Hong Kong's first ever tchoukball contest

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 August, 2005, 12:00am

Many of us have never heard of tchoukball - and a group of Hong Kong fans of this team ball game are set on addressing this.

Tchoukball is similar to handball. It was invented by a Swiss sports physician named Hermann Brandt 34 years ago.

He declared that the objective of physical activity was 'not to create champions, but rather to help and construct a harmonious society.'

A tchoukball match opposes two nine-player teams on a rectangular field, with a rebound frame (a small trampoline), placed at either end, and a forbidden zone around it.

To score a point, a player must bounce the ball off the frame in a way that no defending player can catch it.

'The attraction of this game is that there is no body contact allowed and it challenges players to think on their feet,' said Alex Pong Yiu-wing, a member of the Tchoukball Association of Hong Kong, China.

'Playing involves asserting oneself without dominating someone else. It is an easy game to learn and has strong educational power,' said Pong, who will help organise Hong Kong's first ever tchoukball competition at Ying Wa College on August 20.

Over 20 teams, including male and female, and youth and adult sides, have signed up for the tournament so far.

The school in Kowloon will host an open day on August 14 where people of all ages can try out the game and meet regular players.

'Our initial focus is to develop the game in primary schools. We think parents in Hong Kong will support the promotion of this sport as there is no body contact, and it encourages teamwork and communication,' said Pong.

The association will send a group of 10 primary students to Taiwan on August 16, for a three-day cultural tour and to play friendly matches.

'Taiwan has already developed the game well and has one of the strongest national teams in the world. They will send some of their top male and female players to Hong Kong to give demonstration matches during our competition on August 20.

'I think there is a lot of potential for the game to develop here,' added Pong. 'It's unique and you only need two frames to play it. It could easily be introduced in PE classes.'