Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Auralpressure’s Guide to Eton Fives

Eton Fives, a captivating handball sport, has its roots in the renowned English sport Fives. Originating in the late 19th century at Eton College, it gained standardization in the mid-20th century.

Discover the Unique World of Eton Fives

Played in a doubles format, Eton Fives takes place on a meticulously designed court. The court features three walls, with walls on the front and both sides, while the rear side remains open. Notably, a vertical black line is situated on the front wall, 3/4th of a meter from the right side wall. Additionally, the court presents various intriguing challenges, including a step in the middle and a buttress on the left side wall, halfway down the court.

Eton Fives Court
Image: A visual representation of an Eton Fives court.

Gameplay and Rules

Players don gloves and utilize a softer, lighter ball compared to other “Fives” variants. The key rule in Eton Fives is that the ball can only be struck with the palm of either hand.

The game commences with a serve, which must be returned within the vertical black line. Subsequently, players are granted the freedom to hit the ball on any part of the front wall. Teams earn points if their opponents fail to return the ball onto the front wall without it bouncing on the floor or if the ball isn’t returned within a single bounce. It’s important to note that points can only be scored off serves. Matches consist of sets, with the first team to reach 12 points emerging victorious in the set.

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Similar Sports to Explore

If you enjoy Eton Fives, you may also find the following sports intriguing:

  • Fives: An English sport where a ball is propelled against the walls of a specially designed court using a bare or gloved hand.
  • Rugby Fives: An indoor court game involving gloves, where players hit the ball against the wall.
  • American Handball: Similar to squash, but without rackets, players hit a small rubber ball against a wall using their hands.
  • Australian Handball: Like squash, this sport is played without a racquet.
  • Basque Pelota: A diverse range of court sports involving hitting a ball against a wall using the hand, a racket, a wooden bat, or a basket.


Q: What is the objective of Eton Fives?
A: The objective is to earn points by serving the ball in a way that the opponents cannot return it onto the front wall without it touching the floor or within a single bounce.

Q: How is Eton Fives different from other “Fives” variants?
A: Eton Fives distinguishes itself through specific court design, gameplay rules, and the use of a softer, lighter ball.


Immerse yourself in the enthralling world of Eton Fives, a handball sport with a rich history and unique gameplay. With its specially designed court, precise rules, and intense gameplay, Eton Fives offers an exhilarating experience for players and spectators alike. Start playing today and discover the excitement of this timeless sport.

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