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  Bookends: Dan Davidson

Sports: The Complete Visual Reference

Reviewed: December 5, 2003
By: edited by Francis Fortin
Publisher: Firefly Books
384 pages, $29.95

There are a great many sports about which I know virtually nothing. Most them I could care less about, so a book like this is both useful and not useful to me. Where it could come in hand is if I needed to research how something worked for some reason.

Volleyball is a sport which is very big at the school where I teach. I havenít played it since I was in high school, so aside from watching my students during tournaments, I know very little about the current rules. The volleyball section of this book is quite thorough. The history of the sport is given in a few hundred words at the top of the first page,. Most of the rest of the three page segment is used to explain how the court is set up and what the major moves are. There were also several sidebar captioned illustrations showcasing the equipment and a full court illustration showing the basic positions.

It seemed to be quite complete.

Cricket is a sport which everyone says is hard to fathom, and when itís used as a plot point in novels it generally makes less sense than Quiddich. It is found under the Ball Sports (small ball) section of the bookís 19 larger divisions. It gets four pages, but there seems to be a lot more established tradition to account for here. The format of the presentation is the same, and works quite well here, too. I came away from this short chapter feeling like i knew a lot more about the sport than I had before I read it.

Over all, this seems to be an excellent resource book, nicely illustrated (over 1000 drawings) and cleanly written.

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