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Tchoukball //, often written as tchookball, is an indoor team sport developed in the 1970s by Swiss biologist Hermann Brandt, who believed that "The objective of all physical activities is not to make champions, but make a contribution to building a harmonious society". His aim was to develop a team sport which did not involve the horrific injuries which he viewed as plaguing other sports.
The sport is usually played on an indoor court measuring 27 metres by 16 metres. At each end there is a 'frame' (a device similar to a trampoline off which the ball bounces) which measures one square metre and a semicircular D-shaped forbidden zone measuring three metres in radius. Each team can score on both ends on the field, and comprises twelve players, of which seven may be on the court at any one time. In order to score a point, the ball must be thrown by an attacking player, hit the frame 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. Players may take three steps with the ball, hold the ball for a maximum of three seconds, and teams may not pass the ball more than three times before shooting at the frame.
Tchoukball has become an international sport, played in Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Macau, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United States. It is governed by the Féderation Internationale de Tchoukball (FITB, founded in 1971). Taiwan hosted the 2004 World Championships and won both the women's and junior championships, with the Swiss men winning the men's championship. The 2006 European Championships were held in Switzerland, with Great Britain taking both the Men's and Under-18's titles, while the hosts won the Ladies event.
Tchoukball was born in Switzerland thanks to the research of Dr. Hermann Brandt, who was concerned by the numerous serious injuries among athletes resulting from sports prone to aggression and physical contact. He believed that sports should not only form champions, but also contribute to the creation of a better and more humane society. Hence the invention of tchoukball, which combines elements of handball (it is played with hands, and the balls used are similar), volleyball (as the defending team must prevent the ball from falling) and squash (since there is a bounce). This sport can be played by anyone at his or her respective level, irrespective of the players sex, age or physical abilities. Read about the Tchoukball Charter here.
- The court size is that is generally used is 27mx16m. However, there are variations to this such as in beach tchoukball where a court size of 21mx12m is used.
- One rebound frame is placed at each end of the field of play
- In front of each frame, a D shaped semi-circle measuring 3m in radius must be drawn; it defines the limits of the 'forbidden zone'
- The lines of the zones are considered part of the zone itself, e.g. the line marking the semicircle forbidden zone is considered part of the forbidden zone, while the line around the entire court is considered a part of the court
Depending on the category of players (Men/Women/U18/U15/u12), different sizes of balls are used ranging from a circumference of 54 cm to 60 cm and weighs between 325 grams to 475 grams.
Two teams of 7 players each (men or women) compete to score points with the team with the most points at the end winning the game. When a team gains a point, control of the ball is transferred to the other team.
- In tchoukball either team can score at either end of the court.
- A point is scored when the ball rebounds after hitting either of the 2 frames and touches the ground outside the forbidden zone, any part of the defending player's body below the knees or touches the defending player while he is still in the forbidden zone
- A point is given to the non-attacking team when the attacking team shoots and misses the frame, or the ball rebounds outside the playing area (either out of the court or in the forbidden zone).
- If a shot is caught by the defending team, the defending team can proceed to attack immediately
The non-offending team takes possession of the ball when a foul is committed and has to start the ball where the foul was made by tapping the ball with two hands on the ground before passing. A foul is made by a player when:
- The ball should touch the ground during passing
- They make any form of interception whether intentionally or not, while the other team is passing or physically blocking another player from catching the ball (obstruction foul)
- They make more than 4 contacts with the ground while holding the ball (traveling foul)
- They touch the ball with any part of his body below the knees (contact with kneepads is allowed)
- They hold the ball for more than 4 seconds
- They make a pass that brings the team count of successive passing over 3 (the entry pass when play restarts after a point scored is not counted, deflection of the ball from one player to another is considered a pass)
- They touch any area outside the field of play while holding the ball, or takes his last step outside the field of play before catching the ball
- They shoot at the frame such that the ball hits the metal part of the frame or the bungee cords at the side, causing the ball to not follow the expected trajectory
- They step inside the forbidden zone while holding the ball (landing foul)
- There are 4 successive shots at the same frame: Assuming the ball is continuously caught, the ball can only be shot at the same frame to a maximum of 3 times, following which the next shot has to be made at the other frame at the opposite end of the playing field. Any other fouls occurring restarts the count.
- They make the entry pass inside the playing area
- They shoot after a restart before the ball has crossed the median line
- Substitutions should take place in front of the officials table and only after a point is scored
- Substitutes must wait for the player inside the court to completely leave the playing area before they can enter
- Unlimited substitutions during a game are allowed
Each team comprises the following positions:
- 2 right shooters
- 2 left shooters
- 2 inners
- 1 centre pivot
Each side of the court comprises a left shooter, right shooter and an inner, while the centre pivot usually stays near the middle of the court. The shooters are generally in charge of shooting although in some cases the inner can also take the shot. The inners are in charge of coordinating the first line defence while the centre pivot takes charge of the second line defence. However other formations include not using a centre pivot, the team would bypass the centre and throw full length court passes directly to the shooters/inners. This gives an extra first line defender or a dedicated second line defender.
Playing the game
- The player can take 3 steps and is not allowed to bounce the ball on the ground between these steps.
