Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Just one president has a sport named after him

(Read article summary)
About these ads

Sure, President Obama plays sports (golf, basketball). He talks about sports (he's pushed for a college football playoff). He's even lobbied for Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics.

But, historic as Mr. Obama's presidency is, here's a height he has yet to scale: He hasn't had a sport named after him. And that means Herbert Hoover's place in sports history remains secure.

What? You thought maybe there was a President Lacrosse you'd never learned about? Herbert Clark Hoover, the shortish ex-mining engineer who preceded the Depression, remains the only US chief executive with an eponymous athletic activity.

It's called Hooverball, and it's sort of a cross between tennis and heavy construction. But first, the back story:

Herbert Hoover didn't like formal exercise. Campaigning for president in 1928, he gained some 20 pounds. So after Hoover won the election, White House physician Adm. Jole Boone invented a game to keep the new president physically fit.

He laid out a grass court, sort of like tennis. He strung a high net across it, as in volleyball. Then he gave two teams a six-pound medicine ball to throw back and forth.

If you didn't catch the ball on the fly, you lost the point. Scoring was on the tennis love-15-30-40 scale. Given the ball's weight and the amount players had to run, they used pretty much every muscle in their bodies.


Page:   1   |   2

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.