce floorball to a new American audience."

      Also confirmed on my loving floorball.

  11. Mad props, by the way, to my IFF peeps for being so perky on a day when their home boys are so mightily struggling against the Canadians. The IFF is based in Helsinki.

  12. Another of the 585 viewers on this YouTube feed, “quartzer,” commented that it appears the program is being "Filmed on a Toyota Corolla (2006) rear camera.” Which is pretty funny and accurate, but I hate to see the IFF shade.

  13. HOLD THE PHONE! Finland was beating Canada, not the other way around. That makes more sense. Final from the BJCC East Exhibit Hall: Finland 18, Canada 0.

    That was the Group B opener. Group B also includes Czech Republic and United States, and those two teams are scheduled to play each other at 6:05 Central tonight.

    Earlier today in Group A, Sweden and Lativa floorballed to a 6-6 draw. Switzerland and Thailand are about to get down to some Group A action in about 20 minutes, and I've got my IFF Channel notification turned on for that bad boy.

  14. USA Floorball is based in Incline Village, Nevada.

  15. It turns out there is a North American Floorball League. It started competition last month, and it numbers four teams. We’re at the midpoint of the regular season:

    Fort Worth Jaguars 5-1
    Florida Vikings 4-2
    Utah Raptors 3-3
    Fresno Force 0-6

    All four teams advance to the playoffs. The league semifinals, consolation game and championship are scheduled for July 24.

  16. In other news, Japan’s Yukako Fukushima came out of nowhere in the deadlift to win the women’s lightweight powerlifting gold. Kula of Poland got silver; Drevianko of Ukraine, bronze.

  17. No Americans were competing in the women's lightweight powerlifting.

  18. Nor were any Americans competing in either of the rollerskating medal events today. Colombia, Italy and Taiwan took the gold, silver and bronze, respectively, in the women’s 200m. It was Italy, Colombia and France for the medals in the men’s 200m.

  19. Men's lightweight powerlifting is finishing up now--again, no Americans.

  20. OK, good. The IFF got its on-screen scoreboard going during the intermission of games. It's Switzerland up, 2-0, in the early going against Thailand.

  21. Another YouTube user in the IFF chat, "O K," says of floorball, "its fun but is little boring how every tournament Czech and Swiss play for bronze and Sweden with Finland for gold."

    "Nirutivan 98" adds, "​Yeah, though I like it that my country is in the top 4, I‘d love if other countries could catch up. Would be nice if like the draw between latvia and sweden wouldn‘t be such a huge suprise anymore."

    And "Adam Klimeš": "Latvia draw with Sweden only because of this stupid format, if its normal 3x20 period with 18 players Latvia wont have a chance by my opinion.."

  22. Thailand scores. Now 4-1, Switzerland.

    And elbows up in the IFF chat ...

    "mikko koo": "But funny floodball fact. All floorball players are ex-ice hockey players. Who wasnt good enough in ice hockey to get success, so they switched to floorball"

    "Leibis Sport Videos": "​@mikko koo ohhh you are very wrong… the most floorball players HATE to play ice hockey"

  23. Thailand scores a second goal, pulling to within 6-2, and now they're playing the R.E.M. version of "Superman" over the loud speakers at the BJCC.

  24. Switzerland has moved out to a 9-3 lead, and the IFF commentators note that the Switzerland fistball teams are in the BJCC stands, cheering for the 10th goal.

  25. Can't wait to discover and fall in love with fistball!

  26. Colombia is killing it at the World Games. Medal standings as of now:

    1. Colombia 4 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze
    2. Hungary 3, 2, 3
    3. Japan 3, 1, 1
    4. Italy 2, 2, 1
    5. China 2, 2, 0
    6. Germany 2, 1, 2
    7. Ukraine 2, 0, 2
    T8. Brazil 1, 1, 0
    T8. Spain 1, 1, 0
    T10. Belgium, 1, 0, 0
    T10. Moldova 1, 0, 0
    T10. Philippines 1, 0, 0
    14. France 0, 2, 3
    T15. Croatia 0, 2, 0
    T15. South Korea 0, 2, 0
    T15. Poland 0, 2, 0
    18. Taiwan 0, 1, 2
    T19. Egypt 0, 1, 0
    T19. U.S. Virgin Islands 0, 1, 0
    T19. Venezuela 0, 1, 0
    22. Greece 0, 0, 3
    23. United States 0, 0, 2
    T24. Ecuador 0, 0, 1
    T24. Hong Kong 0, 0, 1

    Thirty-two medal competitions today ...

