As the European Football Championships are being staged at the moment it only seems right that Strange Games should highlight an unusual new soccer-related game.
When you mention Swingball thoughts immediately turn to the well loved tennis-on-a-string garden game, but that is about to change as the new US version of Swingball takes off in popularity.
Devised in 2001 by high school students in Hawthorne, New Jersey, as a soccer training aid to help learn dribbling and passing skills, Swingball requires two teams of two players, a soccer ball and a set of park swings. One team's players sit on the swings and start swinging - they can choose to face the same way or different and to swing in sync or out of sync. Opposing team players stand at either side of the swing and attempt to pass the ball back and forth between themselves, using two touches only on the ball - one to control it and one to pass. Every time they successfully get it past the swing defenders they gain a point. The team on the swings must try to intercept the ball whereupon they then control it and try to shoot it past the other team. Places are then changed to see who can achieve the greater score.
It would superb if US Swingball took off - think of the joy in watching Wayne Rooney wobbling about on a child's swing as David Beckham elegantly passes the ball through his legs.
The sports offical governing body the United Swingball Association (USBA) can be contacted through swingball.org or through the Facebook group USBA - their motto proudly and eloquently sums up this dignified and exciting new sport, The Glory, The Passion, The Intensity.