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Playing catch is a relaxing pastime which gives access to some physical activity and engages the brain, while also providing space for conversation. Many important topics that might be missed sitting across a table have found their way into the forefront of a game of catch. 

For National Play Catch Day, it’s time to grab a friend and a ball of choice, and head outside to play catch! This could be with a football, a baseball or softball and a couple of gloves, or even a tennis ball. The details don’t really matter as much as the fact that playing a game of catch with a friend, or even a stranger, can build relationships and make the world a better place.

History of National Play Catch Week

National Play Catch Week was founded through the efforts of the Play Catch Foundation, with the purpose of bringing attention to and raising awareness about the benefits of spending time with someone and simply tossing a ball back and forth.

The inspiration for National Play Catch Day came from a man named Rhett Grametbauer back in 2013 when he made an epic road trip to visit every NFL stadium in the US. Making his way from place to place in a VW bus, Grametbauer was reminded about how much he loved playing catch and how much others seemed to as well. Strangers he came across, from the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge to the St. Louis Gateway Arch, were keen to get involved in playing catch.

Eventually, in 2018, National Play Catch Week was founded to coincide with the week of Father’s Day. That time of the year makes this a great opportunity for fathers to engage with their sons and daughters in a game of catch. With seven full days of this event to enjoy, it’s easy to have some fun, enjoy some exercise, get some fresh air, and even make a friendly competition out of playing catch. And don’t stop there – it’s fun and easy to spend lots of time all throughout the summer enjoying the delightful pastime of playing catch.

How to Celebrate National Play Catch Week

Get outside, get moving, and get to playing catch! That’s right, it’s time to observe and celebrate National Play Catch Week, with some of these ideas to get started with:

Play Catch

From the youngest to the oldest, playing catch is accessible to almost anyone no matter their age. Babies can learn at a very early age to play catch with a soft, squishy ball. Older folks or those who need to remain sitting can still play catch while in a chair. Even dogs can play catch – well, technically it’s more like fetch because they can’t throw it, but they can bring it back. But it can still be loads of fun!

One of the great things about National Play Catch Week is that it is also extremely accessible. Catch requires only one piece of equipment – a ball. And that could be picked up at a local discount store for around a dollar. Or, even cheaper, a ball can be made from things found around the garage or in the house, like old newspapers wadded up and fixed with masking tape or a ball of twine or rubber bands.

Learn Benefits of Playing Catch 

Wondering what the big deal is all about with National Play Catch Week? Check out some reasons why playing catch is a good idea with some of these benefits:

  • Playing catch with someone else fosters community interaction.

  • Playing catch is good physical activity as it engages muscles that might otherwise be dormant, without requiring a lot of impact or cardio.

  • Playing catch can help improve hand/eye coordination while keeping the blood flowing throughout the body.

  • Playing catch can increase serotonin levels and reduce the levels of stress hormones.

Start a Play Catch Community Group

Though it might be easiest to just head out to the back yard to play catch, it could be really fun to turn this into a community event by starting a play catch group at the neighborhood park or other local green space. Grab a few balls of different shapes and sizes, then head over to the park. Either bring a friend or invite someone to play catch after arriving. Agree to meet in the park on a regular basis and invite others along. Get excited about National Play Catch Week and perhaps make it last all summer long!

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