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Sports all have flaws, but kids can still find ones that are good matches

If baseball is too slow, try watching hockey. Or follow the amazing athletes of the NBA. There’s a game for every kid to watch and play.

The United States and England compete during the World Cup in Qatar on Friday. The game ended with a score of 0-0. That's not too exciting for soccer fans. But no sport is perfect. (Abbie Parr/AP)

Like many sports fans, I have been watching the World Cup soccer matches. With so many upsets and star players, the tournament has been fun and exciting.

Still, soccer is too low-scoring for me. Through Wednesday’s matches — that’s 40 matches — 30 teams have failed to score a single goal during the 90 minutes of play. I love the continuous action, but I wish there were more goals.

No game is perfect. For example, I love baseball. For me, the game has dramatic moments, flashes of stirring action and an unequaled history that connects it to the United States.

But I admit that baseball is slow. There are too many strikeouts and times when nothing is happening. Come on, play ball!

I also watch (and play) golf. Watching Lydia Ko or Rory McIlroy line up a long putt makes baseball look positively hectic. I watch golf because the major tournaments are usually close and dramatic. The tournaments are also interesting because they are played on beautiful courses such as Pebble Beach in California and Augusta National in Georgia.

Football is the most popular sport to watch. Seventeen of the 20 most-watched television shows of 2021 were National Football League (NFL) and college football games.

I can see why the games are popular on TV. Most are hard-fought, and the players who throw, catch and run with the football are amazing athletes. The game, however, is violent. Especially at the NFL and major college levels. The players are so big and fast that many end up hurting their bodies, including their brains.

Hockey is rough too. I love the speed of the game and the wondrous things players can do with the puck. Hockey, however, may be too fast. I almost never see how the goal was scored because the puck is moving so quickly.

Maybe that’s why I like basketball. I can see the ball as it moves around the court and goes through the net. There’s plenty of action, and the players are amazing athletes.

Basketball, however, has a big problem. You have to be big to play the game at the highest level. The average player in the National Basketball Association is 6 feet 6 inches tall. That is about nine inches taller than the average American man.

It’s the same story with women’s hoops. The average Women’s National Basketball Association player is about 5-foot-11 or 6 feet tall. That’s seven to eight inches taller than the average American woman. It’s hard for a regular-size person to play hoops.

I’m complaining too much. There are so many kinds of games for kids. And I haven’t mentioned lacrosse, swimming or many others.

So find some sports you like to watch and play. Those are the ones that are perfect for you.

Fred Bowen writes the sports opinion column for KidsPost. He is the author of 27 sports books for kids. His latest book is “Hardcourt: Stories From 75 Years of the National Basketball Association.”