I’ve been told that for its many rewards, parenthood can be challenging. My brother and his friends have developed an interesting game to counter some of those stresses. Called ‘Lions and Wildebeests’, the game pits the dads (aka the Lions) against the kids (Wildebeests). Essentially a mix of kickball and dodge ball, the game, which one could call sanctioned violence, requires the fathers to kick a large, admittedly light, rubber ball at their kids. If it hits one of the children, that child is out and must sit down. Unless they’re clocked in the head/face. That counts as a free hit, and the kids can continue playing. Can you sense the incentive here?
I witnessed a few games recently, with about a half a dozen dads versus twice the number of children. It was hilarious. Imagine chaos on the field, with the smaller kids giggling and running around in circles, and the older kids trying to be strategic by taking the ball to the face, so they could stay in the game, while the dads yell supportive things like ‘Nice defense’ and ‘Good hit’, trying to hide any fatigue they might experience running after a posse of children.
The dads don’t have it too easy though. As I was told, the lightweight rubber ball isn’t as easy to steer with a kick. How else to explain how they missed so many clear targets? That, and their visible fatigue makes me think that they might benefit from some more practice and training.
Photo credit: Bob B. Brown