Categories: HealthLifestyle

Top 10 Activities Seldom Seen Outside Gym Class

Gym class can be both a beautiful and dreadful thing: beautiful in its celebration of health, competition and physical fitness, dreadful in its Darwinian grading system, embarrassing requirements (come on, even real gym locker rooms are outfitted with private shower stalls), and failure to inform you correctly. Yes, gym class is prone to frequent misinformation, such as the fact it’s okay for a real teacher to be hungover on the job, or that a majority of the sports, games and activities that are played in gym class don’t really have a place outside of grade school. At least in any conventional sense.

For instance, there is no jump rope league, and the closest thing to lacrosse having a place in our day-today lives is using a pooper scooper to pick up some dog crap, followed by a wrist-guided flick into a trash bag. Sure there are informal organizations and such but there are only a handful of major sports that are given any serious or passionate consideration, and they are so for being national past times. Here we’ll take a look at some past times that never end up being carried into the present, the top ten activities that don’t REALLY exist outside of gym class:

Jump Rope

There’s no knocking that jumping rope is great cardio, and there’s always those champions at the gym who like to exhibit this fact, as if we don’t immediately think of “double dutch” and hot pink nylon chords with frilly handles, at the prospect of “jumping rope.” It is, after all, the activity of choice for little girls. Good thing, though, they do make them in baby boy blue. Gender equality indeed.


AKA “gatorball,” “Z-Ball,” etc. This game went by many names, depending on your gym teacher, which shows the games lack of universality. Handball, was essentially soccer, but with the ability to kick the the ball up into your own hands, or someone else’s, and pass the ball around as if basketball rules applied. It was fun at the time, but dangerous indoors, what with the ability to kick the ball directly into the girl with glasses in the bleachers. It probably didn’t catch on in any grander sense because the game is so unoriginal, kind of a hodge-podge of already-established sports (including dodgeball).

Obstacle Course

The real only other place an obstacle course applies is military boot camp (which gym class felt the need to prepare timid middle schoolers for). There was the infamous rope climb, which always beckoned the temptation of swinging from the rope like Tarzan before the gym teacher turned purple with anger. There was that box where you would stretch to see how far you could push the knob, a flexibility test. There was the pull up bar that separated the scrawny boys from the puberty-ready men. And there was the step box. Come to think of it, there was a lot of weird little doodads that seemed to have no other purpose but to “size you up for the pick’n’s.” These don’t exist anywhere else (except for the pull-up bar), but they might prove more showing if they did, say for people old enough to make health a priority. Otherwise, it was the worst week of gym class, just after the scoliosis screenings.

Water Polo

Think regular polo, except with a volleyball and an open palm instead of a golf club, and with a drowned horse and you have a gratuitous definition of Water Polo. A better definition would be swimming meets handball, handball, again, being soccer meets hands. This game is very rigorous, and requires a level of fitness and lung capacity that can only exist in high school. As such, the game has its place mostly in extra-curriculars (apparently this was where the line was drawn at which grading on ability become cruel).


While it’s not fair to say this game doesn’t exist outside of gym class, its only other apparent refuge is in a yuppie’s backyard lawn, or at a company barbecue. It is a whole lot of fun to play, largely in how it defies gravity and makes a plummeting object a little less threatening. Definitely more fun to play than watch (likely why it’s never televised).

Crab Soccer

Just like it sounds, this game required you to take an obscene, Exorcist-inspired position and carry on an otherwise regular game of soccer. As if soccer needed another way to make scoring impossible (what with tallies that rarely exceed a third). It was a blast though, and was at least as much fun to watch as it was to play.

Pickle Ball

Essentially, this was table tennis on a large scale. The components were a plastic paddle, a wiffle ball and a low net. This was a way to take a game room staple and make it somewhat athletic, though it should be obvious why it hasn’t come to replace actual tennis. Partly for the fact that plastic on plastic offers little trajectory. Next we’ll see large scale fooseball, with huge plastic spinny-dudes and actual soccer goals.


This is what gym teachers called “Gymnastics for Men.” Here gender norm-defying boys would “tumble,” do handstands, cartwheels and a bunch of other things that would be the juiciest insult bait, if it weren’t for the fact that EVERYONE was required to participate. Only good aspect: leotards weren’t mandatory. While it may have its place, as men very much participate in Olympic gymnastic competitions, there aren’t very many recreational clubs catering to this activity, partly for its lack of team-orientedness.

