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From the playground to the World Cup: the boys' games that became sports and have international championships

2023-02-05T10:49:24.382Z


They have federations, tournaments and they fight to achieve recognition from the Ministry. The Argentine who came out world champion of arm wrestling.


They started at school, in the playground during some recess.

Today —as the trap says— they became World Cups.

Arm wrestling, burning or jumping rope are some of the boys' games that grew and today are sports

organized in federations that attract amateur competitors globally and hold world championships, a movement that is not unrelated to the diffusion promoted by the social networks.

Arm wrestling, popularly known as arm wrestling

, in which two people perform a strength test with their arms and whoever manages to get their opponent's hand to touch the mat placed for marking purposes, was for decades a game that was played resting his elbows on a table and amusing children and adults.

In Argentina, one of the main promoters of this sport is the Arm Wrestling Association of the City of Buenos Aires (Alcba), created at the beginning of 2010, which is in charge of the national arm wrestling championships that bring together dozens of competitors from the whole country

Matías Saggese, vice president of the organization, told the Télam agency that after the pandemic "

there was an exponential growth of this sport throughout the country

among the youngest, thanks to social networks."

After several years, the association managed to get the Federation of Associated Wrestling (FALA), the governing body for Olympic wrestling in the country, to decide to incorporate the activity, which will allow its athletes

to train at the National Center for High Performance Sports ( cenard).

"A proposal was presented to create a commission within the federation and we are sure that it will be approved in March," Fernando Rittner, president of FALA, told Télam.

On this initiative, Saggese celebrated that "it is a very important step for the sport."

"We are going to have another infrastructure to train,

in addition to being recognized by the Ministry of Sports of the Nation

, which will allow us to have funds to develop this practice."

Alcba is under the orbit of the World Arm Wrestling Federation (WAF, for its acronym in English), created 30 years ago and which organizes the main competitions of this discipline at a global level.

Argentina achieved significant victories in this sport and Santiago Balsamello, 41 years old and a native of the Buenos Aires town of San Miguel del Monte, became one of the main exponents

after winning the world championship organized by the WAF

in Antalya, Turkey, in the category Master 70 kilograms of right arm.

Santiago Balsamello, world champion of arm wrestling Master 70 kg.

Photo @Santiago.Balsamello

"When I was a boy I would compete in construction sites and factories, with people with a lot of physical strength and the truth is very few beat me," he told Télam Balsamello, who is also in charge of promoting this sport in the country, about his passion for arm wrestling.

Regarding its development in the country, he considered that

Argentina "has very good athletes, in good physical condition"

and said that "with a little more organization this discipline could be improved at the regional level."

Burnt: from Physical Education to the global Top Ten

The dodgeball team trains under the highway, in Parque Chacabuco (Photo: Juano Tesone)

Another of the sports that grew the most in the country is

dodgeball, popularly known as "burned"

, a discipline created in the 1960s in the United States, which is played in teams made up of six players on a field divided into two - - eighteen by nine meters --, where the elimination of the greatest possible number of the opponent's players must be achieved.

Diego Ortolá, president of the Argentine Dodgeball Federation, who was born in 2018, and organizer of the national championship, told Télam that "there are more than 40 teams throughout the country, although mainly the

sport is quite diversified in La Rioja, Córdoba, Buenos Aires and Jujuy".

"One of the main attractions is that

you don't need a specific body

, but rather that it is made for people with any type of physique, who can train different skills specific to this sport, such as throwing, receiving and dodging," said Ayelén Anille, captain of Argentina dodgeball team.

Anille, who is a physical education teacher and has been practicing "burning" for five years, emphasized that the most attractive thing is that "it is dynamic, entertaining and also

the fraternal character of the discipline's competitors."

This sport is organized by the World Dodgeball Federation (WDF), formed in 2012 in the United States and made up of more than 80 countries, which is in charge of the world championships.

The Argentine men's dodgeball team, which participated in two World Cups,

is ranked 9th

, while the women's team is among the 20 best on the planet.

Ortolá maintained that the objective of the organization this year is "to expand the practice of the sport throughout the country," while in the long term

they hope that Argentina "can organize the world championship."

How to skip the rope 'to the World Cup'

A sport that is attracting more and more followers in the country is jump rope, a popular game that has been played for centuries and is generally associated with playful activities for children and adolescents.

Rope skipping, as this discipline is known in the world

, incorporates a great variety of ways of jumping combined with gymnastic and acrobatic components, and different manipulations of the rope in which the synchronism of the jumpers and of these with the music.

To jump rope you only need one element and a few meters of free space.

Juan Pablo Velázquez, president of the Argentine Federation of Rope Skipping and rope jumping, in charge of organizing jumping championships and promoting this sport since 2012, told Télam that "the main attractions are

team jumping and freestyle ,

where competitors can perform a number of unusual tricks and moves."

"Many athletes approached the discipline because this activity

favors aerobic capacity," he added.

At a global level, it is organized by the International Jump Rope Union (IJRU), an entity that since 1973 has organized world championships for a sport whose main exponents are the United States and China.

Velázquez highlighted the fact that the Argentine jump rope team

participated in the 2018 World Cup

as a milestone and considered that this was key "to improve the development and expansion of the activity."

Finally, the head of this entity indicated that the long-term objective is that "boys and adolescents from all over the country

can participate in two international jumping rope competitions

, which will be held in Colombia and the United States, with a greater number of athletes.

With information from Telam

DB


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