Catchball is a team sport derived from volleyball in which the ball is caught and thrown rather than hit. The sport was started in Israel, and was designed to be a simple version of volleyball for women to play. It is now one of the most popular sports in Israel played by female adults.
The rules of catchball are very similar to volleyball, though by allowing the players to catch the ball before throwing it to another player or over the net, it is easier to play and learn. The game is played indoors on a court divided by a net, with two teams of six. The ball is put in play with a serve, thrown over the net to the opponents. A maximum of three players can handle the ball before it must be thrown over the net. It the ball is fumbled or hits the ground a point is awarded to the other team. The team winning a rally scores a point, regardless of which team served. Teams can also attempt to block the ball as it crosses the net. A block does not count as one of the three ball contacts.
Catchball is a relatively new sport, though the sport is growing it has spread to quite a few countries, including the US, where there is a similar sport called Newcomb Ball. It has even made it to the program for the 2017 Maccabiah Games.
In Hebrew it is called Kadureshet ("Net Ball"), played in a popular league called Mamanet.
- Newcomb Ball — an early variation of volleyball where teams throw a ball back and forth until it hits the floor or is mishandled.
- Throwball — a sport very similar to Newcomb Ball that is played in India.
- Hoover Ball — a version of volleyball invented for US President Herbert Hoover, in which a medicine ball is thrown over the net and caught before being thrown back (unusual sport).
- Volleyball — a game for two teams of six players, in which a large ball is hit by hand over a high net, the aim being to score points by making the ball reach the ground on the opponent's side of the court.
- Sitting Volleyball — a version of volleyball for disabled athletes played while sitting (also known as Paralympic volleyball).