By Andrew Liszewski
I’m all about creating new sports. When we were kids my siblings and I were particularly adept at re-appropriating sports equipment for new athletic endeavors, not unlike Calvin did with his greatest creation, Calvinball! So while this new take on racquet sports is probably going to take a while to catch on, I applaud the creators of 360ball for trying something new.
I’m not going to go into too much detail about how the game is played, the overly dramatic video I’ve included below, which makes 360ball seem like a gift from the heavens, does a far better job at illustrating how a match unfolds. But the CliffsNotes version is that after a serve the other player or team is allowed to touch the ball twice before bouncing it off a special plate in the middle of the court, returning it to the other team. If a player is hit or the ball hits the ground, the other team gets a point. It sounds simple enough, but when you watch it being played you can see there’s a lot of room for strategy.
Now obviously 360ball requires a special circular court to be played in. So unfortunately you can’t really use an existing Squash, Racquetball or Tennis court which is going to be a bit of a stumbling block preventing it from catching on quickly. But the first official permanent court has already been installed in Knysna, South Africa where the game was invented, and when you think about it playing in a circular court has a lot of advantages. Both players or teams are constantly moving around its circumference so neither side really has an advantage when it comes to wind or sun, while spectators are able to sit all the way around with everyone having the exact same view of the court. And as a big fan of Squash, I think it just looks really fun!