The Old fashioned Game of Bowls.

The Old-fashioned Game of Bowls.

One of the most fascinating in the whole list of summer sports is canoeing. There is, indeed, no reason why a boy who can swim should not paddle his own canoe without assistance or watching. Mr. John Habberton tells a story of offering a watch and chain to one of his boys if he could prove himself able to upset a canoe while sitting in the bottom. Mr. Habberton declares that he saved both the watch and the boy; for the canoe could not be tipped over.

Canoe-racing has perhaps injured quite as much as it has benefited the sport of canoe-cruising. The racers have devised improvements in model and in rig, of which the canoeists who do not race have taken advantage; but they have contrived by their recklessness in carrying too much sail, and by the upsets which naturally follow, to foster a public impression that the canoe is a cranky craft. This, as may be learned from Mr. Habberton's experience, is not the case.

The regulation canoe is decked over, except where the small well-hole appears in the centre. Waves of ordinary size, therefore, cannot break over the coverings.

The limited crew of a canoe should always sit upon the bottom of the craft. The canoe, if thus handled, will be found remarkably free from rolling, and, being furnished with air-tight compartments, nearly as safe as an ordinary row-boat.

The Canoeist's Landing.

The Canoeist's Landing.

It is difficult to fill or swamp a well-built and properly managed canoe, and it is impossible to sink her when full. She will outride any form of row-boat, and will live through a storm in which a small steam-launch will go down.

The cost of a canoeist's outfit varies all the way from ten to four hundred dollars; but just as much fun and exercise can be had with a home-made affair or a cheap canoe as with the most elegant boat in the market, rich in polished mahogany and Spanish cedar, and glittering with silver-plating.

Girls, as well as boys, make expert canoeists; and the sport is healthful, safe, and altogether delightful.

As a capital game of strength and skill, played at many a jolly picnic and on many a shady stretch of lawn or level ground, the game of Quoits has for generations proved a source of interest, enjoyment, and friendly rivalry.

Quoits is but a modern adaptation of the old Grecian game of Throwing the Discus.

There is, however, this difference: the discus was a much heavier ring than is the modern quoit; and the object of the old Greek game was to determine which discobolus had the stronger arm, and could throw his discus farthest. In Quoits the object is to place the quoit nearest a certain fixed point.

The iron rings are thrown at the pin, or "hob," placed from forty to sixty feet away. The object is to ring the hob, - a task rarely accomplished, - or to get as near to the hob as possible.

The Quoit Thrower.

The Quoit Thrower. (Copy of the Marble of the Discobolus of the Vatican.)

Players may throw alternately, or sides may be chosen. Each player throws all his quoits; and when all have been cast an investigation is made. If A (supposing him to have thrown three quoits) has placed his three nearer the hob than has B, he counts three toward the total score. If one of his is nearest the hob, and B owns the next nearest, then A can count but one, no matter how closely to the hob his other quoits may lie. The same rule holds good in playing sides.

When the count has been determined, the players stand at the hob first played at, and throw their quoits at a hob driven in at the starting-point. This alternate playing is continued until the full score has been made by one side or player. The total score is twenty-one. If a quoit rings the hob, - that is, completely encircles it, - the successful pitcher counts ten.

The "science" in Quoits consists in careful throwing. Hold the flat side of the quoit downward, with the forefinger resting in the notch and the thumb on the upper side. Give the quoit a spinning motion with the forefinger, so that it will fall with its edge downward, cutting its way into the ground, with its flat side toward the thrower. The quoit may be best aimed by sighting the hob through the hole in the centre. Don't throw the quoit so that it will "wobble," and not stick in the ground, or so that its flat side is up. This last is sometimes counted as a dead quoit, and has no claim in the score.

The throwers may grow tired before the game is over; but it is a "healthy tired" if the distances are not too great, and the sport is one fitted to strengthen the muscles and train the eyes of strong-limbed boys and girls.

An exciting though sometimes a rather rough game for the boys to play is "Ball in the Hole," or "Nine Holes" as it is sometimes called. The simple description taken from the "American Boys' Book of Sports "fully describes a game that is as popular among the street-boys of New York as among the boys who have plenty of space and elbow-room in the open and breezy country.

"Dig near a wall," says the "Boys' Book," "nine holes of about six inches in diameter and three deep. Let each player have one of these, according to his number, which must be determined by lot. At about six yards from the holes draw a line; and from this, as a fielding-place, one player pitches the ball into one of the holes.

"The boy to whom this hole is assigned immediately runs to it, while all the players run off in different directions.

"The player snatches the ball from the hole, and throws it at one of the runners. If he hits him, the boy thus struck becomes the pitcher, and the one that struck him counts one. Should he not hit him, the player who throws the ball loses a point, and bowls.

"The player who misses his aim at throwing the ball at his partners a second time, becomes a tenner.' If he loses the third hit, he is a ' fif-teener; ' if the fourth, he stands out and can play no more."

When all the players are thus out, the last player remaining in wins the game; and he can compel each of the losers to stand against the wall and be "peppered" by the successful player with the ball used in the game. This "peppering" should, how ever, be done mildly, if at all; for a victor should always remember to be moderate in his hour of victory.

Moderation is good in all things - in summer sports as well as in winter work. But competition is also healthy; and if there be thus a genuine, whole-souled attempt, on the part of all the boys who admire physical strength and prowess, to allow only the good and ennobling influences in their play to work upon their characters, then I am sure that they will be "backed up" and encouraged by their elders in all the enthusiasm they show in that direction.

Athletics, in one form or another, are nearly as old as history itself; and the present attempt, under the encouragement of several college professors, to revive the Olympic games in Greece, indicates that students of history realize there is something more to be gained by such a gathering than the mere settling of a disputed championship. It rests, however, with the youth who engage actively in the contests to show what they are capable of doing in the strengthening of both body and character.