News

Professor introduces historic game to fitness and jogging class

By: HANNAH DEMCHAK
Staff Writer

IU South Bend has a wide variety of physical fitness classes to sign up for—ranging from dance classes to yoga classes—which give students the opportunity to fulfill degree requirements as well as exercise and interact with new people.

One such class has a lot of physical activity, but also includes a bit of a history lesson too.

“Hoover Ball” was invented by President Herbert Hoover’s physician to provide a form of exercise for the president, and IUSB fitness instructor Marlin Schmidt has incorporated it into his classes.

The game is a combination of tennis, volleyball and medicine ball. It requires two to four players and is scored exactly like tennis.

Hoover played the game with the cabinet members and staff of the White House during the winter months wearing long overcoats.

The objective of the game is to throw the medicine ball over an eight-foot net and immediately return the ball back just as a tennis player would. If the ball hits the ground on a player’s side of the court, then the opponent will get the point.

After Schmidt read about President Hoover and Hoover Ball, he immediately purchased a six- pound medicine ball so that he could introduce the game to his fitness and jogging class, he said.

“There were 6 students in my fitness and jogging class that were willing to give it a try, and then at 9 a.m., I needed to remind them that class was over and they could quit,” Schmidt said. “They wanted to finish their game. Two others joined in, one being the instructor for the basketball class. They found the game fun, and a good workout. It also lets the students get to know each other better.”

This game is particularly unfamiliar to the South Bend area, and is known to be a better workout than handball, Schmidt said. He wanted to bring the game to IUSB because he believes that it is a great addition to physical fitness.

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