Friday, August 17, 2007

Official Monkey Ball rules

Three days, three post! This is maddness I tell you, Madness! Anyway, the youth group I work with has a game that several of them love called Monkey Ball. Now Monkey Ball previously existed as a short three sentece description in a youth worker book, that essentially said play soccer only use your hands instead! While that is a great idea, a few modifications are obvious (smaller field and ball for one), and with several games of Monkey Ball under my belt now, it is very obvious that three sentences are not adequate for a sport like game. Especially, when some of the kids are trying to teach this game to their friends. It has been a few months since the youth group has played Monkey Ball, and we will be doing so this week. Instead of making up rules rulings that pop up on the fly, I decided it would be better to put them on paper for consistency, and now I will put them here for all the world to see (by all the world I of course mean my immediate family and three or friends who still check in). So if you work with teenagers or are bored with some friends. I highly suggest printing out these rules to Monkey Ball and having a go at it, because the game is a lot of fun.

Monkey Ball Rules

Equipment and field
Like Baseball Each Monkey ball field can and should be unique. The approximate measurements of a field could be 16-24 feet wide and 36-48 feet long. The goals should be about four feet across. The ball used for monkey ball should be an oversized tennis ball, a size 2 soccer ball or similar sized ball also works.

Basic Rules of Play
The goal of monkey ball is to score the most goals in half an hour. The game is played in two fifteen minute halves. A Monkey Ball team consists of six players. Players are only allowed to make contact with the ball with their hands and arms. In addition to that the ball must stay on the ground. If a ball is knocked in the air higher than approximately four feet then play will be stopped. Furthermore, a shot on goal must be under 2.5 feet to count. While players may dribble the ball with their hands, they are not allowed to carry or throw the ball in any way shape or form. At the beginning of halves, or when a goal is scored the goalie puts the ball in play. During these times, the opposing team can not cross the center field line.

Stoppages and actions for Stoppages
For various reasons play of Monkey Ball may be stopped and restarted, what follows are times when play can be stopped and the appropriate action to be taken to resume play. In all of these rules the term “clearance” refers to how close the opposing team may get to a player.

1. If a ball leaves the field of play from the side lines, then the team that did not knock it out, may hit back in play from the sideline. The player putting the ball in play may not score and gets a clearance of approximately five feet.
2. If an attacking team knocks the ball from the field of play from the goal lines, then the goalie of the defending team will put the ball in play. the goalie gets a clearance of eight feet.
3. If a defending team knocks the ball from the field of play behind their own goal line, then the attacking team will get to put the ball in play from the back line where the ball left play. The player putting the ball back in play may not score, and gets a clearance of three feet.
4. If a player carries, throws, or kicks a ball then play is stopped. The opposing team gets the ball where the violation occurs. The player who re-starts play gets a clearance of approximately five feet and may score.
5. If a player is called on a foul of rough play or unnecessary roughness, then play is stopped and the opposing team gets the ball where the violation occurs. The player who restarts play gets a clearance of approximately five feet and may score.
6. If a player hits the ball above four feet high, then play is stopped and the other team gets the ball at the approximate point that the ball reached an illegal height. The player putting the ball back in play may not score and gets a clearance of approximately five feet.
7. In all stoppages time continues
8. In all stoppages, if the ball will resume play closer than five feet of a defending goal, then the ball will be backed up to the five foot point from the defending goal before play resumes.

Rules for Goalies
If a team chooses to play with a goalie then that person must be designated at the beginning of the game. If a team wishes to switch goalies or remove a player from the goalie position, then they have to wait until a stoppage. Unlike all other players goalies may carry and throw the ball. However, when a goalie throws a ball, the ball must stay under four feet or a stoppage will occur. A goalie may also use any part of their body to stop the ball. A Goalie may be behind the goal line to stop balls, but if the ball itself passes the goal line, then it will count as a score. Goalies must stay within four feet of the goal at all times.

Rules for Roughness and Technical Fouls
Monkey Ball, by its nature, is a contact sport. Despite this, players are to refrain from contact as much as possible. Incidental contact is unavoidable, but purposeful rough contact is not permitted. If a referee believes that a player was to rough or to careless in regards to others in trying to play for the ball, then play will be stopped for rough play and the opposing team will get to put the ball back in play. Players should always play the ball and not the person. If a referee believes that a player purposefully made contact with another player instead of playing the ball, then the referee will call a stoppage for unnecessary roughness. If the contact is severe enough, the referee may also issue a technical foul.
There are several reasons why a referee may a call a technical foul. When a technical foul is called, the offender is removed for the duration of the game and that players team will play with one less player. The opposing team will get to put the ball back into play from where the ball was when play was stopped. The player putting the ball back into play may score and gets a clearance of ten feet. In addition to the aforementioned unnecessary roughness, other actions that can result in a technical foul are unnecessary arguing with a referee, obscene and unsporting language on the field, unsporting behavior on the field, and switching goalies illegally.

