Just in time for spring, the latest invention from the two46 think tank is ready to conquer schools, playgrounds and sports facilities, as well as parks, meadows, outdoor swimming pools and beaches far beyond Germany.
Alongside the particularly cool beach bat and ball variant, Frescobol, and the new bocce interpretation, STAKK, there is now two46 Boardball. The new throwback game, similar to "toss and catch" or Goba (GoBack), primarily promotes coordination, but also the creativity of the players, who are free to come up with new game variations again and again.
What exactly is behind the game? What is boardball anyway? How can you play boardball? What is special about the ball game? And who can play boardball? We reveal all that here.
What is Boardball?
At first, Boardball seems very similar to "toss and catch" games, but it's actually quite different. The colorful plastic bats in bright neon colors that were so typical of their time made "toss and catch" games popular among 90ies kids. During the 80s, but especially in the 90s, it was a particularly popular recreational game. While back then the ball was caught with the help of the Velcro bat by simply sticking to it, the improved, modern version called Boardball eliminates the sticky velcro surface. By the way, just like plastic and neon colors.
The playing equipment is a round boardracket made of sustainable rubber wood, which is attached to the hand with two loops and secured with a surf leash. How could it be otherwise? two46 stands for high-quality, durable and sustainable play equipment that deliberately avoids unnecessary frills and instead brings maximum fun with minimalist design. In addition, there are two different balls, a softball, for beginners and smaller children (indoor & outdoor) and a rubber ball for advanced players (outdoor).
Actually, the device looks quite similar to the bat of Goba. Goba stands for Go Back and is a throwback game that was also developed and played during the 80's and 90's, but achieved less popularity than the classical catch and toss games. Goba was designed by Swiss educators specifically for children and quickly spread to Swiss schools. The game, which involves hitting a ball back and forth with wooden paddles on your hands, served as a template for Boardball, or Boba for short. Nevertheless, there are still small subtle differences, such as the leash. Similar to a surf leash that attaches the board to the surfer's foot, the leash is designed to connect the board racket to the boardball player's wrist. Not only does it give the racket an extra coolness factor and casual surfer vibe, but even more importantly, it provides an additional safety feature that prevents it from falling to the ground.
Finally, Boba should be just as simple but also versatile as Goba. Using high-quality, sustainably produced rackets that are child-friendly and having simple rules, the game is still expandable with several variants for all age groups and skill levels. Boba should be easy but creative, sustainable and inclusive, fun for kids and beginners as well as for ambitious athletes.
Born was boardball, a versatile ball game that can be played with one or two bats in hand in many fun and challenging variations.
What is special about Boardball?
At first glance, Boardball seems delightfully simple. Nevertheless, during the first game, a learning effect is quickly noticeable. Coordination, ambidexterity, reaction time, speed, agility, understanding of the game and spatial timing are trained while playing.
Especially for children, or anyone new to the field of racket games, boardball is an ideal introductory game. The board racket does not need to be tightly held. The racket can be easily and securely fixed even on small children's hands, so they can concentrate fully on hitting the ball without difficulty. An optimal introduction to the world of racket and backstroke games.
Before children can get their hands on tennis, badminton or table tennis rackets, or even squash, paddle, speedminton and badminton, boardball serves as optimal preparation. With the boardball bat as their first racket in hand, children playfully train their coordination and reaction skills, speed and agility are improved, while they develop an understanding of racket play and spatial timing.
In addition, the creativity of the players is stimulated. Because the best thing about boardball: The game is seemingly endlessly versatile and can be played in ever new variations.
So each player can play with one boardracket or also with two boardrackets. You can play with two different balls. In pairs, in a group, or even alone play one or even several balls back and forth.
How to play boardball?
From the simple, but still not to be underestimated one vs. one game, Boardball offers many more game variations. We would like to present some creative game models here. In the spirit of the inventors of Goba, we also want to encourage all players and especially children to develop their own game variants.
A board rack is fixed to one hand. This leaves the other hand free to catch the ball or even to throw it at the beginning. As soon as the players can play the ball back and forth several times, they can try the classic game with two rackets.
Two players carry their board rackets on both hands. Now both can cooperatively try to play one of the balls back and forth without it landing on the ground. However, it is also possible to play a competitive game in which you play against each other instead of together. By having to use both hands, coordination and ambidexterity are promoted more than in other backstroke games.