Ultimate Frisbee

Good news: Football has been officially made accessible for stoners, otherwise unmotivated by competition. Ultimate frisbee is, after all, really just Football with a disc, a disk that’s a whole helluva lot easier to catch than a ball (you know, that thing that’s scary when it decides to come right to you). A frisbee at least hovers passively before landing safely in some outstretched arms. Not surprisingly, this “sport” can’t seem to find a place further than college campuses. Now maybe if it had a better work ethic…


AKA “Find-and-Eliminate Fatty.” This game is the rawest form of determining who in a select group is fit to survive and procreate (all those genital shots help decide this as well). The game requires coordination, reflexes, and other things that a computer game can’t teach. When a gym teacher allows this game to go on, all rules of a fair and decent society quickly disappear to be replaced by basics instincts of the lowest, id-guided order. Now imagine if, instead of job interviews, a game of dodgeball took its place; there’d be no chance of success in this world for the weak. Also, the world would be a very beautiful and largely unintelligent place.

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  • What a boring old world it would be if the only sports and games you were exposed to at school were those that are big league money makers and popular in the media. You can join a club and play any of them on the weekend. School sport/P.E./gym has a different purpose thankfully, and should give kids a wide range of experiences and lots of opportunities to participate in loads of games successfully. Even the games that seem ridiculous should at least be appreciated for providing a different experience, a new set of rules, or just plain old fun without the pressure of having to compete in a traditional sport.

  • Worst list I've ever read on this site. (And a good deal of my work day sees this site). I'm sorry you were bullied in school. Sports aren't meant to alienate the weak but to satisfy the strong. Same as you enjoy math class and Biff struggles with it. Everyone wants to feel better at something than someone else- don't cry when its not your turn. With the exceptions of #'s 5+4 I've played and enjoyed all these things since leaving school. This list was written by a hater! Learn to smile!

  • I started reading the list but within 2 sentences I recognised the opinionated, ill-informed and generally snarky tone of it and was not surprised to discover the name Ryan Thomas at the top of the piece. He is a TIT! So what to do?? Simple! Close article (unread) and move onto someone more positive.

  • When we play dodgeball in my school, instead of looking for fatties we throw everything at the tall and skinny

  • Id like to point out (if it hnasnt been said already) that Handball, Water Polo and Badminton are all Olympic sports. This list is fail.

  • The top two items are still things that I play on a regular basis. We didn't even play Ultimate in gym class, the first time I was exposed to it was college intramurals, then adult leagues since then. We also do trench ball leagues (similar to dodge ball, except when you're out you stand behind the opposing team and can make plays from there) indoors during the winter. Both are county sponsored leagues. Crab soccer, on the other hand, totally grade school gym class!

  • I thought the point of gym class was to help kids keep healthy and active, setting them on a path of good habits. I enjoyed it. It also sounds like someone was bullied at school. Picked last for the teams, were you?

    • Also ..to add, I find the end of your statement rather offensive; "Now imagine if, instead of job interviews, a game of dodgeball took its place; there’d be no chance of success in this world for the weak. Also, the world would be a very beautiful and largely unintelligent place." So .. people who are athletic, or fit, or play sport are all morons? I like playing tennis, playing beach volleyball/frisbee etc, and other such activities. However, I also love reading and studying quantum physics. Maybe if you weren't so desperate to hide your insecurity and dissatisfaction with life by being "cynical" (not that good at it, pal), you might actually enjoy something. Anything.

  • I would just like to point out, that Waterpolo does exit outs of gym class because it is AN OLYMPIC SPORT!!!!

  • This is one of the most ridiculous things i have ever read. Not only is this a meaningless waste of internet space but the message that is being passed along to its readers is wrong and completely inaccurate. The PURPOSE of physical education class is to keep children physically active, build confidence and give them a chance to release stress, aggression, boredom, and other vices that school and classwork create. Every single game and activity that is listed here IS used outside of gym classes. I work at a gym teaching recreational gymnastics...we use all of these...ALL OF THESE, in one way or another to help develop strength, agility, confidence, hand eye coordination, balance..the list goes on. WATER POLO IS AN OLYMPIC SPORT< BADMINTON IS AN OLYMPIC SPORT. I'm sorry but did Mike Tyson ever use a jump rope???? HMMM YEA along with every other boxer, wrestler or fighter. I wont even comment on the tumbling. Where did you get your degree? Sorry but school of Phoenix online doesn't count. You are an idiot........................................