Here's a quick synopsis of the movie for those who have not seen the movie or read the book. Don't worry, I do not give too much away.
The story is based in the near future. A collapsed North America was replaced by Panem, a country that was divided into 12 districts. An over-reaching and intimidating government controlled every aspect of life including food consumption (sounds pretty plausible doesn't).
Every year, one teenage boy and girl from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games were held to intimidate the subjugated districts and quell any thoughts of rebellion. The amount of food consumed by a family during the previous year determines the number of lottery chances each kid in the family receives.
Once the lottery determines the contestant pool, each of the 24 contestants is whisked off to the capital and lavished with amazing food, clothes and accommodations. It's a far cry from the meager existence that they endure in their fenced in district.
During the pre-game ceremonies, the participants are paraded in front of fans who are eager to bet on their favorite participant. The contestants participate in a skills competition to gain favor with fans with hopes that adoring fans will provide help during the competition (medicine or advice).
When the games begin, the 24 participants are released into a large wooded fenced in reserve and forced to kill or be killed. The games are televised throughout Panem and the citizens are forced to watched. For some it was a fate to be feared, but for others it was an event they had trained for their entire lives. These eager young killers considered the award was worth the risk because last teen alive is revered forever.
A very young teen named Prim was selected as the mining district's female representative, however, Katniss, her brave older sister, volunteered to take her place. Katniss had strong survival instincts and was deft with a bow and arrow. Prin would not have lasted 1 minute.
Katniss was pitted against bigger and stronger representatives who had trained for this their whole lives.We sat on the edge of our seats as we shared a 12,000 calorie large bucket of buttered popcorn. Ironically, the amount of popcorn we consumed would have doomed my kids to participate in the Hunger Games.
Here are the similarities between The Hunger Games and Destination Travel Sports Tournaments like the Cooperstown Dreams Park youth baseball tournament that my son competed in several years ago.
1) Young kids are whisked away to a far away land to compete against other kids from different regions.
2) The kids compete in a secured fenced in compound with no chance of escape. There's no way to get out of the Cooperstown Dreams Park compound.
3) Before the games start, the kids are paraded around a stadium in front of a
4) All the contestants are required to wear the same facility provided uniforms.
5) After the parade and before the real event, there's a skills competition.
6) Some competitors are small. Some are large and strong.
7) Some are highly skilled competitors who work year round with personal trainers to prepare for the event, others are wide-eyed kids who received a few pointers from dad.
8) Kids trade pins before the event. (Katniss wore the pin her sister gave her.)
9) The young kids compete for days on end regardless of the conditions (the games must go on).
10) The games are televised (streamed to computers) so loved ones in far away places can watch.
11) Some teams are killed off early and disappear.
12) Only one emerges victorious. The one who is both mentally and physically tough.
The Main Point
See the movie.
Eat the popcorn before our over-reaching government outlaws it.
Take your kid to one of these once in a life time sports tournaments and pray they survive. They will and they will love it.
My kids have competed in Disney Wide World of Sports AAU National Tournaments for basketball and baseball. My son went to both the Cooperstown and Nations Baseball tournaments in upstate New York and Gulf Port Mississippi respectively.
And let me know if you see any other comparisons with youth sports travel destination sports tournaments.