Tchoukball. Yes, that spelling is correct. Pronounced chewk-ball, this fast-paced and team-oriented sport guarantees to fill your student’s highlight reel with high-flying acrobatics, diving catches, and ridiculous, Top 10 nominee shots on offense. First, let me introduce you to Tchoukball. Then, I’ll convince you to adopt this sport into your PE program (if you haven’t already).
Here. We. Go!
Developed in the 1970s, Tchoukball was a sport created to reduce injuries by reducing aggressiveness between players. The way to do this is to eliminate the common defensive concept of guarding the opposition. Wait what? Yes, no defense. Bear with me on this…
How to Play Tchoukball
- This sport is usually played on the dimensions of a basketball court. At each end of the court is an angled trampoline-style netted frame positioned within a D-shaped forbidden zone.
- A unique aspect of this sport sit that EACH team can score on either end of the court by throwing the cantaloupe-sized game ball off the framed netting with it then landing on the ground outside the D-shaped forbidden zone.
- Guarding opponents to prevent passing and/or shooting is prohibited. Physical contact between opponents is considered illegal.
- Players may take up to 3 steps with the ball, hold the ball for up to 3 seconds, and may not pass the ball more than 3 times before shooting at either netted frame.
- Change possession when a pass is dropped or not completed.
- If a shot is caught by the defending team, that team can proceed to attack immediately on either netted frame.
Of course, depending on how well your students grasp these rules, modify the sport accordingly to best suit your classroom.
The most common critical feedback I’ve heard from my colleagues first being introduced to Tchoukball is the “no defense” concept. It seems odd and perhaps comical. We are so used to playing defense in most sport-oriented activities. I’m not going to sugar coat it, this concept may take some time for your students to get used to.
One defensive concept is still prevalent in the game of Tchoukball. It appears when teams position themselves throughout the playing area to prevent the opposing team from scoring after an attempted shot. Tchoukball is a game of angles and deception. Fakes and attack shots from sides of the court are necessary if one wants to score on their opponent. Teams need to strategize where to position themselves on the court to prevent scoring attacks from their opposition.
With its fast-paced action and unique rule set, I truly believe Tchoukball is the best activity missing in physical education programs. Here’s 3 reasons that I hope convince you to adopt this sport into your Physical Education program.
Why I Introduced Tchoukball to My Students
1. Everyone Can Play
High participation rates are always prevalent in Tchoukball because of the “no defense” concept. Unable to defend the opponent from passing amongst each other or shooting on goal enables all people to play together, regardless of skill level, gender, or cultural background.
2. It’s Something New
Tired of doing the same old, same old in your class? Yes, you may have that routine that has worked and been comforting for years. So why change it? Well, your students deserve change. Exposure to new activities is not only stimulating to the mind but also exposes students to additional opportunities they might not have otherwise.
Not convinced? Think of that last time you visited a new city, or maybe dined at a new restaurant, and you walked away impressed. Granted, that level of impression isn’t always the same when you try something new. But there are times when you are thankful for that experience and you do revisit that city or restaurant. Those are the opportunities our students need!
3. Connection to the Learning Standards
ALL 5 National Physical Education Standards can be taught within Tchoukball, regardless of grade level. Here is an example of grade level outcomes in 6th grade that support teaching to the standards.
1: Perform Motor Skills
- Students demonstrate shooting on goal or target with power and competency.
- Students demonstrate pivots and fakes without defensive pressure.
2: Movement Concepts
- Students demonstrate using the width and length of the court on offense.
- Students create open space in net games by moving opponent from side to side.
3: Achieve Fitness
- Students identify activities used to develop components of skill-related fitness (agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time, speed).
- Students identify major muscles in selected physical activities.
4: Personal Behavior
- Students demonstrate rules and etiquette during physical activities and games.
- Students demonstrate cooperation in a small group during physical activity.
5: Value Physical Activity
- Students understand that some physical activities are challenging.
- Students identify positive feelings that result in physical activity.
My Challenge for You
I recently introduced Tchoukball to Physical Education teachers in my district. Within minutes, feedback was overwhelmingly positive with teachers saying: “I want this!” “Tchoukball is incredible!” “My students will love this!”
There are many ways Tchoukball can be implemented within your Physical Education program. I encourage you to explore your creativity and expand your arsenal of sports and activities with this high-action sport.
So, where can you get official Tchoukball equipment you might ask? Check out Gopher’s Tchoukball Pack. This comes with the necessary equipment you need, an easy-to-use teaching curriculum, and an instructional DVD
I am always looking for hidden gem sports like Tchoukball. If you have a unique sport or activity you feel many educators haven’t heard about, share that knowledge with your colleagues in our Physical Education community.