HIT BALL, The Redemption of Sport

INTRODUCTION

HIT BALL is a new type of sport invented in Turin (Italy), following experimental research work by Physical Education expert, Prof. Luigi Gigante. This highly innovative team sport became astoundingly successful and popular among teachers and students in Turin, because it met the needs of  the region’s schooling system.

Encouraged by those initial positive results, a group of PE teachers decided to found the HIT BALL Italian Federation (F.I.H.B.) on 26 March 1992, with the purpose of popularising and protecting the practice of the game.

The name of the game, “HIT BALL“, tells it all. This is the first rule:

  • The ball must always be hit or driven back and can never be blocked or held (unless the referee whistles). It is played in a parallelepiped (width: 10m, length: 20m, height: 5m). This means there are no side or end lines, since the back and side walls and the ceiling are all part of the playing court:
  • It is not possible to throw the ball out.

Matches are played 5 vs. 5, with the players divided by a line (the halfway line) that can never be crossed. There is also an attacking line (2m from the halfway line) and a defence line (6m from the halfway line). A 2.20m tall and 10m wide goal is located at the end of the court, 1m from the end wall. The purpose of the game is to score as many goals (called HITS) as possible. Hits scored from the attacking zone are worth 1 point, while those scored from the defence are worth 2 points.

HIT BALL is entirely based on the principle of continuous play. In order to prevent a team gaining an advantage by wasting time, not only it is not possible to throw the ball out of play, but a rule prevents a team from playing the ball for more than 5 consecutive seconds. Players may hit the ball to drive it back or pass it to a team mate using all parts of the body, but the attacking strike (a strike that crosses the halfway line) must be performed exclusively with the upper limbs.

PHYSICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • GLOBAL USE OF THE BODY: With the exception of the attacking strike, which can be performed only with the upper limbs, the entire body can be used to hit the ball in all stages of the game;
  • SYMMETRICITY: The game dynamics are such that both the right and left side of the body are used;
  • COORDINATION: General and specific (eye-hand coordination);
  • AGILITY: Alertness reflexes;
  • SPEED: Decisions taken in fractions of seconds;
  • STAMINA
  • FREE BODY EXPRESSION

EDUCATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • LIMITED UNSPORTSMANLIKE ATTITUDES: Not allowed by the court structure (the ball is always “live”) and by the rules (no draw, five seconds rule and four defending players rule);
  • BALANCED INVOLVEMENT OF ALL PLAYERS without discrimination towards less skilled individuals, due to the fact that rebounds are random and simple actions, such as blocking or passing, can be performed by anyone;
  • NO CONCEPT OF “ROLE”, therefore all players are constantly moving;
  • NO “SUBSTITUTE” ROLE in the Under 14 class, where the rules establish that 9 players must all play 2 out of 3 times;
  • REASSESSMENT OF THE ROLE OF THE REFEREE: Since the volume of play is high, any referee error has only a very limited impact; furthermore, only few actions are prone to be contended, especially when HIT BALL is played in a purposely-built structure;
  • USE OF NATURAL AND PREFERRED ACTIONS (saving and scoring): Learning is easy, rules are simple, therefore fun is immediate from a player’s very first game;
  • MINIMAL RISK OF INJURIES
  • LIMITED COSTSIn addition to the physical and educational considerations, there are also significant INNOVATIVE CONSIDERATIONS

  • NEW CONCEPT OF USE OF THE GYM, which allows the normal school structures to be easily adapted to the game, with full use of the space;
  • PARTICULAR GAMEPLAY which caters for speed and continuous play, without breaks or interruptions;
  • 22 SQUARE METERS GOALS DEFENDED BY THREE DEFENDERS
  • STRIKE MOVEMENT toward the goal by means of the upper limbs, without holding the ball.

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