Zim Zam Games
What are Zim Zam Games?
Back in the 80’s my sister had an awesome game that we used to play every time I visited her. The game? Zimm Zamm. (which I thought was spelled Zim Zam until I saw this old picture on Google.)
The principle was simple, a tennis ball on a rope, a pole with a coil at the top and two paddles. You would hit the ball back and forth around the pole with one player trying to get the rope loop to the top of the coil, and the other trying to send it to the bottom of the coil.
It’s much like tether-ball, or maybe a better term is tether-tennis. Either way, it was a blast! We used to set up competitions, and being younger I almost always lost, but it was so much fun. Unlike other outdoor games like badminton and volleyball, the game was portable and didn’t take up much room in the yard. We could take it to the beach, friends houses for barbeques and even to the park with the younger kids. Take it out of the box, stick the pole in the ground and grab the paddles and you were ready to play.
One of the best things about this game? If there are no opponents available for a match, you can practice your moves or just get a good workout playing all by yourself. No running after the ball because it just swings around the pole 360 degrees, Allowing you to work on both your forehand and backhand swing. Even great for tennis lovers who want to practice even when they can’t get to the court.
Recently I saw this picture of the old game we all loved, and I wanted to buy my own – only to find that Tyco is no longer, and the Original Zimm Zamm Game is no longer available either.
Zimm Zamm Style Games
I started looking around for new versions of the game by other companies. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are several Zim Zam Games or Swingball as some of them are being called to choose from.
I remembered from the Original Zimm Zamm game, that if someone playing was overly aggressive the pole would become loose in the ground at times, so I noted that there are versions that have a base you fill with water or sand. Back in the 80’s our solution was to tell the one smashing the ball to lighten up!
At right, is one of the higher rated versions with a base. This one is called Super Swingball by Hearthsong.
I like how the base is also the carrying case for the game, so it is easy to keep it all together and ready to go whether you want to break it out for a backyard party, or if you want to take it along camping or for a day at the beach.
(The picture link will take you to Amazon.com. )
Other Zim Zam Games
There are several other companies that offer Zimm Zamm Games, and some even have the old stake style where you push the pole directly into the ground. If you have really hard or really soft ground, these styles may not be right for you. But a good firm ground is perfect. So it depends on your personal preference, and just how much of a tennis ‘animal’ you are.
Ordinary force in hitting either style will hold up okay. If you have those around who will smack that ball like they are going to send it to the other side of the world, I think you would do better on the more firm ground with the stake style or the filled base models of Zim Zam Games.
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Zim Zam Game for Younger Players
There are even Swingball sets for younger players, with a lighter racquet, and the “My First Swingball” set has a softer foam ball for safer play with younger children.
Both of these sets are good for children from 3 yrs to 15 yrs old, and will help promote not only some aerobic activity, but helps them develop better eye hand coordination as they have fun.
No matter what your style, size or brand, the current versions of Zimm Zamm are sure to give you and your kids some great family fun, exercise and build better hand-eye coordination. At our house we are loving this modern take on an old classic game that was a huge part of play time when we were growing up.