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I'm not sure if this is the right stack; let me know if this question is best suited elsewhere.

I quite like a variety of activities and sports which involve precise throwing or hitting, such as tennis, frisbee, and throwing darts. However, I don't like bending over to pick up the object every time I fail - missing a catch, ending a rally, botching a throw, etc. Bending over a bunch makes my stomach hurt a little and hinders my enjoyment of the activities.

For this reason, I've found myself gravitating towards rope dart, a flow art which never requires you to bend over to pick it up. I quite like rope dart (and the idea of object manipulation skills in general), but something within me craves a longer reach (rope darts are traditionally about 3 meters long). I want to be able to send an object farther, but still not have to walk over and slowly bend over to pick it up every time.

This got me thinking - what is the longest range activity that doesn't necessitate me bending over a lot?

Activities should be assessed by these criteria:

  • long reach - I want to be able to send something far

  • minimal bending over required - any sort of frequent picking up by hand of a ball or object is a no-go. It's ok if it's needed sparingly, but this should be true without needing high skill (e.g. frisbee technically doesn't need bending over, but only if you're good). Picking up with feet or some tool is ok, as long as it's not very challenging to do so

Bonus points if these are met, but not required:

  • both solo and group-based activities are acceptable, though I'd prefer solo activities

  • I'd prefer minimal walking, as that also hinders the emotional momentum. For example, golf requires little bending over, but takes forever walking between strokes (sans golf cart)

Creative or obscure activities are welcome too!

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  • In some sports it can be resolved by packing a ton of balls/projectiles. I.e. table tennis is a lot more fun if both sides of the table have a bin with a few dozen balls, though eventually it becomes challenging to run around the table without stepping on one :) Jul 26 at 15:45
  • 1
    You could try a golf driving range, where you need no effort to retrieve the balls, since that's someone else's job. Jul 26 at 15:58
  • 2
    Getting a dog and a ball picker/launcher means you won't have to fetch the ball yourself (if the dog is smart enough), and you can chuck the ball a long way. Jul 26 at 17:41
  • Varmint Hunting. 500 yards, no walking, and nothing to pick up.
    – Mike
    Jul 26 at 19:50
  • @Mike I could've sworn this said vampire hunting when I first read it ;) archery is an alright idea, though you'll have to search for and pick up any arrows you miss. Perhaps I just need a bigger target!
    – Drake P
    Jul 26 at 20:38
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So many different categories here:

  • the rope idea leads to lasso work. If you fail to lasso what you were trying for, you just haul the rope back in. You could also do tricks like spinning a loop over your head, in front of you, stepping through it, etc.
  • javelins go far. I don't know how often they lie down flat on the ground vs sticking out of it, but I expect most of the time there is no bending over
  • play in the water. Eg water polo or a variant in a lake, with a ball that floats.
  • play something that is designed to stay on the ground, like in hockey. Ball hockey in the summer would mean you don't pick up the ball, you just use your stick on it. You might also get good at "picking up" the ball with your hockey stick, bouncing it on the blade, etc
  • play with a partner who doesn't mind doing the picking up. A dog springs immediately to mind, but you could also find an understanding human partner.

You could make your own combinations of these by doing things like attaching fishing line to tennis balls that you throw at floating targets in a lake and then retrieve, you're limited only by your imagination really.

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Tetherball. Basically a volleyball on a cord mounted to a pole. You can invent variations on this using different weight balls, and different mounting techniques.

Paddleball is played against a solid wall -- brick or concrete. One of the standard practice modes is to hit the ball against the wall, and be in position to hit it again.

If you don't have a wall, hitting it straight up is an option. If you get too good at this, switch from a paddleball to a squash ball.

My friend and I would play doubles badminton against the wind. Singles would work too. Extending this concept, you could use any light weight ball: whiffle ball, nerf ball. Some beach locations have very predictable on shore winds.

Combine this with a lacrosse stick. Now you can pick up the ball with little bending and throw it into the wind, then catch it.

The right kind of boomerang might work. A boomerang has significant momentum and can injure you if you don't catch it right. You will still need to pick it up if you miss. I suggest starting with light weight ones. Boomerangs are easy to make out of plywood. Baltic birch is the best, but any will do. You will need a belt sander to shape the airfoil.

Pet stores carry a throwing stick that can pickup a tennis ball with only a slight bend. Couple this with a dog that will fetch. Balls get lost. Get brightly coloured spares.

Groundskeepers have tongs they use to pick up litter.

In some cases you could glue a washer to an object, then use magnet on a stick to pick it up. The magnet could be on the tip of a walking stick.

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Canoe polo (or kayak polo depending on country)

Yes it's a ball sport, but there's also no walking to worry about and there's no bending over to pick up dropped balls because you're already sitting down.

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Fishing - cast a line out and reel it back in. The longest cast I can find is here (YouTube), and is 313 - 325 yards (~290ish metres).

Or, if you are even lazier, you can get systems to fly a line-carrying drone/UAV out, and release it, then the line is wound in by a winch (see paper on these here). These systems can be up to 1 km (0.6 mi) long. You can also get motorized floating systems that float the line out, such as the Kontiki systems.

I have no affiliations with any person or company mentioned in the links.

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