Bossaball combines a slew of extreme sports into one unbelievable, acrobatic game.
Discovery News describes Bossaball as “the coolest acrobatic game you’ve never heard of,” and Outrageous Sports says that Bossaball combines the most epic components of other sports into a single super-sport. Bossaball is a sport every extreme athlete should be playing.
The uniquely acrobatic sport lives up to the praise by mixing tricks and moves from a spectrum of sports, including beach volleyball, gymnastics, capoeira and soccer, into an experience unlike any other. Better yet, you play Bossaball on a court made of inflatables and trampolines. It screams excitement, so follow our guide and get on the court.
If you’re watching a Bossaball game for the first time, it might appear that the sport has no rules. There are some guidelines, however, that keep the sport safe and competitive. Each Bossaball side consists of about five players. One player, the attacker, stands on the trampoline. The others are scattered around on inflatables. The server tosses or kicks the ball into the air, trying to steer the ball over the net into the opposing team’s court, similar to volleyball. The opposite team must use a mix of no more than five hits to return it to the other side of the net.
The hits can be done with any body part – maximum one contact with the hands. If a team lets the ball fall on the trampoline, that team loses three points. Anywhere else on the court is worth one point. But if the ball bounces off the free-zone safety border around the trampolines called the “bossawall,” it remains in play and the rally continues. The team that wins the rally gets to go on the offensive by taking the next serve. The first team to 30 points wins the set.
Stylish moves, from bicycle kicks to backflips, are encouraged, and almost obligatory. No officials enter the picture.
Roots and History
The father of Bossaball is the Spain-based, Belgian maestro, Filip Eyckmans. Eyckmans dreamed up the idea in 2004, making Bossaball one of the world’s newest rising sports. During his youth, Eyckmans was a tennis player for the national Belgium side. In his free time, he helped run live soccer games. During the early 90s, on one of his many trips to Brazil, Eyckmans was wowed by the Afro-Brazilian sensation, capoeira, which he witnessed on a suburb square in Recife in the country’s northeast. Eyckmans fused capoeira with the entrancing late-afternoon vibe of Brazil’s beaches where volleyball, soccer, dance and music mingle. Bossaball is highly eclectic. The word “bossa” means flair or style in Portuguese.
During the late 90s, when beach volleyball boomed and Benji-trampolines were sprouting up all over, Eyckmans started stirring up his potent cocktail of sport and dance. He decided to go further, beyond blocks and serves, injecting a stronger gymnastic element. He wanted to mix agility with coordination and even the elegant touch of French soccer legend Zinedine Zidane. Bossaball was born – a blend of volleyball, soccer and gymnastics, steeped in Latin-American atmosphere. The sport that bent the boundaries of conventional athleticism began to spread like wildfire. Bossaball tournaments have been staged across Europe – even in the Austrian Alps. Additionally, tournaments have been played in Latin America, but Bossaball is most popular in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Brazil.
The next logical step for the passion-driven sport would be official leagues. The downside of Bossaball is the commercial cost of organizing it. The price of obtaining a license and renting a court runs into several thousand dollars. “Unlike soccer, where you need a ball and items of clothing to set as goals, Bossaball, like polo and sailing, is perhaps one the least accessible sports ever invented,” Outrageous Sports reports. The new, virtuoso sport should appeal to anyone who wants to try something highly dynamic and fun.
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