Bounce ball

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Bounce ball game, the light red line marks the playing field

Bounce ball is a team sport and is one of the so-called return games . Prellball belongs to the gymnastics games .


A leather bounce ball, as prescribed by the DTB for point games

The official rules of the German Gymnastics Federation (DTB) and the rules of the Games Department (OFS) of the DTB apply to the bounce ball game .

The playing field is 8 x 16 m in size, which is a little smaller than a volleyball field . It is divided in the middle by a line or a 5 cm wide net at a height of 40 cm. Two teams play against each other. Each team consists of at least three, but usually four players. Up to two substitutes per team are permitted. Substitutions can be made any number of times. Mixed-sex teams are not allowed in competitions, in contrast to individual tournaments where mixed teams are allowed.

The game ball has a circumference of 62 cm to 68 cm and a weight of 320 g to 380 g. A lighter ball with a weight of 260 g to 300 g can be used in the youth range from 11 to 14 years of age.

The bouncing , from which the game takes its name, is the knocking of the ball with the closed fist or with the forearm , whereby not only the ball but also the forearm must show a clear downward movement. Simply letting the ball bounce is considered a technical error.

The aim of the game is to bounce the ball onto the floor of your own half of the field so that it reaches the opponent's side via the leash and cannot be properly accepted by the opponent there. The ball may be accepted either directly from the air or after it has hit the ground.

The ball must hit the ground exactly once after each player contact within your own team. Each player may only bounce the ball once during a play. The three phases of a turn are usually acceptance , exposure and attack . With the third touch at the latest, the ball must be played over the line again.

Neither the ball nor the players are allowed to touch the line. For every mistake made by one team, one point is awarded to the other. The ball is then brought back into play from the area behind the baseline by indicating . In the youth area or in small gyms, the information can also be made in front of the baseline, i.e. within the field. The team that last made a mistake has this information.

The playing time is 2 × 10 minutes. The winner is the team that scored more points at the end of the season.


Bounce ball originated from gymnastics when gymnasts used the ball to loosen up their practice hours. An exact date of origin is not documented. The first indications of playing on an upturned gymnastics bench date from 1925/1926.

From 1936 gymnastics lessons were played according to rules they had developed themselves, until 1945 official rules were introduced. Since then, bounce ball has developed into a game with a competitive nature .


Prellball is by far the most common in Germany . In Austria also a regular game operation takes place. In addition, it is played sporadically in Switzerland , Sweden and Argentina .



The referee is the person in charge of a game. He determines when a ball has not been played according to the rules. Thus, he has to master the specialty regulations, the rules of the game, the pass regulations and the referee regulations.

Referees are divided into three categories, which state what kind of games they are allowed to lead:

  • C Referee: May preside over games at the national level and lower rated games.
  • B referee: May preside over games at federal level and lower rated games.
  • A referee (highest referee): May direct everything.

The requirement for the B-license is the C-license and for the A-license the B-license.

The positions of the scorer, the linesman and the referee are displayed here.


There are two linesmen who stand at the corner of the field opposite the referee. By means of hand movements specified in the rules, they show the referee whether a ball was in the field, outside the field or on the ceiling, or whether the player making the statement has crossed the service line.


The scorer enters the course of the game such as points, time outs or penalties on a special playing card.

Two-way bounce ball

Two-way bounce ball is related to the bounce ball (also known as a four-way bounce ball). Instead of four, it is played with two players per team.

Rule differences

A team consists of two players. The attack is carried out from within the playing field. The ball is always accepted by a player with the open hand or fist and then played by the teammate with the fist or forearm into the opposing field. Two consecutive touches of the ball by the same player are prohibited.

The playing time is 2 × 5 minutes. The playing field is a little smaller at 6 m × 14 m and the lines are a little lower at 35 cm. Due to the reduced number of players and the possibility of being able to "cut" the ball , a more dynamic and faster flow of the game is created than with the more static (four-way) bounce ball .


The two-way bounce ball was invented by Horst Hegemann in Hesse in 1925 and developed there primarily in Frankfurt and Hanau , but also in Mannheim and Stuttgart . This variant of the bounce ball game has developed especially in Hessen. In the rest of Germany, the four-way bounce ball is more common.

Since the German Gymnastics Festival in Frankfurt am Main in 1983, the two-way bounce ball has been an integral part of every major sporting event of the German Gymnastics Federation and the Hessian Gymnastics Association (HTV). The rules of the game have been an official part of the DTB since 1993.

To this day, an organized championship round is only played in the Hessian Gymnastics Association (since 1969), which consists of 22 divisions (state, association and district leagues, men, state and association league women, state leagues for all age groups (minis ≤ 10 years up to men 60), Hessian club championships). Around 40 clubs with around 500 active participants take part in competitions. Outside Hesse, there is a two-way bounce ball league in Vienna and an annual cup tournament in Duisburg .

In 2009 there were two highlights in the two-way bounce ball: At the international German Gymnastics Festival in Frankfurt am Main, an unexpected number of 172 teams took part. On September 19, 2009, the first country comparison took place in a two-way bounce ball. In Vienna , the Hessian U23 selection met a Viennese selection and won the games 10: 8 (men), 14: 4 (women) and 34:16 (mixed). From September 30th to October 3rd 2011 there was a second country comparison of the U23 Hessen against Vienna. Hessen won it 14: 4 (men), 14: 4 (women) and 29:21 (mixed).

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