A team with substitutes may make substitutions as often as they wish. Substitutes may only come in during stoppages, and they must be announced to the other team and the referee.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

One from the Archives

Two days, two post. Something this crazy has not happened since some sort of long lost golden age of Internet lore, or something like that. Anyway, in "my documents" I found a file that is now pushing about 6 months old. Essentially at one point I had told the Confirmation class I would answer any question they had about anything, and only one person took me up on it. He asked for eight reasons why I would or would not vote for Hillary Clinton. Some of the reasons are slightly out of date (like the one about Evan Bayh, who isn't going to run), but I still stand by all of them, and I so very much do not want to see her even get the nomination. I find it ridiculous how much time, money and effort is being spent to prepare for an election that is over 14 months away, but at the same time if once the dust settles after the primaries and the presidential election is between Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani then I am going to go find a very dark, dark place to cry and exercise my right NOT to vote. When the evils to choose from are that diabolical, then picking the lesser of the two is really just an exercise in futility. Anyway, here are the reasons why I will for sure not vote for Hillary Clinton:

1. Hillary Clinton supports anti-videogame legislation. She co-authored a bill that would make selling rated M video games to minors an offense that would carry incredibly high fines. In addition, video games with a rated M designation would have to be isolated behind the counter. In essence, video games that are less violent and disturbing that some classic literary works (such as 1984, Clockwork Orange, Lord of the Flies) would be treated like pornography. I disagree with this because it violates the first amendment (States have tried to pass similar laws and the supreme courts have knocked them down), it treats video games as something vulgar, and it makes the government do the job of parents.

2. She is a carpetbagger. Hillary Clinton is not from New York. She hired the best minds to figure out what state she would have the best chance to be elected in, and moved there. Elected representatives are suppose to be people who genuinely represent their constituency, not transplants who just want to get elected.

3. If she is elected Evan Bayh, won’t be. I really like both Senators from Indiana, and word has it that both are looking to run in 2008. I would much rather see Bayh get the democratic nomination over Clinton.

4. She is a media junkie. It does not matter what channel you turn to, it seems that Hillary Clinton is on it. News media is a very powerful force, and I am very hesitant of any person who purposely over-exposes themselves. It often means that person has an agenda and they are trying to use the news media to manipulate me.

5 and 6. This is my biggest reason for not wanting to see Hillary Clinton elected, so big in fact that I am counting it for two. I perceive Hillary Clinton as being incredibly fake. I get the impression from her that she is a politician through and through; to the point that her moral compass is not dictated by what she believes but by what will give her the most public approval points. There are a lot of points of disagreement I have with the current president, but he comes across as genuinely believing in what he is doing-and I respect him for that. It takes a lot of guts to stick to what you believe is right when almost 70% of the country disagrees with you. I do not think Hilary Clinton will do that. She will do what is ever in the best political interest for her. I want to vote for a president who I not only agree with, but who I know will fight hard for what they believe.

7. I don’t want to listen to all of the jokes. I have absolutely nothing against having a woman for president. However, all of the late night talk show people will tell joke after joke that is related to the fact that the president is a woman, and I am fairly sure that I will grow tired of those within like one week (if you can not tell I am running out of reasons).

8. My final reason why I don’t want to see Hillary Clinton elected president is because I am secretly hoping that John Stewart and Stephen Colbert announce they are running together and that they win.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Well at least it makes for a good story

Last week was a life first for me, and quite honestly it is a first I never anticipated. I was the target of a criminal police investigation. I became aware of this when I had a conversation with a delightfully polite Detective Miller from New York State. In case you are wondering the crime I was being investigated for was identity theft, and it was all Abigail's fault. Apparently, back in the Spring when we bought our tickets to Washington, Abigail got the last two card numbers switched. It so happened that this number matched someone else, who I am guessing happens to be be named Sean Johnson, whose card had the same expiration date and lives in New York. After we flew the airline billed the other person, who then called the police. Obviously it was a mistake, and it was mistake that the airline should have caught (addresses not matching and what not), in less than 24 hours the whole thing was straightened out.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

My New Favorite Song

Abigail and I successfully came and went to Washington State. As soon as I take the time to format pictures for blog usage, I will post all about the trip. If you are impatient and are chums with Abigail on facebook, you can see them there. Anyway, since the trip involved a lot of traveling, it involved a lot of ipod time, and I have decided that this is defiantly one of my new favorite songs, with absolutly awesome lyrics.
Wholly Yours by David Crowder Band

I am full of earth
You are heaven’s worth
I am stained with dirt, prone to depravity
You are everything that is bright and clean
The antonym of me
You are divinity
But a certain sign of grace is this
From a broken earth flowers come up
Pushing through the dirt

You are holy, holy, holy
All heaven cries “Holy, holy God”
You are holy, holy, holy
I wanna be holy like You are

You are everything that is bright and clean
And You’re covering me with Your majesty
And the truest sign of grace was this
From wounded hands redemption fell down
Liberating man

You are holy, holy, holy
All heaven cries “Holy, holy God”
You are holy, holy, holy
I want to be holy like You are

But the harder I try the more clearly can I feel
The depth of our fall and the weight of it all
And so this might could be the most impossible thing
Your grandness in me making me clean

Glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
You are holy, holy, holy
All heaven cries “Holy, holy God”
You are holy, holy, holy
I want to be holy like You are

So here I am, all of me
Finally everything
Wholly, wholly, wholly
I am wholly, wholly, wholly
I am wholly, wholly, wholly Yours

I am wholly, wholly Yours

I am full of earth and dirt and You

If you want to actually hear the song, hit up the video: