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Bossaball match on the beach at Marbella Bossaball-wiki-3.jpg
Bossaball match on the beach at Marbella

Bossaball is a team sport that originated in Spain and was conceptualised by Belgian Filip Eyckmans in 2005. [1] Bossaball is a ball game between two teams, combining elements of volleyball, football and gymnastics with music into a sport. It is played on an inflatable court featuring a trampoline on each side of the net. [2] The trampolines allow the players to bounce high enough to spike the ball over the net and score direct points.


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. [3]

Some other countries where Bossaball has been introduced include: Brazil, [4] [5] Argentina, [6] Mexico, [7] Turkey, Belgium, Netherlands, [8] [9] Spain, [10] Germany, [11] [12] [13] France, Switzerland, Portugal, [14] Greece, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, [15] Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, [16] [17] Singapore, [18] [19] Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, [20] [21] Venezuela and Paraguay


A Bossaball game is played between two teams of four players. The aim is for each team to ground the ball on the opponent's field. The height of the net in between both fields can be adjusted for different levels such as professionals, intermediates, beginners, or children. Players are not allowed to touch the net and always have to remain with at least one body part on their own side. [22]

One player (the attacker) is positioned on the trampoline, the others around him/her on the inflatables. A player from the serving team (the server) throws or kicks the ball into the air and attempts to hit the ball so it passes over the net on a course such that it will land in the opposing team's court (the serve). The opposing team must use a combination of no more than five contacts with the ball to return it to the other side of the net. [23] These contacts can be exercised using any body part:

Of the five maximum contacts, the ball has to be played at least once using the football touch technique, once the second pass has been played.

Touch 1Touch 2Touch 3Touch 4Touch 5Allowed
Attacker about to spike with the foot in order to gain extra points, Bossaball in "El Campin".jpg
Attacker about to spike with the foot in order to gain extra points,

During a rally, the ball is tossed around while the attacker jumps on the trampoline in order to gain height. The attack begins when one of the rallying players aims the ball's trajectory towards a spot in the air where the attacker can hit it (spike or kick) and returns the ball over the net.

The team with possession of the ball that is trying to attack the ball as described is said to be on offense. The team on defense attempts to prevent the attacker from directing the ball into their court: players at the net jump and reach above the top (and across the plane) of the net in order to block the attacked ball. If the ball is hit around, above, or through the block, the defensive players arranged in the rest of the court attempt to control the ball with a dig (usually a forearm pass of a hard-driven ball, or a foot control). After a successful dig, the team transitions to offense.

The game continues in this manner, rallying back and forth, until the ball touches the court within the scoring zones or a mistake is committed.

The role of a referee in Bossaball is very similar to volleyball. Competition games are played with three referees: one primary and two assistants. The main referee stands under the net on the playing area. He or she is responsible for the final decisions and especially focuses on the net. The two assistant referees are positioned at the opposite corners of the court. They have to keep track of the maximum amount of touches, the soccer touch and decide if the ball is in or out of bounds. [26]


Points can be made either by scoring or an opponent's error. When the ball touch the floor (the bottom of the trampoline or the inflatables) within the court boundaries (the outer safety zone is out), the team on the opposite side of the net is awarded a point. The safety border around the trampolines is a free zone. On this "bossawall" the ball may bounce or roll. When the ball lays still on the bossawall, the point goes to the opponent's teams

Scoring with volley touch: [27]

Scoring with football touch (any part of the body except hands): [28]

The team that scored, serves next point. The game continues, with the first team to score 21 points (and be two points ahead) awarded the set. Three sets are played in one match.


An official match, is best of three sets. One set gets won when a team gains 21 points, with a minimum of two points difference to the opposing team. Sets continue after 21 points as long as there is no difference of two points. The third set is played till 15 points, the minimum of two points rule is also applied on this set.

Seven international championships have been carried out since 2005. [29]

YearCompetitionLocationFirst placeParticipating countries
2009World Cup [30] TurkeyBrazilBrazil, Belgium, Netherlands, Kuwait, Singapore
2010European CupNetherlandsBelgiumAustria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain
2011European CupNetherlandsBelgiumAustria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain
2012European CupCzech RepublicNetherlandsAustria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain
2013World CupBonaireNetherlandsArgentina, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands
2014European CupNetherlandsNetherlandsBelgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Spain
2015World Cup "A decade in the air" [31] SpainBelgiumArgentina, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain
2016World Cup "#AtTheCopa"BrazilNetherlandsArgentina, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Netherlands[ citation needed ]

Music and "Samba" referees

Music is a major component of a Bossaball show. The person overseeing the game is called the “samba referee" and does not only make calls but also serves as the Master of Ceremonies with the help of a whistle, a microphone, percussion instruments and an exotic DJ set. [32]

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