Amazing Kids! Magazine

Word Booster – April 2014

By Ryan Traynor, Assistant Editor


With our theme this month (“Get a Move On”), I wanted to focus on sporting terms that may be unfamiliar to many people. Below you will find terms and phrases related to various sports. Knowing these terms and phrases will help your enjoyment of the sport because then you’ll understand the calls by referees, comments by newscasters, or rules of the game. I hope they prove valuable to you.


Man-to-man defense Each defensive player is assigned to a specific opposing team member.

The opposing team shifted to a man-to-man defense because the home team was up by 12 points.

Zone defense Each defender is assigned a certain area of the floor.

Their team chose a zone defense because they thought their players were evenly matched to the opposing team.


Ace  A serve where the receiver does not touch the tennis ball at all.

The player showed his superiority on the court by starting the match with an ace.

Backhand  Hitting the tennis ball with the back side of the racket. This means that if you are right handed, your right arm will be reaching across your body to hit a ball on your left. The opposite way for left handed people.

The tennis player was much weaker when using his backhand.

Fault  A serve that lands out of the service box. The game of play does not start until it lands inside of the box.

The excitement continued to build in the match as the server started his service with a fault.

Rally  A series of hits back and forth by each player. This ends when one player fails to return a hit.

The rally lasted for 10 rounds, causing the crowd to sit on the edge of their chairs.

Set Point  When the leading player needs one more point to win the set.

Being at set point, the server took a sip of water to calm down.

Volley  Hitting the ball before letting it bounce on your own side.

The player returned the sharp return with a volley.


Around the horn  A double play going from third base to second to first.

The play went around the horn, causing the crowd to rise to their feet in applause.

Ace  A team’s best starting pitcher.

The first game of the playoffs led each team to start their ace.

Wheelhouse  A hitter’s power zone which is usually a pitch waist-high and over the heart of the plate.

The player passed on the pitch, waiting for a ball in his wheelhouse.


Hands to the face  A penalty where a defender uses his hands to strike an offensive player’s face mask.

The hands to the face penalty took the offense out of scoring range.

Encroachment  A penalty where a defender is in the neutral zone before the ball is snapped which results in a 5 yard penalty.

The player was charged with encroachment because he moved before the ball was snapped. He thought movement on the offensive line meant the ball was in play.

End around – A running play where a wide receiver carries the ball around the end of his offensive line.

Seeing the defenders lined up on his side of the field, the carrier did an end around to confuse them.

Fumble – The drop of a ball that a carrier had under their control.

The fumble caused the home team to lose any chance of scoring a touchdown before the time ran out.

Hang time – The amount of time that a punt stays in the air. A longer hang time is better for the punting team as the tacklers then get more time to get to where the ball will be coming down.

Seeing the long hang time of the punt, the defenders ran down the field like the wind so they could make a quick tackle at the catch.