Tambourine | Brazil

Name in Original Language


Area Where Played



The best version of the game’s origination states that it has developed from an ancient game called “tamburello”. This game arrived in Brazil at the beach of Santos-SP in 1937, when two Italians brothers brought a pair of wooden tambourines with a leather cover in their luggage. On the beaches of Santos, the game developed new rules and became popular among the natives.

Nowadays the game has spread all over the state of São Paulo and it’s possible to find courts even in Rio de Janeiro and Brasília.

Detailed Description

The game is a part of the local culture that the population of Santos is proud to recognize. Today there are over 2000 players in Brazil, of which 500 of them are from Santos. It is part of the city’s identity.

Enthusiasts have aimed to professionalize the sport, and have organized some institutions to govern it at national, state and local levels.

Originally, the sport is played at the beach on the hard sand, but it can also be played on clay courts. This has allowed the establishment of indoor courts and the practice of the game in cities without beaches.

Many clubs have specific courts in Santos and São Paulo, though the sport is still played at the beach.

Some schools in Santos have included the sport into their physical education program, teaching the local modality to the students. Besides that, the sports department of the City Hall supports a beach school for those who are interested in learning it.


The rules are similar to that of tennis.
It can be played in doubles, singles or even with more than two players on each team.
The court is 34 meters in length and 10 meters in width for doubles or more, and 29 meters in length and 7 meters in width for singles, divided by a net of 0.80 to 1 meter in height. There are two areas in each court; one area is for the forward player and one area is for the player in the back.
The tool used to hit the ball (also called “tamboréu”) is a wooden hoop covered with any material (normally wood or string) and must have a maximum diameter of 26 cm. The balls are the same as the ones used in official tennis matches.
The game is scored by 5 sets of 10 points. It begins when one players serves. The server must serve into the background player’s zone. The team that wins that point will serve next.
The team loses the point when they fail to hit the ball back to the opponent’s court before the ball touches the ground twice.