Saturday, 13 Jul 2024

Catchball: A Fun and Engaging Team Sport

Catchball, also known as Net Ball, is a thrilling team sport that originated from volleyball. In this exciting game, players catch and throw the ball instead of hitting it. Initially designed as a simplified version of volleyball for women, Catchball has gained immense popularity in Israel and has become a favorite sport among female adults.

Rules and Gameplay

The rules of Catchball closely resemble those of volleyball. However, Catchball allows players to catch the ball before throwing it to another player or over the net, making it easier to play and learn. Played indoors on a court divided by a net, two teams of six compete against each other. The game starts with a serve, as the ball is thrown over the net to the opponents. Each team can handle the ball a maximum of three times before it must be thrown over the net. If the ball is fumbled or touches the ground, the opposing team earns a point. Points are awarded to the team that wins each rally, regardless of who served. Additionally, teams can attempt to block the ball at the net, although a block does not count as one of the three ball contacts.

Catchball is a relatively new sport, but its popularity is rapidly growing. It has spread to various countries, including the United States, where a similar sport called Newcomb Ball has emerged. Catchball even made it to the program for the 2017 Maccabiah Games, demonstrating its significance on a global scale.

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Similar Sports

Catchball has a few counterparts that share the same concept of catching and throwing the ball. These sports include:

  • Newcomb Ball: An early variation of volleyball where teams throw a ball back and forth until it hits the floor or is mishandled.
  • Throwball: A sport similar to Newcomb Ball that is predominantly played in India.
  • Hoover Ball: A unique version of volleyball created for US President Herbert Hoover, featuring a medicine ball that is thrown over the net and caught before being thrown back.
  • Volleyball: A classic game involving two teams of six players who hit a large ball over a high net, aiming to score points by making it touch the ground on the opponent’s side of the court.
  • Sitting Volleyball: A modified version of volleyball played by disabled athletes while seated, also known as Paralympic volleyball.

Explore More

If you’re interested in learning about other sports or expanding your knowledge of Catchball, check out our complete list of sports and delve into The Encyclopedia of Sports. Additionally, you can explore the vibrant sports scene in Israel, where Catchball thrives in leagues like Mamanet.


Q: How is Catchball different from traditional volleyball?
A: Catchball differs from traditional volleyball in that players catch and throw the ball instead of hitting it. This unique twist adds an exciting dynamic to the game and makes it more accessible for players of all skill levels.

Q: Is Catchball only played by women?
A: Catchball was initially designed as a simplified version of volleyball for women. However, it has evolved into a sport enjoyed by people of all genders and ages, fostering inclusivity and a sense of camaraderie among players.

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Q: Are there international competitions for Catchball?
A: While Catchball is still growing as a global sport, it has gained recognition and has been included in events like the Maccabiah Games. As its popularity continues to soar, we can expect to see more international competitions in the future.

Q: Can Catchball be played outdoors?
A: Catchball is primarily an indoor sport, played on a court divided by a net. However, variations of the game can be adapted for outdoor settings, allowing players to enjoy this thrilling sport in different environments.


Catchball, a captivating team sport derived from volleyball, offers a unique and engaging experience for players. By catching and throwing the ball, participants add a refreshing twist to the traditional game, making it easier to play and learn. As Catchball gains popularity worldwide, it joins the ranks of similar sports like Newcomb Ball and Throwball. Moreover, the sport fosters inclusivity and provides opportunities for both competitive play and recreational enjoyment. So grab your teammates, embrace the thrill of Catchball, and experience the joy of this exciting sport firsthand.

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