  27. The Team USA medals came in a couple of karate events. Gakuji Tozaki, a 31-year-old born in Columbus, Ohio, won bronze in men’s kata, and Trinity Allen, a 21-year-old born in Monroe, Louisiana, won bronze in women’s kumite-55kg.

  28. The medal competitions I’m most interested in today are in archery this morning, finswimming in the late afternoon, sumo in the evening and dance in the late night. Until then, we’ve got more medals going out in speed (roller) skating, powerlifting and karate.

  29. One thing I want to find out sooner or later is just how elite these athletes are who competing in events where there appears to be overlap with the Olympics. For example, the powerlifting women that I watched yesterday … am I likely to see them competing for weightlifting medals at Paris 2024? I don't even know enough about this sport (or sports) to understand if people who are good at one tend to be good at the other; I would think so, just looking at it. But who knows? Maybe some middle-aged blogger in Pakistan or wherever is wondering about the Dolphins' chances in the next FA Cup.

  30. Because here's the deal: I stayed up and watched the CBS Sports Network wrapup show late last night, and it turns out the Japanese woman who came from behind to win the women's lightweight powerlifting is 52 years old! Way to represent, Yukako Fukushima! If that bad girl turns up in Paris, I'm totally waving my little paper Hinomaru for her.

  31. The CBS show was OK, by the way. They did a bit on the opening ceremonies and focused on the Haudenosaunee Nationals competing in lacrosse, the Ukrainians and Team USA. Then they showed plenty of rollerskating and powerlifting, with, I think, the same commentators I was hearing on the live streams earlier Friday.

    The whole program was hosted by some dude, who did fine, but I never got the sense that he was actually in Birmingham. Maybe he said one way or the other; I didn't see every second of the show because I was also trying to find our cat stuck out in a mighty electrical storm. (River's fine; she came home in a break between the first and second windy torrents.)

    If CBS Sports Network, though, is just wrapping pool feeds with a talking head in Manhattan, that's a shame. It's freaking Birmingham! You can get a Holiday Inn Express for about $150 a night down there. I'm sure Verne, J.B. or Nantz would be too expensive, but couldn't you at least get Boomer or somebody down there to do some up-close-and-personal features on the athletes or local-color stuff? What's the deal with the big Vulcan? What about Reggie Jackson and the Birmingham Barons? What's up with the white barbecue sauce and chicken and waffles?

  32. The Czech Republic beat Team USA, 13-1, in men's floorball yesterday. Boo!

  33. Must win: Team USA (0-1) vs. Canada (0-1) in a Group B preliminary at 6 tonight.

  34. Women’s compound archery gold goes to Great Britain in an upset, silver to the hot Colombians and bronze to—oh, cool!—the United States. According to the (lively) commentators, the archery people are making a big push to get the compound competition into the Olympic program.

    So there you go. Compound archery is apparently a separate deal from the whatever archery we see in the Olympics. Similarly, I'm starting to gather that “equipped” might be a key word to understand in terms of the nuances of the powerlifting/weightlifting world. I have a lot to learn!

    While they’re setting up at Avondale Park for the archery medal ceremony, which the World Games sometimes calls a “victory ceremony, they’re playing “Car Wash” on the P.A. system. I caught a little of that movie on TCM late the other night. My dad freaking loved that song.

  35. Congratulations, bronze-medalist Paige Pearce, 27, of Red Bluff, California.

  36. I love the World Games. This pretty much satisfies my desire for Autumn Olympics or Spring Olympics, though I would move it to autumn or spring.

  37. The play-by-play guy for archery is explaining now that "tribalism" is very big in Alabama. Because the state has "no National Hockey League, NBA or other professional sports leagues," he said, the people tend to wear colors and logos of their favorite school teams. He then talked about the University of Alabama and its strong tradition in "college American football, or gridiron."

