BANKSHOT: MASTER THE ANGLES
One of the gods of Olympus takes hold of a celestial orb and hurls it like a brilliant lightning bolt angling off the moon, deflecting past Mt. Everest, banking down the Grand Canyon, caroming up the Great Wall of China, glancing past the upraised arm of the Statue of Liberty through the cosmic Black Hole multiple rims of the intergalactic baskets of the sky. Striking everything plus net! This dream sequence evokes a sport built upon the banking and rebound strategies of billiards rather than pool. This concept is the essence of Bankshot Basketball. Forget "nothing but net." Do not think "straight to the hole." Think trick shots and figuring out the angles. Do you remember the commercial with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson banking shots off the wall, floors and ceilings? I think you get the idea.
In truth, Bankshot Basketball is essentially a mini-golf game with a basketball. But it offers unmatched inclusion. Everyone on the court at once regardless of age, size, gender or wheelchair use. There's no aggression, no offense or defense. No running, jumping or body contact. Most courts are 19-stations, parallel to mini-golf. Because the game is vertical, not horizontal, it uses much less space than mini-golf but takes just about the same amount of time and realizes the same perceived value. Great fun for the family. Pure shooting challenge proceeding with a basketball through this extraordinary court. You participate alongside not against others.
The Bankboards are themselves sensational. They have been exhibited in museums of modern art and are in permanent display as "Sportsculptures" at the Boston Children's Museum- a form of participatory art. They really do brighten up a place. Sports Illustrated compared the boards to the art of Paul Klee, Joan Miro, Wassily Kandinsky and other abstract impressionists. Some courts are dazzling in their beauty.
Participants proceed through a course of angled, curved and unconventionally configured brightly colored backboards, banking shots off the Bankboards™ and through the rims – or several rims.
There are roll-back shots, ricochet and carom shots, bank-down shots and triple bankboards at the "black hole." Trick shots require that your thinking cap be on, besides developing a soft touch. And the only person you contest with is yourself. You alone determine how good you are. Unlike basketball, no one gets in your face.
It need not be thought that just because golf, bowling and Bankshot are sports played against yourself and not against an opponent that there's no action provided by these "non-aggressive" sports. But there need by "no contest" the title of Alfie Kohn's book based on extensive research on the unfortunate consequences of defeat at play. Clearly, if there are winners, there are losers and for some, hardly ever the former.
The Bankshot Sports Organization offers many different family sports, which are non-aggressive by design, including: Bankshot Basketball and Bankshot Tennis. Bankshot Sports are family sports because players do not play against one another but along-side one another. Bankshot Sports are non-running and non-exclusionary accommodating wheelchair players, the physically and cognitively challenged, grandparents, children and everyone else at the same time. These sports are called "Total-Mix Sports based on Universal Design."
An important and novel aspect about Bankshot is its educational merit. The game offers an enriched play environment composed of a series of novel sport challenges that invigorate the brain with mind-nurturing play experiences. Bankshot's design is also intended to stimulate motor coordination in a dynamic kid-friendly, inclusionary game. Because of Bankshot's spatial relationships, particularly in geometrical composition and court design, the Bankshot court is part of a new genre in the art/play/think world of wonder. It combines creative and scientific elements to produce an advanced participatory art form for today's young person. Bankshot is pure physics: an exercise in translating science into action. (Florida Park & Recreation Quarterly)
Bankshot Sports take up about one half a tennis court in size, accommodating as many as 80-100 at one time in about 45 minutes. The objective is to eliminate features of sports that tend to separate people, such as offense/defense, strength, stamina, speed and gender. Bankshot Sports are based upon skill, practice and intelligence. These are games which sharpen the mind and provide the challenge of intellectual stimulation.
Bankshot Bankboards have been displayed in two international Art museums, the Museum of Modern Art (NY) Design Department and the Israel National Museum in Jerusalem, as Sports/Structures. The Discovery Science Museum (Connecticut) displays Bankshot as physics-in-action. The Boston Children's Museum currently exhibits Bankshot Bankboards in its own permanent pavilion. Alongside a mini-golf course, Bankshot provides an attractive and challenging activity to a family for playtime, perhaps after a game of mini-golf at a fun center or recreation facility. Some families want to play all day.
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"We played at the Bankshot today. All the children had a great time - not just the 'sporty' ones! The teachers were commenting how good it was that so many kids could play at the same time. Thanks!!"Helen Cordova