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Bossaball court. The white areas in the center are the trampolines

Bossaball is a team sport that originated in Spain and was conceptualised by Belgian Filip Eyckmans in 2005.[1] Bossaball is a ball game between two teams, combining elements of volleyball, football and gymnastics with music into a sport. It is played on an inflatable court featuring a trampoline on each side of the net.[2] The trampolines allow the players to bounce high enough to spike the ball over the net and score direct points.

The word "bossa", which is sometimes translated as style, flair or attitude in Brazilian Portuguese, is commonly associated with Bossa Nova, a samba influenced type of Brazilian music. The name Bossaball, therefore, expresses the aim to combine sports, music and positive vibrations.[3]

Some other countries where Bossaball has been introduced include: Brazil,[4][5] Argentina,[6] Mexico,[7] Turkey, Netherlands,[8][9] Spain,[10] Germany,[11][12][13] France, Switzerland, Portugal,[14] Greece, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania,[15] Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait,[16][17] Singapore,[18][19] Chile, Ecuador,[20][21] Venezuela and Paraguay.


A Bossaball game is played between two teams of 4 players. The aim is for each team to ground the ball on the opponent’s field. The height of the net in between both fields can be adjusted for different levels such as professionals, intermediates, beginners or children. Players are not allowed to touch the net and always have to remain with at least one body part on their own side.

Attacker about to spike

One player (the attacker) is positioned on the trampoline, the others around him/her on the inflatables. A player from the serving team (the server) throws or kicks the ball into the air and attempts to hit the ball so it passes over the net on a course such that it will land in the opposing team's court (the serve). The opposing team must use a combination of no more than five contacts with the ball to return it to the other side of the net. These contacts can be exercised using any body part:

  • Volley touch
    • Touching the ball one single time according to the traditional volleyball rules. With the lower arms, touch, spike or drop shot. Throwing the ball or guiding the ball for more than 1 second is not allowed.
  • Soccer touch
    • Touching the ball up to two times (= double soccer touch or a DST) with any body part except the hands or arms. Example: One can control the ball with the chest and then pass it with the head or foot. Any combination of body parts is allowed as long as none of the two contacts is with the hands or arms. A DST is counted as one pass.

Of the five maximum contacts, the ball has to be played at least once using the soccer touch technique, once the second pass has been played.

Touch 1 Touch 2 Touch 3 Touch 4 Touch 5 Allowed
Volley YES
Soccer Volley YES
Volley Volley Volley NO
Volley Volley YES
Volley Volley Volley Soccer Volley YES
Soccer Volley Volley Volley Volley YES
Volley Soccer Volley Volley Soccer YES
Soccer Soccer Soccer YES

During a rally, the ball is tossed around while the attacker jumps on the trampoline in order to gain height. The attack begins when one of the rallying players aims the ball's trajectory towards a spot in the air where the attacker can hit it (spike or kick) and returns the ball over the net.

The team with possession of the ball that is trying to attack the ball as described is said to be on offense. The team on defense attempts to prevent the attacker from directing the ball into their court: players at the net jump and reach above the top (and across the plane) of the net in order to block the attacked ball. If the ball is hit around, above, or through the block, the defensive players arranged in the rest of the court attempt to control the ball with a dig (usually a forearm pass of a hard-driven ball, or a foot control). After a successful dig, the team transitions to offense.

The game continues in this manner, rallying back and forth, until the ball touches the court within the scoring zones or a mistake is committed.

The roll of a referee in Bossaball is very similar to a volleyball referees. Competition games are played with three referees, one main referee and two assistant referees. The main referee stands under the net on the playing area. He or she is responsible for the final decisions and especially focuses on the net. The two assistant referees are positioned at the opposite corners of the court. They have to keep track of the maximum amount of touches, the soccer touch and decide if the ball is in or out.


