Ever heard the phrase, “You’re not playing for sheep stations?” Essentially it means chill out people, the world is not riding on the outcome of this game. For a better definitions, Wikipedia says The phrase is a traditional Australian English term to denote something large and/or important. A sheep station is a large sheep farm in Australia or New Zealand. The phrase ‘playing for sheep stations’ has both a literal and ironic usage. Literally, it is used to encourage participants to play in a friendly and not too competitive manner. Playing sport or cards or a game of some sort, but not for prizes, one might say ‘take it easy, we’re not playing for sheep stations’
Well that could pretty much sum up my last hour playing netball. The team I play with are all really lovely people, mild mannered and polite. We aren’t the best team around, in fact we are kind of crap. To look at us we look like we would be more at home at a Trekie convention, not that I have ever been to one or know what Trekies really look like. Maybe we all look like we would be more at home in a library or pinball parlour or even a take away store. Essentially we all look like we belong anywhere other than at a sporting venue actually competing. In short, we are in general, short, unco-ordinated looking, and in some cases quite frumpy looking. Despite that there are hidden sporting talents within the team – one player goes mountain biking all over Asia and another runs marathons just for the hell of it. There are no real stars on the team, far from it yet somehow the team as a whole seems greater than the summary of its individuals. We play well together but we play nice and have fun. The competition we play in is a social competition with teams of all abilities playing against each other. Some teams get flogged week after week and one or two teams must be so bored winning every week. The rest of us have really competitive games each week.
The team we played this week is a team of the same ability as ours and throughout the first quarter were goal for goal and I thought we were in for a good fun game. The second quarter began and I started to notice the other team getting snipey and complaining about the umpiring. We always know that the umpiring is bad, but at least it is consistently bad so you take no notice of it. Then they started bagging the players on their own team. The strange thing is, the more they gave each other a hard time, the better we played!
Anyway, we were playing our usual game, not aggressive but determined and the other team started to play really hard and run through players. Now I can take a fair hit but when a guy who is built like a truck and is 6 ft 4 or so runs through me, it kind of hurts. I wasn’t the only one getting hit but they kept on running through us. Naturally the umpires weren’t assertive enough to stop the dangerous play so we took a step back, we have had far too many people injured playing on our team. Luckily we weren’t hurt more than a few extra bruises and we won the game but Hello peoples on the other team, we are NOT playing for sheep stations. Take a chill pill and play safely, it is a social competition meant to be fun!
Well that is my 2 cents worth. Now I need a shower.