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The new sport of tallyball was created by Triston Zhang from the USA in 2015. Tallyball is a fast-paced team sport in which the objective is to score the most number of tallies (i.e. points) for the team. It combines practical elements of baseball, fencing, volleyball, association football, American football, rugby, basketball, and handball. It can be played with a tennis ball on a basketball court with two teams.

Equipment Required: Long rope, 2 boards (as goals), tallyball (tennis-ball-sized bouncing ball), whistle (for umpire)


Tallyball is played in a court with a tallyball, a small ball that can be held in the hand and that bounces. A tennis ball may be used. The court must have endlines marked and must also have marked bounds on the side. (Basically, there must be a visible rectangle on the ground in which tallyball is played.) An umpire with a whistle is required.

The court is divided by a rope, which may may marked by a row of bright flags for ease of sight. The rope is stretched taut above head level at about the level of a basketball hoop and divides the court widthwise into two sides. Two teams (of five players in a formal tournament) line up on the end lines on either side of the rope. A tallyball is placed at the center of the court on the ground. Behind each endline, a rectangular board (about the size of a typical chair) is placed in the center. It must stand alone and resist toppling over, and a square with the side length being the width of the board must be marked.

How To Play

  1. After setup, decide which team pitches first. This can be done via coin-flipping, rock-paper-scissors, or any other fair method, including brief discussion. At this point, the umpire can start intervene in the game by blowing a whistle as necessary. If the whistle is blown during the game, all players must stop and obey the umpire's instructions.
  2. The campaign begins. All players must be lined up at the endlines. The pitching team sends a player to the center to retrieve the tallyball. The player returns to the endline and throws the ball to the center of the other endline.
  3. The catching team attempts to catch the tallyball. If it is caught, then the catching side attempts to score for the team before a player from the pitching team can run around the bounds of the court either clockwise or counterclockwise and pass his/her team's own endline. Running is optional, but the runner cannot be tackled, fenced, or blocked. If he/she passes the endline before the catching side scores, the pitching side scores a homerun (8 tallies). Otherwise, if the catching side scores, then the runner's chance to score is lost. If the catching side does not catch the ball, then they proceed to step 4.
  4. Both teams continue the campaign and try to score. (See the next section about scoring.) Players may cross to the other side, and go out of bounds to handle the tallyball. If a ball is launched and deflected (touched), but still scores, then the initial method of launch determines the number of tallies earned. Anyone holding the ball may be tackled. To tackle, grab the player's wrist, and the ball must be dropped. Once the ball hits the floor, anyone can pick it up. Dribbling the ball prevents a player from being tackled. The campaign continues until a touchdown is scored.
  5. A new campaign begins. The pitching team becomes the team that scored the touchdown. Repeat steps 2-4.
  6. After 10 campaigns or when the umpire stops the game, the game is over. The team with the most tallies wins.

Ways To Score


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