The Necessary Vocabulary
(4) When playing sports
Each sport has tones (=a lot) of specific terms and there is no benefit in learning them all unless one practices the sport itself. So we've chosen a few which seem to be most interesting.
football (=footie) is played on a football pitch (=an extent of grass with appropriate marking) and the football (=the ball) is to be kicked into the other team's goal. Their goalkeeper normally tries to prevent it. The guy in the black shirt and with a whistle that runs around and occasionally whistles and puts his hand up with a yellow or a red card is called the referee. People watching a match are football supporters or football fans. They might think the team they're supporting is losing only because the referee is biased towards the other team.
The wooden rod you play hockey with is called a hockey-stick, while the one used in cricket (or baseball) is a bat.
The thing which you hold in your hand playing tennis or badminton is a racketľ as opposite to a rocket that shoots into the space.
The strange thing you hit playing badminton is called a shuttle, mainly because it regularly (well, that depends on the players) goes away and comes back, which is the idea behind being a shuttle as in:
'There is a shuttle service operating between the airport and the City.'
=there's a train or a bus that travels regularly between those two places
'A space shuttle is superior to a rocket as it can be used again and again.'
=space shuttles are used to put loads in space and then return.
People play games because they enjoy it as a social interaction and because they want to keep fit (=have a slim body). However, there's plenty of other ways to stay fit. A few examples:
'Mark is a keen cross-country runner' =he loves X-country, running on the fields and in the wild. It's much more popular in England than in Poland, although admittedly there isn't enough countryside over here to do it without getting onto a highway (=a major public road).
'Adam is a gym freak' =he often goes to the gym and (as the speaker thinks) much too often. A gym here is short (and more popular) for a gymnasium (=a large room with weights for lifting, horizontal bars and other equipment for exercising the body), and it's worth remembering as in our slightly out-dated Polish-English dictionaries it's still somehow more frequent to get 'silownia' translated as 'a power plant'.
Dumbbells are free weights with a short bar, the ones that you hold only with one hand. Barbells are the ones you hold with both hands.
When you exercise, you're careful not to dehydrate your body (=not to lose too much water from your body), as this decreases your performance and may lead to injury.
'Laura does martial arts' =she practices judo, karate or similar.
One other use of the word 'martial' is in the expression 'martial law' as in:
'On 13 December 1981 martial law has been introduced in Poland.'