BOSSABALL


BOSSABALL rules title

OBJECTIVE OF BOSSABALL: Score points by hitting the ball on the ground on the opponent’s side of the net.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players per team (8 total)

MATERIALS: Inflatable court, trampolines, net, ball

TYPE OF GAME: Sport

AUDIENCE: 8+


OVERVIEW OF BOSSABALL

BOSSABALL gameplay

Bossaball is a team sport developed in Brazil that combines elements of volleyball, soccer, and gymnastics. The objective of the sport is to hit the ball so that it hits the ground on the opponent’s side of the net, just like in volleyball – but this is all played on an inflatable field. The idea of Bossaball was conceptualized by Belgium native Filip Eyckmans, with the sport’s growth occurring mainly in Brazil in 2004.

In case this wacky mix of trampoline-based volleyball wasn’t already interesting enough, it might come as a surprise to hear that the name “Bossaball” actually references the Brazilian musical style, bossa nova. Instead of a traditional referee, Bossaball referees are known as “samba referees” and man a DJ set, percussion instruments, and a microphone. In essence, the referees are as much performers as they are officials.

SETUP

EQUIPMENT

  • Inflatable court: Bossaball is played on a large inflatable court, although no specific court dimensions are required. This inflatable court slightly resembles a bounce house.
  • Trampolines: A circular trampoline is featured in the middle of the inflatable court on each side of the net. It is surrounded by an inflatable safety border called the “Bossawall”.
  • Net: A typical volleyball-style net is in the middle of the court. The height of this net can be adjusted to better suit different levels of competitors.
  • Ball: The ball used for Bossaball is very similar to a volleyball, with volleyballs often being an appropriate alternative.

TEAMS AND POSITIONS

Bossaball is a mixed-gender sport, meaning that teams are made up of both men and women. Each team consists of four total players—one stays on the trampoline, and the others position themselves around it.

Bossaball doesn’t have any positions, as players alternate positions each time a point is scored. However, the player on the trampoline (which also rotates after each point) is usually tasked with spiking the ball over the net, as they’re the only one who can jump high enough to do so.

GAMEPLAY

BOSSABALL court

SCORING

In Bossaball, points are scored in the same way as they are in volleyball. The opposing team earns a point if the ball touches the ground inbounds on a team’s side. If a ball lands out of bounds (either in the red out-of-bounds border of the court or off of the court completely), the team who last touched it concedes a point.

However, there are additional ways to score points, some worth more than one point. These other ways of scoring include using parts of the body other than the hands or arms, as well as aiming for particular areas of the court.

  • 1 point – A hit that lands inbounds on the opponent’s side of the court (awarded to the team) or out of bounds (awarded to the opposing team).
  • 3 points – A soccer touch (often a kick) that lands in bounds on the opponent’s side of the net.
  • 3 points – A hit that lands directly in the opponent’s trampoline.
  • 5 points – A soccer touch that lands directly in the opponent’s trampoline.

The first team to score 25 points wins the match, with no established time limit. Similar to other net-based sports, a team must win by at least two points, meaning that a team cannot win 25–24. As a result, a Bossaball game score could extend into the 30s and 40s.

Some Bossaball games are played in a best-of-three set format, with the first team to win two sets winning the entire match.

UNIQUE RULES

Fundamentally, Bossaball is volleyball played on a trampoline and an inflatable surface. However, the sport features unique rules that differentiate it from volleyball, most of which include rules regarding touches. These include:

  • The ball can be hit with a “volleyball touch” or a “soccer touch”. A volleyball touch is one in which the ball contacts the hands or forearms, and a soccer touch is one that uses any other part of the body (not the hands or arms) to make contact with the ball.
  • Similar to volleyball, a player can only hit the ball once with their hands, feet, or body.
  • A player is allowed two consecutive ball touches only if they are football touches (i.e. catching the ball with the chest and kicking it to a teammate); the double football touches count only as a single touch.
  • A team is allowed five touches on each possession before hitting the ball over the net. If more than two touches are used, one of them must be a football touch.
  • If a ball hits the Bossawall, it is considered to be still in play.
  • The team that scores is always given the following serve.

Check out this crazy sport in motion here:

World Cup Bossaball Bonaire 2013

END OF GAME

The team that is the first to score 25 points (and leads by at least two points) wins the Bossaball match.

Lev