    Finally, he and the color commentator, an American woman, discussed Auburn, Birmingham's significance in the civil-rights movement, and shrimp and grits.

  38. The IFF YouTube channel's on-screen scoreboard is on the fritz, but, according to my peeps in the live chat, Sweden is beating Thailand, 14-1, in men's Group A action.

  39. There’s also parachuting, bowling, karate, powerlifting, roller inline hockey, softball and speed (roller) skating happening in and around Birmingham, but I haven’t found live feeds for any of that.

    So, anyway, I’m sticking with the archery at Avondale for now. Got a Canadian and an Indian compounding for men's bronze.

  40. Bronze goes to Canada, and we've got France vs. Mexico coming up next for gold.

    Man, it seems like every other kid you meet in Hopkins County is in to archery these days. How is Team USA shut out of these two medal competitions this morning?

  41. So Canada, France and Mexico all get into the medals standings via archery. That's it from Avondale Park, and now is headed back to the ol' BJCC for more (equipped) powerlifting.

  42. Now has launched a subchannel for a roller-skating race coming up in about 30 minutes. We have a few athletes leisurely circling the track outside the Birmingham Sportsplex, as "Cha-Cha Slide" blares through the steamy Birmingham morning.

    1. "Takin' Care of Business," BTO

    2. Two minutes from the race, so now the Birmingham Sportsplex is playing "Sweet Home Alabama." Except it's some modern, synthed-up mix.

  43. OK, this is going to be the women’s spring 1,000 meters. Eight racers are competing for medals, and none of them is from the United States. My daughter loves rollerskating, so maybe there’s an opportunity for her at Chengdu (China) 2025.

  44. This is a pretty neat sport—a lot like the short-track speed skating on ice, except there doesn’t appear to be so much crazy falling.

  45. The commentator--he's working solo--says speed skating is so popular in Colombia that this victory will "make the front pages of newspapers." Hmmm, really?

  46. Ecuador and Chile win silver and bronze.

    Men's 1,000 meters is coming up next.

  47. Shocker ... no American in the eight men going for gold here ...

  48. Gold for Italy! And bronze. Chile takes the silver, finishing "just a few centimeters" out of the lead, per the enthralling commentator.

  49. I don’t know where this commentator is from, but it might be another of those countries where fast roller skaters turn up on the front pages of newspapers. His emotion over the race seems genuine, and his knowledge of the different racers seems more deeply rooted than having crammed over a press packet over the Holiday Inn Express breakfast bar this morning. appear to be putting people who have actual knowledge of the given sport on the play-by-play mike; then, when they have a color person, that person is usually an American who is contextualizing the unfolding story for fellow lay Americans. It’s a pretty effective approach and opposite of what NBC often does with its Olympics coverage.

  50. Meanwhile, there are no commentators for the subchannel carrying the men's lacrosse match between Israel and Haudenosaunee Confederacy. With 3 minutes to go in the first, the on-screen scoreboard reports:

    HNL 5:3 ISR

  51. It's a really complicated history. Here's Ben Pickman in a fascinating Sports Illustrated story last September:

    Often, upon arriving at a residential school, Indigenous students were assigned new names. Indigenous languages were suppressed, as were cultural and spiritual practices. Even recreation was viewed as an instrument for assimilation, as games like cricket and baseball, lacrosse and ice hockey were taught in hopes of “ ‘civilizing’ residential school students,” the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reported in 2015. Another investigation, the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, observed of sport’s role in it all: “Recreation was re-creation.”

    What stands out about lacrosse here—what makes its weaponizing especially devious—is its preexisting place in the Indigenous population. The Haudenosaunee, for one, have long considered the game a gift from the Creator. In various Indigenous populations it is incorporated into religious ceremonies and used to teach ideals of respect and peace. Some ascribe the sport healing powers, referring to it as a medicine game.

  52. Halftime at UAB's PNC Field:

    HNL 6:4 ISR

  53. Haudenosaunee leads 10-8 through three quarters.

  54. Final from UAB PNC:

    HNL 16:12 ISR

  55. So here are our men's lacrosse standings with one game to go today:

    Group A
    Great Britain 1-0
    United States 1-0
    Australia 1-1
    Germany 0-2

    Group B
    Canada 2-0
    Haudenosaunee Confederacy 1-1
    Israel 1-1
    Japan 0-2

    Today's last game from UAB PNC will be USA:GBR in about 30 minutes.

