Sometimes it seems that the best and oddest obscure sports actually aren’t new ideas so much as conglomerations of other sports taken to extreme levels that are often thought not close to possible.
Bossaball is the bastard child of a massive orgy of sports. If volleyball, football, gymnastics, basketball and soccer all decided to have just a little too much fun one night and nobody is really sure what happened, bossaball is the closest thing to an answer we’ll ever have.
Even the name in fact implies this very sense of style and personality. Bossa is a Portuguese word meaning flair or attitude, giving the perfect name to this incredibly exciting and complex hodgepodge of sport styles.
The premise of bossaball is simple: You need to have the ball hit the ground on the opposing team’s side of the net. The other team has a total of eight hits to return the ball back to your side of the court and so on.
Doesn’t sound too hard does it?
Well, if this was a normal sport, it wouldn’t be. But where a normal volleyball game maintains the fact that players are standing on solid ground, bossaball does not.
Yeah. The playing field is one giant inflatable bouncy pit, like a moon walk. But every time you jump in the air to hit the ball, you are going to send an unpredictable shockwave across the field that will change the balance for the rest of your, and the opposing team.
It’s not as easy as you thought, eh?
Another divergence from other sports with stricter rules: Players can hit the ball with any part of their body. Want to use your hands? Yeah, that’s a volley hit in bossaball. Want to use the feet that God gave you for more than just standing around? Yup, soccer hits are allowed to. Even jumping in mid-air rotating backward flip jump kicks are allowed.
Even more impressive is (remember, you are playing on a giant inflatable pit) when players jump in the air to back-flip kick-serve. Or back-flip-kick block another hit over the net.
Words just fall short at showing the glory that comes from jumping off a trampoline only to smash the ball back in the other team.
Oh, and I forgot that part. In the middle of the bouncy moon walk playing area is another trampoline that a player is allowed to jump off of for even more extreme tactics. The only down side is that if the other team is able to ground the bossaball in that area, it counts for three, not the usual one, points. That leaves a team to have to both guard the trampoline area in the middle of the court and also make sure to have player coverage across the rest of the expansive and bouncy field of play.
And of course, if this all wasn’t extreme enough as it is, the referee of the match, called a samba referee, is not only in charge of making calls about hits being in or out, but also is in charge of coordinating the energy of the match by playing music, often through the use of exotic DJ mixes.
In bossaball, even the referee is having fun and is part of the sport.
Clark is a member of the class of 2012.