Strange Sports: Bossaball

So what do an air mattress, trampoline, volleyball, soccer, and exotic, groovy music have in common? The answer? A new sport known as Bossaball!

[The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and the world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports.]

The term bossa is translated as style or flair and is an appropriate description of this high flying sport. Sometime between the years of 2003 – 2005, a Belgian by the name of Filip Eyckmans, who was living in Spain at the time, conceived a sport that was a fusion of volleyball, soccer, and gymnastics. The idea came to him after a visit to Brazil where he witnessed the agile and dynamic moves of capoeira.

Bossaball is played between two teams of four players each. Points are scored when the ball is grounded via either a volleyball or soccer touch meaning that players can strike the ball with either their hands or feet. The volleyball touch is only allowed once and there is a maximum of 5 touches per side as opposed to three as in traditional volleyball. Points scored range from 1 – 5 points depending on what part of the unique playing field that the competitors are on. The field can be modified in size to accommodate players of different ages and ability level. This allows for a diverse population being able to participate in this exciting activity.

Additionally, this sport provides and number of health benefits such and cardiovascular health, flexibility, coordination, as well as flexibility to name a few. Anyone interested in a dynamic, fun, and unique pastime should consider Bossaball as a viable alternative to their fitness regime!

By Dr. Vincent K. Ramsey – Dr. Vincent K. Ramsey, is the Chair of Sports Exercise Science at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at