Tamburello is racquet and a ball based sport which originated in Italy during the 16th century. The sport is a modified and improved version of another ancient Italian sport Pallone col bracciale. It is a wall-based sport that is similar to Fronton and Squash. Today, there are several forms of tamburello, and is practiced in many countries around the world.
The most popular form of tamburello, that is played in Italy at a professional level, is called the 'Open'. This form of tamburello has two variants,
- In the first variant, matches are played in a specialized arena called sphaeristerium, in which the court has a lateral wall, and the rules allows for the ball to rebound off of the wall.
- In the second variant, matches are played in an open field court and does not have a lateral wall.
The court used is 90 to 100yards long. The width is exactly half of the length. The court is split along the width into two equal halves, called battuta and rimessa. There is a small box outside the battuta, called trampolino, from where serves have to be delivered.
The game play starts with a serve which has to fall beyond the middle line, followed by side-to-side returns that cross the middle line. A player wins a point if the opponent is unable to fairly return the ball inbounds. The scoring format used is similar to that of lawn tennis.
- Frontenis — a sport using rackets and a rubber ball on a ‘pelota court’
- Squash — a racquet sport played by two or four players in a four-walled court with a small hollow rubber ball.