Points can be made either by scoring or by an opponent’s fault. When the ball contacts the floor (the bottom of the trampoline or the inflatables) within the court boundaries (the outer safety zone is out), the team on the opposite side of the net is awarded a score. The safety border around the trampolines is a free zone. On this “bossawall” the ball may bounce or roll. When the ball lays still on the bossawall, the point goes to the opponent's team.

Scoring with volley touch:

  • 1 point: when the ball hits the opponents playing area.
  • 3 points: when the ball is played directly in the opponent’s trampoline area.

Scoring with soccer touch (any part of the body except hands):

  • 3 points: when the ball hits the opponents playing area.
  • 5 points: when the ball is played directly in the opponent’s trampoline area.

The team that scored, serves next point. The game continues, with the first team to score 21 points (and be two points ahead) awarded the set. Three sets are played in one match.


An official match, is best of three sets. One set gets won when a team gains 21 points, with a minimum of two points difference to the opposing team. Sets continue after 21 points as long as there is no difference of two points. The third set is played till 15 points, the minimum of two points rule is also applied on this set.

Seven international championships have been carried out since 2005.

Year Competition Location First place Participating countries
2009 World Cup [22] Turkey Netherlands Brazil, Belgium, Netherlands, Kuwait, Singapore
2010 European Cup Netherlands Belgium Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain
2011 European Cup Netherlands Belgium Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain
2012 European Cup Czech Republic Netherlands
2013 World Cup Bonaire Netherlands Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands
2014 European Cup Netherlands Netherlands Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Spain
2015 World Cup "A decade in the air" [23] Spain Belgium Argentina, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain
2016 World Cup "#AtTheCopa" [24] Brazil Netherlands Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Netherlands

Music and "Samba" referees[edit]

Music is a major component of a Bossaball show. The person overseeing the game is called the “samba referee” and does not only make calls but also serves as the Master of Ceremonies with the help of a whistle, a microphone, percussion instruments and an exotic DJ set.

External links[edit]

  1. ^ "Bossa Sports". 18 October 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Sblendorio, Marissa. "WHY ISN'T BOSSABALL AN OLYMPIC SPORT?". Retrieved 20 December 2016. 
  3. ^ " - Expectativa por bossaball - Feb. 13, 2008 - DEPORTES". 6 April 2009. Archived from the original on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 2016-12-20. 
  4. ^ "O Estado de Sao Paulo". 30 January 2007. Archived from the original on 26 February 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Praia Grande Noticias". 9 January 2007. Archived from the original on 19 December 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "Bossaball, el furor de las playas". Retrieved 2016-12-20. 
  7. ^ "Más Acapulco que nunca: Bossaball shows in Mexico.". Bossaball. Retrieved 2016-12-20. 
  8. ^ "NeVoBo – Dutch Volleyball League". Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  9. ^ UVX – Ultimate Volleyball Xperience
  10. ^ "on bossaball". Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "Press Release Network Germany". Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  12. ^ Ben-John. "Bossaball Team Berlin". Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  13. ^ Lausitzer rundschau Newspaper[dead link]
  14. ^ "Time Out Magazine Portugal". Retrieved 17 December 2011. [permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "Orangina-Bossaball tour Romania". 7 August 2007. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  16. ^ Alwatan Newspaper Kuwait[dead link]
  17. ^ Arrouiah Newspaper Kuwait[dead link]
  18. ^ Singapore Sports Council Archived 20 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ Singapore Youth Committee Archived 10 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ "El Universo Newspaper Ecuador". Archived from the original on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  21. ^ "bossaball in El Diario Ecuador". 27 January 2008. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  22. ^ "World Cup Turkey 2009 - Bossaball". Bossaball. Retrieved 2016-12-20. 
  23. ^ Directo, Merchan en. "EL BOSSABALL CUMPLE UNA DÉCADA Y LO CELEBRA EN MÁLAGA". Retrieved 2016-12-20. 
  24. ^ "News detail - FIVB #CopaCourts the place to be as Bossaball comes to Copacabana - FIVB - Olympic Game - Rio 2016". Retrieved 2016-12-20.