Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Te Ano

Te Ano is the national game of Tuvalu, with similarities to volleyball, though using two balls at once. Tuvaluans of all ages and gender play the sport. The game starts with two teams lining up facing each another on a malae (meeting ground or playing field). Most of the team stand in rows behind two central players on their team, the captain and catcher.

Competition begins with one player throwing the ball toward the other team, who must hit it back with their hands. Only the designated catcher is allowed to catch the ball. The receiving team have to keep the ball off the ground. Points are scored if the opposite team lets the ball fall and the first team to reach 10 points wins.

There are two balls moving about at any one time, making the game fast and very exciting to watch. Matches can be fierce but usually friendly. The game ends with the losers performing a funny song and dance routine intended to bring the winners back to earth.

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Check out our Encyclopedia of Every Sport. Well not every sport, as there is a list of unusual sports, extinct sports and newly created sports. How to get on these lists? See What is a sport?

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