- The attacking team cannot make more than 4 passes before shooting
- When a pass is dropped or not completed (i.e. the ball touches the ground), the other team gets possession
- The defending team cannot hamper the attacking one
- Touching the ball with one’s feet or legs below the knee is forbidden
International Tchoukball Federation (FITB)
The FITB, founded in 1971, is based in Geneva. It now comprises 13 member associations and 22 affiliated associations (that means it has relations with 35 countries). In spite of limited financial and human resources, it is developing numerous contacts throughout the world. It supports and advises national associations and individuals willing to implant tchoukball in new areas. For instance, tchoukball was recently integrated in the school program of some regions of Senegal.
The international, continental and world tournaments of tchoukball and beach tchoukball are an excellent way to make tchoukball more famous, and the FITB is now trying to enhance the television broadcasting of these competitions, which also creates an additional motivation for the players. The FITB will be integrated in the 2009 World Games, which will take place in Kaohsiung (Taiwan).
Notable movements by regional and local associations
|Year||Competition||Host Nation||Men Winners||Women Winners||M-18 Men Winners||M-18 Women Winners|
|1984||World Tchoukball Championships||Republic of China||Republic of China||Republic of China||Switzerland||Not Held|
|1987||World Tchoukball Championships||Switzerland||Republic of China||Republic of China||Not Held||Not Held|
|1989||World Game Tchoukball Championships||Germany||Republic of China||Republic of China||Not Held||Not Held|
|1990||World Tchoukball Championships||United Kingdom||Republic of China||Republic of China||Not Held||Not Held|
|2000||World Tchoukball Championships||Switzerland||Republic of China||Republic of China||Not Held||Not Held|
|2002||World Tchoukball Championships||United Kingdom||Republic of China||Republic of China||Not Held||Not Held|
|2003||European Tchoukball Championships||Rimini||Switzerland||Switzerland||Not Held||Not Held|
|2003||Asian Tchoukball Championships||India||Republic of China||Republic of China||Not Held||Not Held|
|2004||World Tchoukball Championships||Republic of China||Switzerland||Republic of China||Not Held||Not Held|
|2005||World Beach Tchoukball Championships||Switzerland||Republic of China||Republic of China||Republic of China||Switzerland|
|2006||European Tchoukball Championships||Macolin||United Kingdom||Switzerland||United Kingdom||Not Held|
|2006||Asian Tchoukball Championships||Republic of China||Republic of China||Republic of China||Not Held||Not Held|
|2006||South American Tchoukball Championships||Argentina||Brazil||Brazil||Not Held||Not Held|
|2008||Asian Tchoukball Championships||Hong Kong||Republic of China||Republic of China||Not Held||Not Held|
|2008||European Tchoukball Championships||Ústí nad Labem||Switzerland||Switzerland||Switzerland||Not Held|
|2008||South American Tchoukball Championships||Argentina||Brazil||Brazil||Not Held||Not Held|
|2009||World Games||Republic of China||Republic of China||Republic of China||Not Held||Not Held|
|2010||Asia-Pacific Tchoukball Championships||Singapore||Republic of China||Republic of China||Republic of China||Republic of China|
|2010||African Tchoukball Championships||Ghana||Togo||Senegal||Not held||Senegal|
|2010||South American Tchoukball Championships||Brazil||Brazil||Brazil||Not held||Not held|
|2010||European Tchoukball Championships||Hereford||Switzerland||Switzerland||Not held||Not held|
|2011||World Youth Tchoukball Championship||Austria||Not held||Not held||Republic of China||Republic of China|
|2011||World Tchoukball Championship||Italy||Republic of China||Republic of China||Not held||Not held|
- Brandt, H., Etude scientifique des sports d’équipe, Ed. Roulet, Geneva, 1971)
- FITB - International Tchoukball Federation - official site
- Tchoukball UK - official site
- United States Tchoukball Association - official site
- Canadian Tchoukball association
- Swiss Tchoukball Federation
- Italy Tchoukball Federation - official site
- Tchoukball Association of Singapore - official site
- Tchoukball association of the Republic of China (Taiwan)
- Austrian Tchoukball Association
- Asia Pacific Tchoukball Federation - official site
- Belgium Tchoukball Federation - official site
- Tchoukball Association of India Official Website
- Tchoukball Association of India Website
- Saronno TB Club - First Italian TB Club official site
- Ferrara Tchoukball official site, World Tchoukball Championship 2011 host city
- Spanish Tchoukball Team
- Portsmouth Tchoukball Club
- Broadland Tchoukball Club
- Phototchouk : The biggest tchoukball photo database
- VOXSPORTS : Believe it! : Official webcaster for Singapore and local Tchoukball action
- The international beach tchoukball tournament of Geneva
- tchoukball.net, American tchoukball promotional organization
- tchoukballworld.net, Independent site about tchoukball
- International Beach Tchoukball Festival of Rimini
- Maharashtra State Tchoukball Association Official Website
- University of Portsmouth Tchoukball Club
- Bournemouth Beach Tchoukball Tournament
- Southern Tchoukball League
- A beginners introduction to the sport, including Tchoukball rules and tactics