The concept of having fun inside of an inflatable ball with shoulder straps and handles may not seem like the safest activity to enjoy at a party – especially when you are rolling, flipping and spinning like wheels. However, once you have tried Carolina Knockerball for the first time, you will quickly see that is it a lot more enjoyable (and safer) than the average skeptic may think. Is it safe for people of all ages? What are some important tips to keep in mind if you plan to add Knockerball to your next event?
View Carolina Knockerball as a Vigorous Exercise
Knockerball is a fun and enjoyable activity to add to almost any outdoor party, but it is also a vigorous physical activity and should be approached and handled as such. Like with a vigorous exercise activity or program, according to the New York Times, you should check with your doctor before signing up as a participant. If you are the party planner, remind your guests and interested participants to consult their physicians to ensure they are physically capable of enjoying this physically demanding activity without causing any health issues or complications.
There are several simple rules recommended by healthcare professionals to follow for any type of vigorous exercise. For instance, it is highly recommended to avoid eating heavy meals for at least 2 hours before any vigorous exercise. This rule would require party planners to exert caution when scheduling the agenda for the party or event – namely, the scheduled times for the Knockerball game vs. the meals and/or refreshments served.
However, you should advise all participants to remain hydrated and drink plenty of fluids before and after the Knockerball game. Remind all players that the intensity level of the game will increase the longer that they play, which is why it is vital to reduce their individual activity level or involvement if the need to do so arises. Overexertion can quickly bring the game (and the party) to an end – especially if a medical emergency occurs as a result.
Pay Attention to Your Past Medical History
Just because Knockerball is a safe game does not mean that all people will be safe as they play it. Each interested player must consider his or her past medical history to ensure there are no conditions that could potentially present a hazard. For instance, people who suffer from such medical conditions as claustrophobia, asthma, seizures, back or neck issues and heart problems are advised not to play Knockerball.
Due to the vigorous physical nature of most Knockerball games, pregnant women are advised to avoid playing as well. However, a solid benefit of Knockerball is that it is a fun game to play and watch. Therefore, even those with medical conditions that prevent them from playing can still enjoy themselves as sideline spectators.
Focus on Environmental Conditions
If you want to add Knockerball to your next party, do not hesitate to study the condition of the reserved environment as well. For instance, Knockerball is not safe to play on pavement or near roads and streets with vehicular traffic. Keep in mind that the players have a considerable amount of their bodies inside of inflatable balls with their legs exposed. Playing near busy roads and traffic or even on grassy areas filled with hills and slopes can create life-threatening hazards.
As you study the condition of the reserved space and overall environment, put yourself in the shoes of the players and the spectators to make sure that a Knockerball game in that selected area would be safe to play and enjoyable to watch for everyone in attendance. A recommended area for playing Knockerball is on a level grass surface in a large enclosed environment.
Brief Each Player Before They “Suit Up”
Even if they are physically capable and healthy enough to play Knockerball, brief each player on their outfits before they “suit up” within the inflatable sphere. For instance, all players must wear shin protection and knee pads to keep their legs protected at all times. In addition, players should remove any heavy or sharp objects from their face and clothing. This includes necklaces, bracelets, watches, eyeglasses, and shades. Depending on the size and type, players may even want to consider removing earrings.
In addition to attire, you should also brief players on the rules and safety requirements of gameplay. For instance, more advanced Knockerball players may feel comfortable with performing stunts inside of their sphere – flipping, spinning and doing other tricks that look great to spectators but are difficult to execute. Advise amateurs and first-time players to avoid attempting those dangerous and potentially life-threatening stunts. Make sure that each ball is properly inflated and that the enclosed players properly use the shoulder straps and inner handles before officially starting the game.
What is the Proper Way to Wear a Knockerball?
As mentioned above, an integral part of keeping this game safe is how the Knockerball is inflated, worn and used by the player within it. This is also why adult supervision is required for participants under the age of 18. The standard Knockerball comes in two different sizes based on the height of the player:
- Taller than 5’ = 1.5 meter (Large) Knockerball
- 5’ and Shorter = 1.2 meter (Medium) Knockerball
When you wear the Knockerball, you must adjust it accordingly to ensure you have a proper fit. The Knockerball needs to cover from the area directly above your knees up to a point above your head. This may seem a little excessive, but it is the most effective way to keep the game safe and enjoyable – especially for the players who want to raise the intensity level of gameplay to make the activity more physical and vigorous. Do not forget about the shoulder straps. Wearing these straps is essential to make sure that the Knockerball fits properly and protects more of your body.
It may seem like a lot of steps are involved to ensure that Knockerball a safe and fun party activity. The bottom line is that there are a lot of steps. However, once you have played a game or seen how your party guests react to it, you will realize that all of the time used to prepare for the event was time well spent.