Tennis x Pi: 360Ball Hits From Every Angle

Did you ever wonder why so many popular sports seemed to come from the same time. Baseball, basketball and football--three of the biggest pro sports in the U.S.--were all invented in the 1800's. And then it's like sports innovation just took a long, long nap.

Yes there have been other sports invented since then, and a whole lot of innovation has gone into crazy adrenaline sports and stunts, but it just seems like any competitive sport that I'd actually want to play was invented hundreds of years ago. Why can't we come up with a completely new sport that is worth playing/watching?? 

It's not for lack of trying, that's for sure. After covering sports innovation for about two years, I know that there are always small groups of people trying to invent new sports, recreational activities and competitive leagues. It's just that new sports tend to be vastly inferior to the classics. In fact, they often blow. 

Perhaps the sport of 360Ball will be a keeper. The name, though accurate, doesn't inspire much confidence, but the sport looks like a whole lot of fun. And it seems like you could play it drunk--always a bonus for a new sport. 

The game is almost like table tennis--only on a round court with two players per team. After the serve, the each team is allowed to hit the ball twice before bouncing it off the central "court" at the opposing team. 

Here's a description of what happens from there: "The ball bounces off that plate and if it hits the ground or the body, the other team scores. This special constellation and the element of surprise – the ball being played directly onto the plate or to the team mate – makes the game extremely fast, diversified and challenging. The rules and basic techniques are easy to learn, tactics and the ability to anticipate make a good player."

Since the court is round, there are no sides, and therefore, no disadvantages (i.e. sun or wind). 

I'd assume that you can fold the court up and take it with you, so it's a lot more versatile than traditional tennis.  And it certainly sounds fun--especially with a cooler of beer next to you. I don't know that it will ever earn a spot next to football or baseball, but it looks like something I'd try. And the folks at ISPO (Germany's sport and fitness show) seemed to agree because they awarded it a Brand New Award

I know what you're thinking and I've got you covered. There's no way to make a real judgment without seeing it played. Go: 

And if you're not a fan of this one, maybe Headis will appeal more to you. 


Jan 29, 2011
by Anonymous

360Ball is better

This sport is so very much better than your article leads one to believe. Having been fortunate to have played 360Ball I feel it incumbent of me to implore that before you write about sports like this you play it.
They are at the Ispo in February, go and play and the write an article!

Jan 29, 2011
by Chris Weiss

Yeah, I would like to try...

I agree. Unfortunately, blogging doesn't pay enough to send me overseas to ISPO. If I ever see it here in the States, I'd definitely give it a go. Appreciate the first-hand comments, though!