^

Sports

Tchoukball returns

THE GAME OF MY LIFE - Bill Velasco - The Philippine Star

After three years, the Tchoukball Association of the Philippines (TAP) fielded a national team to its first international competition. Pilipinas Tchoukball is in Johor, Malaysia for the 9th Asia Pacific Tchoukball Championships. The Philippine men’s team’s first game yesterday afternoon was a victory against the host country. This is a very happy development for the young sport, which has set a good example for how a national sports association should be run.

Tchoukball was first created by Swiss biologist Hermann Brandt in the 1970’s as a means to practice handball. To eliminate the inconvenience of having to constantly fetch the ball, a slanted square trampoline – a frame – was placed at each end of the playing area, providing a target which constantly rebounded the ball back to the players. Brandt also wanted to lessen injuries in sport overall, and wanted a sport that anyone could play, and did not encourage physical aggression. Soon, with some additional rules, it was organized into a fast-paced, high-flying team sport of its own, tchoukball, and has spread to over 70 countries around the world. There are additional rules that guarantee an exceptionally high level of sportsmanship, which is the predominant value in the sport worldwide.

Five years ago, this writer traveled with the TAP teams to the World Beach Tchoukball Championships in Taiwan. The country placed both men’s and women’s teams (composed mainly of students) in the top 10, beating much bigger opponents with speed, skill and teamwork. What was refreshing was the culture of camaraderie and friendship. The spirit of tchoukball is one of unity that supersedes any competitive instincts. It is common practice for coaches  of other teams to officiate rivals’ matches. It is also common for team officials to socialize and form deep friendships with one another. Players are discouraged from taunting or even celebrating points too loudly. Everyone helps everyone else.

Four years ago, TAP was voted into the Philippine Olympic Committee, with the International Tchoukball Federation or FITB itself backing the country’s inclusion. Unfortunately, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most sports, TAP, which is based in Bacolod, could not gather its players from Cebu, Metro Manila and other places to practice. The country is an emerging powerhouse in the sport, but is unfortunately in Asia, where the dominant countries like Taiwan are.

The hope is for tchoukball to resume its upward trajectory, and spread into more areas in the Philippines. It is easy to learn, inexpensive and very fast-paced, and played even by the differently-abled. It is inclusive and fun, and encourages team play. Even better, it can easily be played on existing basketball courts. Once the youth get hooked onto this sport, they’ll accelerate a new craze in the country.

TAP

Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with