Baseball is the most popular game in the US. It is played throughout the spring and summer by schools, colleges and professional teams.
Football is the most popular game in the autumn. There are professional football teams in all the main cities of the United States. In American football there are eleven players in each team, as in original football, but the rules are different. Players are often hurt in American football. So the teams wear special clothing and helmets as in hockey.
Basketball is a very popular game in the United States too. It is especially popular in high schools, both among boys and girls.
The game of golf is very popular with businessmen and professional people. It is played by both men and women. There are now more golfers than tennis players.
Swimming, water siding and skin diving are popular summer sports. In winter many people go in for ice-skating, skiing and hockey if they live in the Northern and Central states.
Other sports include wrestling, boxing and horse-racing.
All kinds of sports and games are cultivated in our country as well as in England, the USA and other countries of the world. Tennis, hockey, volley-ball and football have become very popular in Russia. Football is my favourite sport. The term “football” is understood differently in the US and Britain. For a Britisher “football” is the same as what is known to be “ЖХФВПМ” in our country. For an American “football” means “rugby”, while the game usually played here in Russia is known as “soccer”. Soccer is played by two teams, equal in number, each consisting of eleven players. Tills is, properly speaking, genuine football, the ball being driven only by the feet. The eleven players take up their position on the field. The centre forward stands at the centre. On the right are the inside right and the outside right, on the left are the inside left and the outside left. The three half-backs are stationed behind the forward line. The goal is protected by the right back, the left back and the goalkeeper. No handling is allowed except by the goalkeeper.
Excellent technique, flexible modern tactics and good teamwork are characteristic features of modem football.
Many great holidays and anniversaries are celebrated in our country. On the 1st of May there is May Day — the holiday of spring and labour. On the 8th of March there is Women's Day — the holiday of all women and girls. We celebrate Day of Independence of Russia on the 12th June and Day of Russian Constitution on the 12th of December. Now people celebrate some religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter. But my favourite holiday is New Year's Day, of course. It is a really wonderful holiday. People get ready for this holiday long before it. They buy New Year trees and decorate them. Every year a fairy-tale comes to every house and every family on New Year's Eve. Children and even grown-ups wait for this day because they believe that all their wishes and desires come true and different wonderful miracles happen on that day.
On New Year' s Eve people get together to see “the old year out and the new year in”. They eat tasty food, drink champagne, dance and have a good time together. They wish each other happiness and good luck in the new year and put the presents under the New Year tree. Children like this holiday very much. They wait for New Year presents, which, they believe, Father Frost bring to them. Everybody is merry on that day and wishes the next year to be good and happy and all one's troubles and disappointments to remain in the past.
When we have time for leisure, we usually need something that can amuse and interest us. There are several ways to do this. People use radio or television. They switch on the radio set or TV set and choose the programme they like best. Some people like music. They listen to various concerts of modern and old music, new and old songs, and see dances. Those who are fond of sports listen to or watch football and hockey matches. These are the most popular kinds of sports. There are a lot of fans among people. They can also see championships in athletics and other kinds of sports. Radio and television extend our knowledge about the world. Television helps us to “visit” different lands, see new plants, animals, unusual birds, fish and insects, mountains and valleys, lakes, rivers and seas. We are shown different countries, cities and towns and people who live there. This is what we can do at home.
If we want to go out, there are a lot of cinemas, theatres, museums and clubs where we can spend our free time. It is often difficult to decide where to go in the evening. Newspapers tell us what is on at cinemas and theatres. If you are a theatre-goer, you will choose a play you want to see. If you are a film fan, you will go to a cinema. Those who are interested in music may go to a concert. Some people like to go to discos, some people prefer to go to see their friends or to go to a restaurant. Old traditions are coming to life. In some places they build “Huts, on hen's legs”, taverns in the old Russian style, where people can -meet their friends, have pleasant talks, eat Russian food and listen to Russian music. So you can see how interesting are the ways in which leisure time can be spent.