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Tchoukball: Five things to know about the sport

Fans and the fraternity are celebrating after the Singapore women’s tchoukball team made history by becoming world No. 1 for the first time on Jan 1. Find out more about tchoukball here:

1. What is tchoukball? Tchoukball is a non-contact indoor team sport that takes inspiration from handball, volleyball and squash. Two teams consisting of seven players each compete for points by rebounding a ball off a frame, also known as a rebounder. Games last for three periods of 15 minutes, with a maximum of 5 minutes interval in between periods.

2. History Tchoukball was created in the 1960s by Swiss biologist Hermann Brandt, who wanted a way of playing high-velocity sport while avoiding direct contact between players – thus reducing injuries. He designed a game that allows participants of all shapes, sizes, genders, cultures, and backgrounds to play together. 3. How it is played Tchoukball is played on a 27 m x 17 m indoor court with a rebound frame placed at each end. In front of each frame, a D-shaped semi-circle of a 3-metre radius is drawn to mark the forbidden zone which players are not allowed to enter. Each team can score on both ends of the court and to score a point, the ball must be thrown by an attacking player, hit the rebounder and bounce outside the “D” without being caught by the defending team. Physical contact is prohibited, and defenders may not attempt to intercept the attacking team’s passes.

A point will be given to the defending team if the attacking team shoots and misses the rebounder, or if the ball rebounds outside the playing area. If the defending team catches the ball after it bounces off the frame, they can proceed to attack immediately.

Both teams can shoot at either rebounder. However, both teams can only shoot three times at the same frame before the ball has to be shot at the other end of the court.

The player with the ball can take three steps but is not allowed to bounce the ball within these three steps. The player is also not allowed to have the ball for longer than three seconds. Teams may not pass the ball more than three times before shooting at the rebounder.

4. Legacy The International Tchoukball Federation (FITB) was founded in 1971 and now comprises 47 member associations and is played in over 80 countries. Tchoukball is played by over 2,000 people in Singapore and is popular in schools.

In 2009, tchoukball was an invitational sport at the World Games held in July in Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei. To date, there have been 11 World Tchoukball Championships, five World Youth Tchoukball Championships, and nine Asia Pacific Tchoukball Championships. At the 9th Asia Pacific Tchoukball Championships held in 2022, Singapore emerged as the women’s champion.

5. Fun fact The name tchoukball was derived from the “tchouk” sound made by the ball rebounding from the tchoukball frame.


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