Whether you’re into jewelry or not, this season is all about gold, silver and bronze. Medals that is. As we sit glued to our chairs watching the Summer Olympics in Rio, it reminds us about how elite athletes must train and dedicate their entire lives to their sport. Categories like swimming, track and field, gymnastics and many more weed out the mere gifted from those with near-superhuman powers.
So that got me thinking about an Olympics for a distinct set of “athletes” — the hipsters throughout Atlanta and other fair Southern cities. This population can be found anywhere but coaches and scouts most likely will find their future team in places like fair trade coffee houses, an underground music festival or any creative environment. We love these artistic, knit-capped men and women, so let’s run through what our ideal Hipster Olympics would feature.
The game of bocce (a ball sport belonging to the boules family) dates back to the days of the Roman Empire and is played, in some form or fashion, in Italy, France, other European countries and now, the United States. The premise is simple (though there are a few varieties of game play): Find a flat piece of ground (ideally a bocce court), throw the pallino/jack (smaller ball) far out on the court, then have members from each of the two teams throw/roll out their bocce balls and try and get it as close as possible to the pallino. The team with the closest ball to the target is the only one that scores points in the frame. And make no mistake — people such as The Governing Body of Bocce in the United States take it very seriously.
Though it has been a hit with older Italian men for centuries, hipsters have adopted this sport as one of their own. Places in Atlanta like Ormsby’s, Midway Pub and even Piedmont Park are welcoming avid bocce players (there’s even an organized league). Think of it as tactical, outdoor bowling where you can still hold a microbrew. Best part? Bocce may go from Hipster Olympics to actual Olympics if the committee approves the sport’s submitted candidacy to be included in the 2024 games — though we’re thinking the IOC won’t allow the beer drinking.
In what was once a lawn game, tailgating activity and children’s birthday party attraction, cornhole has become a beloved sport found throughout the country. The game is simple: Throw bean bags (or bags of corn, hence the name) at a raised wooden platform with a cut-out hole. If the bean bag falls through the hole, three points; if it lands on the platform, one point; if it slides off the platform or doesn’t even make it there, zero points (and probably take a shot).
We think cornhole grew in popularity with the hipster crowd for the same reason as many of these included sports: If you can socialize and carry a drink WHILE you’re actually competing, that already meets gold medal standards. The game is so popular with this demographic that now you can find it at wedding receptions, outdoor cocktail parties and offices where employees need to blow off some steam.
Forget about the Frolf you may have played during your college days; FootGolf is the new sport taking everyone’s attention. Hipsters who enjoy golf but can’t stand the use of a club can rejoice in the game that takes soccer to the greens! This precision sport has the player kick a regulation soccer ball on a golf course on shortened holes with 21-inch diameter cups.
Though this may sound like a storyline from Happy Madison, we promise this is a real sport that has been gaining lots of hipster and non-hipster followers, alike. Oh, and did we mention the dress code? Leave the Umbros and cleats at home — FootGolfers dress like their golfing counterparts, so load up on argyle and plaid!
Childhood Games (Dodgeball/Kickball/Board Games)
Many hipsters like to adopt certain sports as their own — games that aren’t mainstream, games that can be played while knocking back a cold PBR and games that are slightly odd. And, to this point, games that connect us to our childhood — dodgeball, tetherball, kickball and even board games. That’s right, those yellowing boxes collecting dust at your parents’ house are now super popular with the 20- and 30-something crowd looking to unleash their competitive glory all over Baltic Avenue.
And if you thought that nasty red rubber ball is tucked safely away in your middle school gymnasium, think again. Dodgeball and kickball have been gaining popularity for years (there are loads of leagues throughout Atlanta and the South), and it doesn’t look like the trend is disappearing any time soon.
We won’t explain the specific rules of these two playground staples but in the most basic terms, they are as follows:
- Dodgeball: Get hit, go out. Catch a ball, save a teammate.
- Kickball: Baseball with feet.
Show off those aggressively fitted jeans, horn-rimmed glasses and ironic T-shirt as part of your Hipster Olympic uniform, and get ready to compete for gold — golden, homebrewed kombucha, that is.
USA! USA! USA!
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