Tchoukball is one of the niche sports in which direct contact is forbidden and thus the risk of fouls is reduced to a minimum. What else is worth knowing about the sport called “chukball” in Poland?
Everyone has heard of sports such as soccer or volleyball. Most people are able to name at least the basic rules of these games. However, there is no shortage of enthusiasts of slightly more niche sports. Among the interesting disciplines, in which interest is constantly growing, we can mention tchoukball. Its rules were developed in the 1970s.
The creator of this sport is considered to be Hermann Brandt, a biologist from Switzerland, who wanted to create a kind of non-contact sports game, during which the players would not be exposed to direct contact with each other, which could lead to serious and painful injuries. The goal was to eliminate injuries, thus allowing players to develop their athletic careers without fear for their health. However, Brandt did not live to see the popularization of the sport he created. He died in 1972, when tchoukball was just beginning. Nowadays, tchoukball games are becoming more and more common.
In order to play tchoukball, a pitch is necessary. Interestingly, matches can be played on different surfaces; artificial, wooden, and even sand. Two teams compete against each other on a 27 × 16 meter field. Beach tchoukball is played on a smaller pitch. Teams consist of seven players (five for the beach version). The goal area is a semicircle with a radius of 3 meters, and the players’ task is to place the ball in the goal so that it bounces off the net and hits the ground in the permitted area. Importantly, neither the ball nor any of the players can be inside the goal area.
Tchoukball is a very unusual sport. The goals are very characteristic; they are squares with a side length of 1 meter. The goals are set up in such a way that the angle between them and the playing surface is 55 degrees. The players play with a ball similar to the one used in handball matches.
Each game consists of three periods and each period lasts 15 minutes. Five-minute breaks are allowed between periods. The players are not allowed to play with the ball, and they can only take two steps with it in their hands. The game is very fast – a player may not possess the ball for more than three seconds. The team that plays the ball scores a point when it bounces off the goal and the ball falls on the field of play in the allowed area. Interestingly, defensive players cannot intercept the ball between opponents’ passes. Their job is solely to defend the goal and prevent attacking players from bouncing the ball off the goal.
If a player makes a mistake during the game, the other team takes over the ball. There are many possible mistakes to make, so it is important to stay as focused as possible during the game. Forbidden behaviors during the game can be pointed out, among others:
– knocking the ball down,
– Dropping the ball,
– Holding the ball for more than three seconds,
– taking too many steps with the ball,
– intercepting the pass of the opposing team.
These are just some examples of player behaviors that end up giving the ball to the opposing team. One interesting fact is that teams do not have goals assigned to them. Attacking players can shoot at any of the two goals on the field.
Tchoukball rules may seem complicated at first, but it only takes a few games to get the hang of it. What is important is that the sport is completely non-contact, so the risk of injury is greatly reduced. So if you want to try your hand at this sport, check out where training sessions are organized in your area!
Featured photo: Limyongjian / Wikipedia