With the sheer number of ball games played here, one is spoilt for choice when it comes to learning a new sport. However, if you fancy trying your hand at a new and unique ball game then you might want to consider tchoukball (pronounced chuke-ball).
What is tchoukball?
Tchoukball started over 30 years ago and is a simple non-contact ball game that marries the elements of volleyball, handball and squash.
The rules are simple: players are divided into two teams with the objective of scoring points by bouncing a ball onto trampoline frames set at the opposite ends of the court. The balls must bounce off the trampoline into a D-shaped area marked just around it, in order for the point to be awarded.
In tchoukball, everything works in sets of three.
Players have three seconds with the ball, are allowed only three steps with the ball and have only three passes before the ball has to be thrown at the frame. However, unlike most games where each team guards their own ‘goal’, tchoukball players are allowed to score on either side of the court.
As for the game’s unique moniker, tchoukball was named after the sound the ball makes when it hits the frame.
Origins of tchoukball
Tchoukball was invented in the 1970s by Swiss biologist Dr Hermann Brandt who was intent on developing a game that reduced the rate of sporting injuries. Brandt firmly believed that “the objective of all physical activities is not to make champions, but to make a contribution to building a harmonious society” and bore that in mind when developing tchoukball.
The result is a non-contact sport that allows equal participation from all players, far different from other sports where more talented players dominate.
I want to play tchoukball
Tchoukball is a fun game suited for players of all ages and fitness levels.
Unlike most competitive sports where a specific size and frame of an athlete is preferred, tchoukball players have no need to fit any requirements. That means you do not have to worry about being too heavy, too short or too old to play the game.
“Tchoukball’s motto is ‘A Sport For All’, so we have people of all shapes and sizes, ages and fitness levels learning the sport,” explained Jeff Ang, general secretary of the Tchoukball Association of Singapore.
What skills do I need?
Thanks to the eminent Dr Brendt, tchoukball is a game that is quick to pick up and easily played by all. “You don’t really need a background in sports to pick up tchoukball and absolute beginners are most welcome,” assured Jeff.
Classes are a fun affair and students are taught how to pass a ball with the proper technique, a vital skill in a game that requires much throwing and catching.
”Passing the ball over greater distances is crucial in tchoukball as you are only allowed a maximum of three passes,” said Jeff. “In addition to passing, students will also learn to catch the ball the right way as well as shoot with different techniques.”
Where do I sign up?