There are no further rules or scoring systems. The aim is much more to develop skill, reaction and agility, but also to promote creativity and encourage players to develop new forms of boardball.
Boardball can be played all by oneself and still promotes coordination skills, as well as individual ingenuity.
This way, you can balance the ball on the boardracket, let it tap the ground with it or play it against a wall. Advanced boardball artists can even use two balls and balance one while the other bounces on the floor. Or you can play one ball against the wall while trying to keep the other on the racket.
To make the game easier or more difficult, you can run or stand still, walk sideways or backwards. You can try to master a slalom course with the ball. Or you can think about small tasks, like switching the ball from one racket to the other by tapping it once. There are virtually no limits to the game. The more the players learn, the further the artistic, creative variation can be developed.
Two boardball players pass a ball to each other. The ball should alternately touch the board racket, the ground and then a racket again. Depending on the size of the playing field, the game can be made harder or easier. If you have already mastered the variant with bouncing on the ground, you can make it a little more difficult. For example, a circle or a line on the floor can mark the area where the ball is allowed to bounce. Players can draw inspiration from other bounce games, such as classic tennis, to develop the variation. Or to come up with a scoring system.
Other expanding rules could be, for example: You must always pass the ball up with one hand and only then pass it back with the other side. Each player must hit into his own circle and not hit the other player's circle. You are allowed to use the side wall as well as the floor. Instead of aiming at a circle on the floor, you play the ball at a target on the wall.
The older and more skilled the players, the more the game can be extended to larger groups. If more than two players are involved, then the ball can also be played very well in a circle. Or you can form groups and play as a team from one side to the other.
Similar to the variants described above, individual rules can determine the level of difficulty. For example, you can specify whether the ball may touch the ground, whether each player must use both hands, or whether the ball should bounce behind a target line. The game becomes particularly challenging in a group when there is more than one ball in play.
Boardball with different balls
As already mentioned, the classic boardball set includes two different balls, which can be used simultaneously or individually. To make the game more varied, especially for children, you can try other different balls.
For example, how about playing one of the above games with a balloon? Or with a tennis ball, shuttlecock or table tennis ball?
These boardball variations also make it particularly easy for children to get to grips with classic throwback games such as tennis and the like. With the appropriate ball and the respective rules of the game, but also with the simplified rackets, the original can be played very easily.
Even more creativity is needed for DIY board ball. First, the board rackets are to be handcrafted. Then a game or a rough set of rules has to be designed. Then the fun can begin. All new creative game variants are collected in a self-made game book.
In schools, DIY Boardball can be wonderfully used as a cross-curricular project. In technology or art classes, children build, paint or design their board rackets. In physical education classes and during breaks, they design their own games.
Boardball: DIY Kit
There will also be a DIY kit from two46 in the future. The kit will contain all the components needed to make board rackets yourself. Entertaining simple tutorials and instructions will explain how kids can make their own rackets. The further design of the racket, as well as the rules of the game, will be up to each player.
Who is playing boardball for?
The various catch and toss games and Goba served as inspiration for the game development. Both games were back then especially designed for children. Thus, also Boardball is a wonderful backstroke game for children. Especially because it relieves small children's hands of the difficulty of having to hold a bat. Because of the many game variations, the creative possibilities and individually changeable versions, adults can also train their coordination and reaction skills with Boardball.
Why is boardball so valuable, especially for children?
The broad scope for creativity created by their own versions of the game promotes the creativity and personality development of children and young people. With the child-friendly racket version the Boardracket even small children get access to rebound games. Their perception and coordination skills develop. Both-sidedness, timing, reaction and spatial perception are trained. Passing and teamwork are especially important in the pair game variants.
By coming up with new versions of their own, children learn the basics of game play, as well as independence and personal responsibility. It doesn't take much to come up with a new version of the game. Boardball can be played on any surface and even with little space, by incorporating or even deliberately avoiding the floor or sidewalls. Simple obstacles, such as a bench, a hedge, but also a line or a circle on the ground, give rise to new creative game rules.
In addition, children can finally take their cue from other throwback games and thus get to know classics such as tennis, badminton or squash. Even variations of team games like volleyball can be replayed. This way, kids learn the basics and rules of other games in a kid-friendly version.
In short: Boardball is a real gamechanger, not only because two46 uses it to further develop the way of learning backstroke games, but also because the game itself keeps reinventing itself.