In Rugby Fives, a ball is hit against a wall using a gloved hand. Rugby Fives is not related to the Rugby football codes. The game is played either between two players or four players hence known as singles or doubles. The game is known to be originated from Wessex Fives. The ball used in Rugby Fives is a little harder than the ball used in Eton fives which is also a game like Rugby Fives. It is said that Thomas Arnold who was a head master at Rugby School played Wessex Fives. The reference can be traced from the novel, Tom Brown’s School Days. There has been an official Rugby Fives match played between Oxford and Cambridge since 1925.
The basic aim of rugby fives is to hit the ball across the front wall. The opposition has to make sure that before a second bounce, it returns the ball. The ball is hard and leather coated but even then the safety of the players is ensured by making them wear padded gloves.
The Rugby Fives Association is the governing body for the sport of Rugby Fives. The association aims to promote the spirit of playing the sport in schools, colleges and universities. It organizes matches and tournaments and acknowledges the winners. It further contributes towards increasing the development of the game across the country.
- Fives — an English sport in which a ball is propelled against the walls in a specially designed court by using a bare or gloved hand.
- Eton Fives — a handball sport derived from the English sport Fives
- American Handball — players use their hands to hit a small rubber ball against a wall, like squash without rackets.
- Australian Handball — similar to Squash, though played without a racquet.
- Basque Pelota — a variety of court sports that involves hitting a ball against a wall using the hand, a racket, a wooden bat or a basket.