Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world


Tetherball is a sport played between two individuals with the use of a stationary pole and a ball tethered to the top of the pole using a rope. The sport originated in North America and is only played at a recreational and amateur level.

A match is played between two players who stand opposite to each other facing the pole in between. The height of the pole is usually between 7 to 10 feet, and the ball used, typically a volley ball, hangs from the top to about 2 feet above the ground.

A play starts with a serve. A player who serves, can choose to serve clockwise or anticlockwise. The opposing player has to return the ball in the opposite direction, preventing the ball from making a full circle around the pole. Balls can be returned using the fist or palm. The play continues with back and forth returns until the tether rope is completely wound around the pole. The player who hits in the direction along which the rope has wound around the pole is awarded the point. There is also a marking at 5 feet level, which indicates the level above which the rope has to be wound for a point to be awarded.

The sport does not have officially codified rules, and there is no fixed number of points for which matches are played. It typically depends on what is agreed upon by all the players involved.

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