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Sports That Don't Involve a Ball

By Julie De Savia Dunlop

The word "sports" may fill your head with images of football, basketball, baseball and soccer. But many challenging and competitive sports do not require ball throwing, catching or kicking. Many top athletes strive to achieve excellence, reach goals and learn the spirit of sportsmanship in sports that do not involve ball handling of any sort.


Springboard diving and platform diving entail great dedication, precision and discipline. They involve jumping or falling into a swimming pool in different dive positions such as a tuck, pike or layout. Diving with twists, turns and somersaults requires great acrobatics and body control. Diving is a popular spectator sport.


Gymnastics can be traced back to ancient Greece. It is an intense sport that requires great strength as your body stretches, bends and balances while performing routines on the floor or on an apparatus such as a beam or bars. Flexibility, grace and agility are apparent as exercises are meticulously executed.

Road Cycling

The sport of road cycling, racing lightweight bicycles on paved streets, is especially popular in Europe. American Lance Armstrong, a seven-time winner of the three-week Tour de France cycle race, breathed new life into the sport for Americans. Interval training is necessary to prepare your body for the rigors of continuous cycling during long road races. Road cycling provides a strenuous cardiovascular workout and can include spectacular scenery.

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Downhill Skiing

Downhill skiing entails using gravity to move down a snowy mountain with long, thin skis attached to your feet. Lightweight metal poles are held in each of your hands to aid in maneuvering down the mountain.The challenge is to move on to steeper, faster, longer and more challenging paths, or runs, down the mountain. Competitors strive to go from start to finish with the fastest times.


Racing on foot dates back to the ancient Olympic Games. Track is a seriously competitive sport that has worldwide popularity. You can race around the oval track, with a grassy inner field, as an individual or as part of a relay team. There are races ranging from short sprints of 100 meters to long distances of 10,000 meters.

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