Tchoukball is a game that was established as part of an educational study that came from the concern of the many injuries athletes get from sports prone to aggression and physical contact. It was Swiss biologist Dr Herman Brandt that can be credited with creating tchoukball in the 1970s and the purpose of the game was to reduce injuries and contribute to a better and more humane society. It was also created to encourage people of all cultures, backgrounds, genders, and physical stature to feel comfortable taking up the game.
It is an indoor team sport played on a court measuring 27 metres by 16 metres. A frame like a trampoline measuring one square metre is placed on either end of the court. The frame is within a semi-circle D-shaped zone three metres in radius that is forbidden for any players to enter. A team consists of twelve players with only seven allowed on the court at one time. Players can score at either end of the court and the objective for the attacking player is to throw the ball against the frame.
The ball must bounce outside of the D-shaped zone without anyone from the defending team able to catch it. A point is then awarded. There is no physical contact allowed and defenders also do not intercept the attacking team’s passes. Teams may not pass the ball more than three times before shooting. A player may also not take more than three steps with the ball or hold on to it for more than three seconds. Tchoukball combines aspects of handball (the balls are similar), volleyball, and squash.
After fifty years, the sport has grown in popularity and is now played in over fifty countries representing six continents. The Fédération Internationale de Tchoukball (FITB), founded in 1971, is the highest authority and official world governing body for the sport. In 1975 the federation created a program to actively take the sport globally and by 1984, Taiwan hosted the first international tournament attended by six countries from two continents.
Five years later, the sport took a significant step forward with the opportunity to be highlighted at the World Games at Karlsruhe in Germany, with five nations participating. It was attended by six countries from three continents. The first World Championship in 1971 was won by France (men), but since then the Republic of China has been the most dominant nation for both women and men.