[ESPN The Magazine, 13 July 2009]
By Richard Morgan
Like the brainy approach to athletics but prefer to sweat while you’re at it? The congressionally chartered National Academy of Public Administration recently unveiled Budgetball (budgetball.org), a noncontact, coed sport created to teach America’s youth a bit of fiscal responsibility. The game play is basic: It’s essentially two teams of six playing Ultimate, except with a volleyball—but it features rules that enable teams to impose certain disadvantages on themselves to potentially earn more points.
(A team can, for example, be rewarded for electing to have one of its members wear mitts on his or her hands.) “It’s a fun way to have a tough conversation,” says Bryna Helfer, NAPA’s senior director of civic engage- ment, who points out that the average student graduates from college with between $15,000 and $22,000 in debt. And the game tackles the lingering national obesity problem to boot.
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