In a backlash against the violence and general repulsiveness of many contemporary team sports, a group of physical educators are putting their trust in a new game which is termed Tchoukball. Yes, that spelling is correct (pronounced ‘chookball’). It is a sport developed by Dr Hermann Brandt, a Swiss biologist, in 1975. He wanted to create a sport that would reduce sport-related injuries and bellicosity between players on the court.
The name was invented from one of his treatments, where he asked his patient to throw a ball at the trampoline which bounces the ball back for the patient to catch. A ‘tchouk’ sound was made every time the ball touched the net of the trampoline.
Tchoukball is an exceptional merger of handball (playing with hands and similar boundaries around the scoring area), volleyball (preventing the opponents’ shots from touching the ground) and squash (rebounding element in the game). This excellent example of combinatorial innovation puts together elements of different well-known sports to create a sport with less or no injuries.
It is a mixed-gender, non-contact sport. There is no attacking, obstructing of players and no interceptions of passes allowed, which means that players of diverse height and build can play together without impacting their game. The key skill required to play Tchoukball is the ability to catch and throw the ball, it is thus great for hand-eye coordination and growth of transferable skills. Playing Tchoukball frequently will also lead to greater dexterity, speed, strength and reaction times.
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