Sports Terms

you never cared enough to ask about

These days you can’t walk into a restaurant, checkout line or elevator without being bombarded by sports. From scores, news and stats to the latest athletic exploits, the world of sports has encroached upon our everyday existence whether we like it or not. If you’ve got more than a passing interest in this field, you’ll understand these phrases already, but, if you’re like the rest of us, and you think a “charge” only comes into play when it’s related to credit cards, read on.

The Backhand Shot 

For those of us unfamiliar with the ins-and-outs of ice hockey, this term might read more like an insincere compliment that’s presented as more of a stinging insult than flattery. Hence, the backhand. However, to ice hockey fans, the backhand shot is a pass made with the stick from the left side by a right-handed player or from the right side by a left-handed player. No harm or foul involved here.


Here again, this term contains several meanings for the uninitiated – particularly to those with a yen for cosmetic application and vanity. No self-respecting fashionista or metrosexual wants to be caught in plain sight with unintended bits exposed. Such lack of coverage is not only unsightly, it’s downright embarrassing. But football fanatics understand this one as something altogether different. Coverage exists when a player is prevented from gaining yards in either kicking or passing.


To the super body-conscious among us, dimples are only flattering on facial cheeks. Anywhere else is commonly considered a problem of large proportions. In golf, though, dimples refer to the indented surface and pattern arrangement on golf balls. How they are situated can affect how long, how far and how well the ball travels. And, just like their placement on the human body, the positioning of golf ball dimples varies across brands.

Triple Double 

Unlike an emotional urge to smooth over hurt feelings with an extra-generous helping of fatty frozen desserts like, say, the gloppy goodness of hot fudge sundaes, the triple double takes on new meaning in the world of sports. As it pertains to basketball, the triple double occurs when a player scores double digits across three categories during one game. While considered a sign of great (calorie-free) versatility in basketball, the triple double’s ultimately not so great for heartbreak.


When you’re talking soccer, the charge occurs when the player runs into the opponent. It’s legal when it’s done from the front or side of the player with the ball, but illegal when the player is charged from behind and when he doesn’t have the ball. Away from the field, however, the charge is frequently pulled (in stores, restaurants and online, for example) and can often rack up severe penalties for overuse. Especially if the carrier’s interest rates are high.