February 9, 2010

Mini-Golf and Volleyball Day!

On this day in 1883
, Garnet Carter was born. He was destined to be one of the inventors of miniature golf, opening one of the world's first mini-golf courses in 1926.

Before Carter's “Tom Thumb” mini-golf, the few miniature golf courses in the world were just very small golf courses. Some were created small because there was no room at the site for a full-size course, some were just 18 holes of putting created for extra practice, and some were created small so that women golfers didn't have to make large swings with drivers—something at was considered unladylike!

But Garnet Carter and his wife Frieda created a mini
ature golf course at a place called Fairyland, and they decided to make it into something that kids as well as adults would like. Frieda Carter designed small houses, garages, and a “gas station” out of leftover tiles and pipes, and she added hollow logs and elf and gnome statues. These fun features became obstacles between the golf balls and the holes.

This idea was so popular, not only did families flock to Fairyland to play, but people wanted to buy Tom Thumb golf courses for mini-golf fun else
where. Carter and National Pipe Products created a new corporation, the Fairyland Manufacturing Corporation, which sold more than 3,000 mini-golf courses in just a few years.

During this mini-golf craze, within just four years, more than 150 rooftop mini-golf courses sprang up in New York City, and between 25,000 and 30,000 mini-golf courses sprang up throughout th
e U.S. An estimated four million Americans were on a mini-golf course on any given night in 1930!

On this day in 1895, volleyball was invented. A man named William Morgan, who was an instructor at the YMCA in Holyoke, Massachusetts, was inspired by the games of tennis and handball as he created his new sport. (He actually used a tennis net, but tied it higher up on two posts.) He was also inspired by the newly invented game of basketball—invented just four years before by another Y in Massachusetts—because basketball became very popular very quickly. Morgan wanted his new game to be less rough, with less physical contact, than basketball.

Morgan called his new sport Mintonette. But during a demonstration game, someone commented that the two teams were volleying the ball back and forth over the net—and suggested the name volley ball instead.

Volleyball changed, grew, spread, and mutated into other, similar games. Here are just a few moments of its history:

  • In 1916, a more offense-oriented style was invented in the Philippines, with setting and spiking.
  • In 1919 American Expeditionary Forces spread the game worldwide as they distributed 16,000 volleyballs to troops and allies.
  • In 1930, 2-player-per-team beach volleyball was invented.
Play miniature golf or volleyball.

Invent a variation of a game or sport.
For example, for indoor mini-golf, use a plastic bat to hit ping-pong balls into empty cans lying on their sides. Build a course with lots of obstacles to hit through or around.

How about balloon volleyball?

Play virtual miniature golf.

How about virtual volleyball?

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