  56. Team USA has won its first gold medal of Birmingham 2022! Victor “B-Boy Victor” Bernudez Montalvo, a 28-year-old from Kissimmee, Florida, on Sunday won the b-boys event in dance sports, breaking, edging teammate Jeffrey “Bboy Jeffro” Louis. I have not found an age or birthplace for Bboy Jeffro; however, according to, he is "a member of rag crew team Energy Fly Dance Company and the Houston Rockets-launched crew." Congratulations, B-Boy and Bboy! U! S! A!

  57. Meanwhile, in the b-girls category, the silver went to SUNNY CHOI OF LOUISVILLE (!) (and now of Queens, New York)! HURRAH!!! Furthermore, this NPR feature from last week indicates that Choi has set her sights on representing Team USA in breakdancing at the Paris 2024! (Which reminds me that I wonder if Emma Talley will get to compete in that or some other Summer Olympics in golf.) Way to go, Sunny Choi of Louisville!

  58. I missed the breakdancing yesterday, but I did get to see Bonica Brown, 33, of Battle Creek, Michigan, win silver in women's super heavyweight powerlifting, and she was awesome. In fact, she lifted the most weight and was initially announced as the gold medalist, but then her last lift was disqualified for some arcane (probably jive) reason. Congratulations, Bonica Brown!

  59. The other Team USA medal since we last updated came on Saturday: a bronze for Kamran Madani of Broomfield, Colorado, in karate, men’s kumite-84kg.

  60. Thanks to these weekend successes, Team USA has moved up the medal standings, which has a new leader:

    1. Germany 9 gold, 1 silver, 4 bronze
    2. Colombia 8, 7, 3
    3. Ukraine 8, 6, 8

    14. United States 1, 3, 4

  61. Medals are scheduled to be awarded in 21 events today, and, among those, I'm probably most interested in checking out the bowling and life saving at midday and parkour (I can't wait to learn what that is) this evening. For now, though, I'm thankful the 24/7 stream this morning is just montaging scenes from competitions and landmarks around Birmingham to lofi hiphop, because I've got a load of work to do and someone who needs a ride to church to work VBS in a few minutes.

  62. Thanks, GoHeath, for the tip to SEC Shorts' take on flag football at the World Games, which I enjoyed. There's apparently a distinction between the "official World Games programme" and "invitational sports," one of which is flag football. But, whatever, medals are being awarded in both men's and women's competition, and it appears we'll be able to start watching games at on Wednesday.

  63. The main feed is giving us live footage of some dude sweeping the floorball floor, while the Deuce has a camera fixed on the Powell Avenue Steam Plant while we wait for the next roller-skating road race in about 40 minutes. These races are kind of fun to watch because they show off parts of downtown Birmingham, and it's been a few years since I've been down there. At one point, a Colombian woman was zipping by a company called Labcorp, and I subsequently learned, "In 50 years, Labcorp has transformed from a local laboratory operating from a hospital basement to a leading global life sciences company that is deeply integrated in guiding patient care. ... The company – with revenue in excess of $14 billion in 2020 – provides diagnostic, drug development and technology-enabled solutions for more than 160 million patient encounters per year. Labcorp typically processes tests on more than 3 million patient specimens per week and supports clinical trial activity in approximately 100 countries through its industry-leading central laboratory business, generating more safety and efficacy data to support drug approvals than any other company." Turns out that hospital basement the company mentions was in Burlington, North Carolina.

  64. I enjoy working to these intersessions, too, because they give me a good opportunity to catch up on the state of the art of stadium/festival pop hits. For example, "Blinding Lights" by The Weeknd is in heavy, heavy rotation at Birmingham 2022.

  65. just showed a replay of yesterday's gold-medal final in dance sports, breaking, b-boys. It’s pretty entertaining how they did this.

    In an outdoor theater at Sloss Furnaces, Bboy Jeffro and B-Boy Victor stood at opposite ends of a small parquet floor lined on three sides with tables of judges, photographers and various support personnel in matching bright-yellow T-shirts with "VOLUNTEER" printed on the back in big, block letters. The fourth side of the court opened to packed bleachers.

