Name in Original Language
Area Where Played
This game was created in Rio de Janeiro in the 1940s, right after WWII.
In spite of some controversies, the invention of the game is most likely attributed to Lian Pontes de Carvalho.
In this version of the game’s origin, some people that used to play tennis at Copacabana’s beach were bothered with the rotting of their racquets due to sea water, and decided to order wooden racquets, which more resistant.
The game had developed during the decades and it was named Frescobol, which is a mix of “frescor” (fresh in Portuguese) and “bol” (adaptation of ball, common suffix used in sports).
This is a game largely played throughout Brazil. In most beaches of Brazil, one would certainly find two people playing it.
It is more common to see the recreational version of the game being played, where two people hit the rubber ball to each other just for fun; but the game also exists as a form of championship sports in Brazil.
The game was created at, and is still directly connected with, the beach. Players are mostly likely found on the seashores or sand, playing in their bathing suits.
The particularity of this game is its non-competitive character. The game is not about winning or making the adversary lose. In fact, there is no adversary, and cooperation is the key point of the game. The players are partners and work together with the aim of keeping the ball in the air.
The basic rule is to not letting the ball touch the ground. To avoid that, each player can only hit the ball once; the same person cannot hit the ball twice if his or her partner does not hit the ball at least once, In other words , the hits must happen alternately.
There are four ways to play the game in the competitions:
Free – maintaining the ball in the air as long as possible.
Fast – within a minute, the double players must hit the ball as many times as they can.
Radical – the ball must stay in the air and the double players must attack it with different movements.
Specialists – the double players must define which one is the attacker and which one is the defender. After that, they must diversify their movements and keep the ball in the air for as long as possible.
The game can also be played by three people. In this version, one person alternates the hits with the other two people, who stand side by side.