Spotlight on the Sports… we’re finding out more about ‘Bossaball’

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    Spotlight on the Sports… we’re finding out more about ‘Bossaball’

    Welcome to the latest in our monthly series highlighting some of the weirder sports the world has to offer. In this article, we take a look at the Spanish-born sport which combines common sports such as football and volleyball, with musical gymnastics and a giant trampoline. For all those that have dreamed of playing a competitive team sport on a bouncy castle, this could be the sport for you, particularly if you have a decent amount of balance and coordination.


    Despite tracing its origins to Spain, Bossaball was actually created by Belgian Filip Eyckmans in 2005. A quick internet search will tell you that the word "bossa", which is sometimes translated as style, flair or attitude in Brazilian Portuguese, is commonly associated with Bossa Nova, a samba influenced type of Brazilian music. The name Bossaball, therefore, expresses the aim to combine sports, music and positive vibrations. Indeed, the sport is commonly found throughout much of South America, as well as parts of Western Europe and the Middle East.

    The Bossaball World Cup was has been held four times since 2009, but has only been won by two different countries: Netherlands (3 times) and Belgium (once). These two countries have also shared the Bossaball European Cup, held four times since its inception in 2010, winning twice each. The 2016 World Cup hosted just five nations, with the other three competitors being Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.

    Amusingly, the person overseeing the game is known as the “samba referee”, and their list of responsibilities includes using a microphone, percussion instruments and putting on an exotic DJ set, as well as ensuring that the match runs smoothly.


    A Bossaball game consists of two teams of four players. The aim of the game is, like volleyball, to ground the ball on the opponent’s side of a net – the height of which can be adjusted depending on the ability of the teams and players involved. Each half of the court consists of one trampoline in the centre of a large inflatable. One player from each team starts on the trampoline, with the other three players positioned around him/her on the inflatables.

    Each team is permitted a maximum of five touches to get the ball back over the net. The types of touches a player is permitted to perform are divided into two types: ‘volley touches’ with the hands or arms, and ‘soccer touches’ with any other part of the body. If a team uses more than one touch to return the ball they must use both types of touch at least once – although this rule can be relaxed for amateur games.

    There are four separate methods of scoring: one point is awarded for a volley touch where the ball lands in the opponents playing area, while three points are awarded for a volley touch where the ball is played directly in the opponent’s trampoline area. If either of these objectives is achieved with a soccer touch then the successful team is awarded three or five points respectively. The team that wins each point serves the next point. The first team to 21 points (and at least two points ahead) wins the set; the first to two sets wins the match.


    Come on, who hasn’t imagined throwing together a bouncy castle, a trampoline and a football and calling it a sport! Whilst hard to set up, securing any of the key elements of this game could easily capture a young person’s imagination – whether it’s allowing students to use all parts of their body during a game of volleyball, or introducing a small trampoline for one player on each side.

    The game has clearly been designed to be enjoyable, but by incorporating so many different sporting elements, you widen the potential target audience it will appeal to. You could be good at football, volleyball, gymnastics or dance, but how will those skills translate to a game which involves all four? It’s the ultimate version of sporting multi-tasking.

    We hope you enjoyed this Spotlight on the Sports piece; we’ll be back next month with more.