    First, Bboy Jeffro breakdanced in front of B-Boy Victor, and then B-Boy Victor breakdanced in front of Bboy Jeffro. Then Bboy Jeffro breakdanced again, and then B-Boy Victor breakdanced again. Then there was a 90-second break, during which it was announced on a big overhanging scoreboard whom the judges favored in the first two rounds (B-Boy Victor, 2-0). Then B-Boy Victor breakdanced again, and then Bboy Jeffro breakdanced again. Then B-Boy Victor breakdanced one last time, and then Bboy Jeffro breakdanced one last time. This all took place to one continuous stream of peppy hiphop music, while an emcee in shorts and a reversed baseball cap came out every so often and voiced his excitement over this or that move performed by one of the dancers. This really riled up the large crowd, which was quite lively throughout, anyway.

    Finally, they announced B-Boy Victor as the gold-medal winner, and then everybody hugged each other. It was fun. How could anyone not like breakdancing?

  66. OK, we’ve got Team USA teams on both the main channel, as well as the sub channel. It’s 11-8, United States, over Japan in men’s lacrosse on the main and scoreless, USA vs. Italy, in the first moments of men’s inline hockey on the Deuce. I’ve never seen the roller hockey, so I’m focusing on this.

    The two commentators just went over a couple of key distinctions between inline and ice hockey:

    — It’s much less physical. They said pretty much any aggressive contact gets penalized.

    — Power plays are more valuable because each team has only four, instead of five, skaters in play. Four vs. three is a greater advantage than five vs. four in terms of the real estate that can be covered, they explained.

    Team USA is heavily favored in this game, and, indeed, the Americans have spurted out to a 3-0 advantage in the time it took me to type this comment. "There is no stopping the United States at the moment!" one of the commentators says. "In the blink of an eye, they are sailing into the final."

    I guess this tournament is almost over. I keep forgetting that the World Games is only 10 days of competition, as opposed to the Olympics' two weeks and change.

    Now I'm going to be all sad the rest of the afternoon.

  67. I haven't seen any of them, but Germany has picked up three more gold medals already today. Japan has joined Colombia and Ukraine with eight apiece.

  68. Men’s lacrosse: Team USA finishes off Japan, 17-12, and advance to the gold-medal match, against either Canada or Great Britain, on Tuesday night. Japan gets the loser between those two for bronze. Our new friends with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy won their fifth-place game today, over Australia. Germany beat Israel for seventh.

  69. We’re on break between the first and second inline-hockey periods at the Birmingham CrossPlex, so we’re getting a lot of closeups of fans scattered around the arena—lots of phone scrolling, some hamburger eating and beer drinking, some toe wiggling from unsandaled feet and a little Old Glory waving, all to sublime “Le Freak” by Chic.

  70. Birmingham CrossPlex opened in 2011. It has a big natatorium and this arena space which also is used for basketball, volleyball, wrestling, cheerleading competitions, rodeo, gymnastics, etc.

  71. It was the jewel of a redevelopment of the Alabama State Fairgrounds, a project which also saw the demise of the old Birmingham International Raceway. That place hosted NASCAR races until 1968, and winners included Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Red Farmer, "Fireball" Roberts, Richard Petty and Ned Jarrett.

  72. Second period underway in roller hockey:

    USA 4:0 ITA

  73. I will admit that I'm (probably) not the most experienced prognosticator on the global men's inline hockey stage; however, I'm prepared to make a bold call: The gold medal will go to ...?


  74. Italy, still trailing 4-0, is trying to score on a power play. But, over and over again, a Team USA skater swats away some shot before it even reaches the goalie. Because the arena is so quiet, you can clearly hear the American teammates on the bench roaring louder and louder with each block.

    Now the power play is over, and Team USA almost immediately extends its advantage to 5-0. With this goal, the home crowd's cheer drowns out the sound of the American sideline.

