New from the Old

International Court Soccer is a relatively new sport. As a combination of soccer and racquetball, it was invented by John Birks and Ron Wagner in 1986. They started with a volleyball, and tried various things until in 2002 they created the exact specifications for the court soccer ball and got Baden Sports to make them. Court soccer balls and other info can be found at http://www.internationalcourtsoccer.com/.

The Rules

A court soccer game is best when there are two players (cutthroat is doable but difficult, and four players wouldn't work well). The space is a racquetball court. The rules are nearly the same as in racquetball:

  • when served, the ball must hit the "target" wall then bounce on the floor between the midcourt line and the "back" wall prior to hitting the "back" wall
  • there is one 'freebie' serve allowed per rally for 'short' or 'long' serves (those serves which hit the "back" wall prior to hitting the floor or whose first floor bounce after hitting the "target" wall is between the "target" wall and the midcourt line)
  • there are 'redo' serves allowed for various mistakes and tough judgment calls (e.g., one player hitting the other with the ball where the ball would otherwise have a good chance of making it to the "target" wall)
  • a player is allowed up to one floor bounce before attempting to return the ball to the "target" wall
  • *different* a player is allowed three (3) "touches" to send the ball to the "target" wall, with no intermediate floor bounces
  • *soccer* no arms/hands allowed to touch the ball while it is in play

Basically, the rules are like racquetball except for using a court soccer ball (quite like a volleyball, at 2-4 lbs pressure) and allowing three "touches".

Gameplay

Games usually go for ten (10) points, win by two (2). The court soccer ball is unusually flat (compared with other balls meant for kicking), so it doesn't have much bounce to it. However, the surprise of a non-returning ball wears off quickly, so you should count on other strategies in order to win.

General strategy

Try to stay near the center of the court, but not "behind" your opponent. Practice low and fast serves and shots, because these are much more difficult to 'save'. Use spin and the corners of the "target" wall near the floor to confuse your opponent sometimes. Stretch before and after a game.

Above all... have fun, it's a game!

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