Cycle Ball or Radball

I probably shouldn’t be calling out my editor in the first paragraph of my article, but here I go anyway:  Really Dan, you want me to cover “Cycle Ball”?  Okay, but I must insist that it not be referred to as that, but instead by its more true and fantastically badass also-known-as.  And do you know what that is?  Radball!

Holy good god – radball?  The single most succint and truthful sports name of all time?  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the best thing to come out of Germany since the Instrument of Surrender: radball.

The objective of radball is, similar to most sports in the world, to score a goal with a ball.  The only difference here is the ball is filled with horsehair and the only way to score is using the wheels of a fixed gear bicycle.  Two teams of two attempt to put a small ball into a roughly six-foot tall goal on both sides of a small court using only three methods of scoring: the front wheel, the back wheel, and in rare instances, the head of a player.  One player, who is assigned with defending the goal, is allowed to use hands to keep lobbed shots out, but is required to drop the ball back to the playing surface. Scoring the game differs from league to league, with some adopting a time game while others play until a maximum score is reached.

If you think those rules sound more difficult than other sports, you are correct.  Watching teams play radball is the only way to appreciate the athleticism and control needed for the game.  Look for “radball” or “cycle ball” on YouTube to get a better glimpse of the artistry in this sport.

Surprisingly, this is not the result of recent drunken spells between the Germans and their bicycles – the sport has been around since the late 1800’s.  There are over 500 cycle ball clubs and leagues around the world, most concentrated in Europe but colleges in the United States have begun to establish radball teams.

TAGS: , ,

Comments are closed.