  75. In my senior year, I wrote an op/ed for the other Heath Post that Heath High should drop basketball and instead field a hockey team. Two things in retrospect: One, thanks again to the boys' and girls' basketball players and coaches for not beating me up, and, two, it really would've been great had some wacko teacher put together an inline-hockey club at the school. We had some really talented skaters at Kingsway, and--who knows?--by now West Paducah might've been representing at Birmingham 2022.

  76. There are only two periods in inline hockey, and Team USA is through to the men's gold-medal match, tomorrow afternoon, against either Czech Republic or France. Maybe they'll bring in one of the Allison brothers to drop the puck for the opening faceoff.

  77. Canada whips Great Britain, 22-11, in the second men's lacrosse semi, so it'll be USA vs. CAN for gold tomorrow night.

  78. Thank you, USA Floorball, for showing me that the little flag pictures can be copied into Blogger comments!

  79. What a day for Germany yesterday at Birmingham 2022!

    1. Germany 15 gold medals, 2 silver, 8 bronze
    2. Colombia 9, 8, 3
    3. Ukraine 9, 6, 8
    4. Japan 8, 5, 7
    5. Hungary 8, 5, 5

    14. United States 2, 4, 4

  80. Now I'm watching some flying disc on The Deuce. Germany is beating Canada, 6-2. This is a simply wonderful game. Ultimate Frisbee is right up there with soccer in terms of being a great game for all genders and all ages to play together.

    I actually organized a weekly Ultimate game in Chapel Hill, N.C., for about a year, and I already played nine holes of disc golf with two other dudes this morning. I guess I'm more of a Frisbee/flying disc guy than I tend to think of myself, even though I'm not very good at all at throwing one. Oh, and Mom worked for a while for Wham-o! Yeah, the more I think about, Frisbee/flying disc has been huge throughout my life.

  81. I love the Olympic Games, and I love the World Games, but do you know what I really, really, really love?


  82. Fistball appears to be all-fist volleyball, except you can let the ball hit the ground.

  83. Yes, it's volleyball (with fists) on your own side, and then it's tennis on your opponent's side--you have to hit the ball inbounds, and they can let it hit once on the ground before they return your shot. This game is fine. Looks fun.

  84. Well, I was going to check out some unbeaten-USA-v.-unbeaten-Germany flying disc (ultimate Frisbee), but they're delayed for lightning out at the ol' UAB PNC. So I'm checking out racquetball at the UAB Campus Rec Center. It's Mexico vs. Colombia for men's bronze.

  85. I used to play a good bit of racquetball, and I was pretty OK. But then one time I tried to box in my opponent against the wall in front of him while he was doing a backhand shot; the edge of his racket struck me just to the left of my nose and all the way down my mouth on his backswing. Blood went everywhere. I've got giant eye teeth right in the front of my mouth, and my lip split wide open against the left tooth, all the way up to my nose. It's the only time I've had stitches.

  86. I've played several times since, but I find myself playing tentatively, and it's really not as much fun to play that way.

  87. It's a great game, though, for sure. Watching this makes me want to play again.

  88. But not as much as watching the ultimate makes me want to play ultimate again. The lightning delay is over, and Germany leads Team USA, 8-5, early in the second half.

  89. How flying disc works at the World Games is that the first team that gets to 13 completions to the end zone or the team that leads after two halves of 45 minutes is the winner. Germany has led by two, three or four scores pretty much throughout the match, but, with 6 minutes to go in the second half, Team USA has closed to 11-10.

  90. I learned to play ultimate on a business trip to Spokane, Washington. I was out there all week, and, on the Friday afternoon, several people in the marketing department invited me to join them in their regular weekly game. It was shirts and skins, and I ended up on the skins, which felt really strange among all of these client people I'd just met. But it was fun, and they were very nice to include me.

  91. Germany finishes off the United States, 13-10. Per the commentators, that's the second straight upset in two matches by Germany, which beat Canada yesterday.

  92. Medal standings:

    1. Germany 16 gold medals, 2 silver, 9 bronze
    2. Hungary 11, 7, 7
    3. Italy 10, 19, 12
    4. Colombia 9, 8, 3
    5. Ukraine 9, 7, 10
    6. China 9, 4, 1
    7. Japan 8, 6, 8
    8. United States 6, 8, 4
    9. France 4, 9, 9
    10. Denmark 4, 2, 0