New Ball Game in Town

Words: Hein van Zijl | Photos & Videos: Bossaball Sports SL & ProVid Productions


What do you get when you combine elements of soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, capoeira (the Afro-Brazilian martial art form), a trampoline and an inflatable court? You get Bossaball, a spectacular new game that draws the crowds wherever it goes.

Bossaball is a ball game played either in- or outdoors, and is between two teams, each consisting of three to five players. It takes place on an inflatable court, with a trampoline on each side of the net. The change in gravity, combined with the safety provided by the inflatable surface, allows a whole new range of techniques, team tactics and strategies. One can enjoy a complete new kick of spiking down a ball from unseen heights or make spectacular dives and play the ball in original and creative ways.


The concept was invented by Filip Eyckmans, in 2004, in Spain, and by September 2011 Bossaball was ranked number 31 on CNN’s list of '50 things to do before you die'. This exhilarating sport has also attracted the attention of crowds in Europe, the Far East, America and South America. Not only is it fun to participate in, the referee just happens to be the DJ as well, thus creating a platform for a party too.


Bossaball is as much a spectator sport as it is a contender sport. Due to Bossaball’s ability to adapt to its audience, it is also a platform from which audiences can be entertained. The festive environment creates the perfect backdrop for a day of sport and celebration, as it is one of only a few sports in the world that combines two elements that are always present with big crowds: music and sport.


About the game




The game requires you to hit a ball over a net to win points. You can use any part of your body to get the ball over the net and into your opponent's section. The games take place on a massive inflatable, with a trampoline on each side for added bounce. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.


Players and equipment


The number of players in a team ranges from three to five. The teams can be mixed, with no restriction on gender per team. One player will be designated to the trampoline section of the arena at all times, with players rotating after every point. A Bossaball, which is very similar to a volleyball, is used.



Points are scored by successfully hitting the ball over the net into your opponents section and they are unable to return the ball. Three points are awarded for hitting the trampoline section of the court and one point for anywhere else inbounds on the court. If the ball touches the Bossa (the ring around the trampoline) then the game continues as normal.


Winning the game


To win a game, your team needs to reach 25 points first. If the game gets to 24-24, then a team must win by 2 clear points, to win that set. Games are generally played over the best of three or five sets.


Bossaball in South Africa


Sport, in the past, has been the only factor in South African history that has united an otherwise heterogeneous society. We may have 11 languages and a myriad of different cultures, but when sport is played, we as South Africans unite as one. Futhermore, in 2012, South Africa was named the world’s leading 'sports tourism destination', and this statement already reflects the incredible potential of establishing Bossaball here.


The Times, UK (published on 2February 2010) identified

Bossaball as being as one of the most captivating new sports introduced to the world, so one can safely say that South Africa is in for one giant ride. Or shall I rather say, “Never fear South Africa, Bossaball will put the bounce back into your step!”


The multi-dimensional way in which Bossaball mesmerises audiences, young and old, makes it a powerful marketing tool. Various brands, such as Pepsi, Vodacom, Red Bull, Fanta and Johnson and Johnson, have partnered with Bossaball abroad. Insight Magazine, an American publication, had the following to say about Bossaball’s effectiveness when used as a marketing tool, “Bossaball delivers outstanding opportunities for marketing. People love to watch and play, and it is so unique that it easily grabs media attention.”


Bossaball has indeed generated a large amount of media coverage and featured in many TV shows, newspapers and magazines worldwide. However, the overriding appeal is its ability to be enjoyed by everyone; young and old, tall or short, male or female, white or yellow, pink or purple, funny or boring, nerds or jocks, fit or unfit, flexible or not-so-bendable, quick or slow … I think you get the picture.


Sport is more than just a healthy lifestyle and, if successfully managed, it can also become a vehicle to empower individuals and communities. I view Bossaball as a tool through which an entire society can be transformed. Looking back at South Africa’s international and national sporting accomplishments and the positive impact this has had on sports development, sport is key to an integrated, social interaction that enables one to reach all spheres of society, with a life-changing message of hope. Through the benefits of this sport, to the country and its people, I hope to see an evolution in sports development that will revolutionise the way people approach the institution of sport and recreation.


Our main objective is therefore to build on South Africa’s past sporting successes. We also intend to firmly establish the Bossaball brand as the future of sport. In this respect, our focus is on meeting expectations, as well as breaking through the existing barriers surrounding sport in general and establishing new frontiers in sports management in South Africa. This we intend to do by empowering the ordinary man to take ownership of the talent on our streets.


This dream was made to be shared by everyone!



For more information on the sport, to book an event or get involved, visit and


Rules of Bossaball


• Teams consist of three to five players, and a mix of male and female players are permitted.


• Serves can be made using any part of the body, as long as they are ‘creative’.


• You can hit the ball once using your hands and twice using your feet or head when the ball is on your side of the court, before a teammate must then hit the ball.


• A team can hit the ball up to five times before they must try and get the ball into their opponent’s half.


• Games have no time limit and can only be won by reaching 25 points and by two clear games.


• Best of three or five sets are usually in operation.


• After each point, teams rotate their positions clockwise so that a different person is on the trampoline section each time.


Sources: &


Issue 23 Mar '13