Futnet, also known as football tennis, is a sport played with a football on a court divided by a low net. Two opposing teams, made up of one to three players, have the objective to score points by hitting the ball over the net with any part of their body expect for the hands. A point is awarded when the ball is bounced in the opposing team’s court in such a way that they are unable to return it back over the net. The court dimension for one or two players per team is 12.8m by 9m, while a team of three requires a court dimension of 18m by 9m. A set is won by the team who first reaches 11 points with a two-point difference or who first reaches 15 points. To win a match, a team must win two sets. The net is 1.10m in height. A team forfeits a point to their opponents should they touch the net at any time during the match. The ball is similar in size to a football but is made up of 32 panels glued together. The game is played by men, women and at a junior level. Rules on the number of touches and the bouncing of the ball is dependent on the number of players per team. If the ball hits the net and bounces back, it cannot be returned as is the case with volleyball.  

The origin of the game can be credited to the Czech Republic and in particular members of the football club Slavia Prague. It was initially called football over a rope, but later a net was added to the court. Early matches date back to 1922 and by 1940 the first official rules were written. By 1953 a league was established and by 1961, futnet was recognised as an official sport in the Czech Republic. The sport took a major step forward through international competitions. European Championships have been held since 1991 and World Championships since 1994. Hungary was crowned the first World Champions in Košice, Slovakia. By 2010 the sport received the management and direction it required through the formation of the Union Internationale de Futnet (UNIF). UNIF was founded by 15 countries from four continents giving a further indication of how the sport had progressed worldwide. The objective for the organisation is to work closely with current members ensuring the integrity, ethics, and rule-setting of the sport is passed down to all levels of participation. UNIF continues to manage international competitions and to promote the sport throughout the world to increase membership that helps towards official Olympic recognition.

Union Internationale de Futnet

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