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. Various types of balls can be tethered from the pole. In the case of tennis balls, the game is called Swingball or Totem Tennis. 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 between them. The height of the pole is usually between 7 to 10 feet, and a ball hangs from the top to about 2 feet above the ground. The ball used can vary, often a tennis ball, volleyball or soccer ball.
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, kicked or hit with a racket.
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. In some versions, there is a helical coil of wire at the top of the pole, and the aim is to make the ball go up or down the coil.
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.
- Speed-Ball — an Egyptian racket sport where player hit a ball suspended from a central pole.
- Tennis — a court sport where players use a stringed racket to hit a ball to each other over a net.