Written by Pierre-Alain Girardin
Tchoukball was invented by Dr Hermann Brandt, an eminent Swiss biologist. It was through his work in practical application of scientific knowledge in the sphere of physical activities that the idea of Tchoukball had its foundation. After writing the book 'From Physical Education to Sport Through Biology', Dr Brandt presented his now famous paper 'Critical Scientific Review of Team Sports'. For this work he won the coveted award of 'Thulin Prize', presented at the University of Lisbon on August 16th 1970.
The Practical expression of his ideas, stemming from his critical study of existing games, is how the game we now know as tchoukball was born. Tchoukball derives its name from the sound the ball makes as it rebounds from the net.
Dr. Hermann Brandt thought that " A man/women's personality is of worthy nature only if his psychological and social behavior is meritorious; man's place in society is situated at the level of his personality and its social repercussions, and Physical Education needs to integrate nervous and cerebral functions to enable man to evolve towards the most perfect possible individual and social structure."
Dr. Brandt died in November, 1972, but not before he saw some of his high hopes realized.
Most games can be traced to humble beginnings and periods of slow development before becoming established as a national and international sport. Tchoukball is no exception. It has taken time and patience to convince people that this unique game is truly a 'Sport for all', but we believe the message is now getting across.
From the beginning the game has appealed to an extraordinarily wide and diverse spectrum of people, clubs, organizations, public services and educational establishments around the world.
Today, Tchoukball is no longer just another new team game. It is being played in most parts of the world with much energy, and enthusiasm, varying levels of skill, but above all, with a great deal of enjoyment.
The Tchoukball Charter is a genuine framework for sportsmanship with the fast and spectacular game of tchoukball. The rules of tchoukball demand explicitly that players respect each other always when playing and adhere to it. Healthy celebration of one's achievements on court is encouraged, but not at the expense of the opponent's enjoyment of the game.
The Tchoukball Charter states:
Tchoukball excludes any striving for prestige, whether individually or as a team; rather it is a sport in which players pursue excellence through personal training and collective effort.
Tchoukball is open to players of all degrees of ability (natural or acquired) and skill. Inevitably one will encounter players of every possible ability/skill level during play. Every player must adapt his own play and attitude (technical or tactical) to the circumstances of the moment because each player - teammate or opposing player - is due proper respect and consideration.
On an individual level: the attitude of a player is paramount for it implies respect for himself/herself, for his/her own teammates and for opposing team players regardless of whether any are stronger or weaker players than one's self.
On a team level: no outcome, whatever it might be, should ever impact one's sense of importance, individually or as a team, and it should never lead to sectarian rivalry. From victory one can derive satisfaction and even joy, but never exaggerated pride. The joy of winning should provide encouragement. Arrogance in victory carries with it the struggle for prestige, which is a source of common conflict among humans and condemned within the sport of Tchoukball.
Tchoukball requires total dedication: one must keep constant watch on the movement of the ball and the other players - both objectively and with empathy. As one participates individually in the sport, one subjects oneself to the group's needs. The result is that in the course of a game, different personalities come together as one when they react collectively within the game.
Thus, in Tchoukball:
· there is a collective achievement within a team. This binds the players together, it teaches appreciation and esteem for the values of others, and it creates a feeling of oneness in the common effort of a small group.
· there is an acceptance of the attitudes of the opposing team with whom one must engage in opportunistic play while resisting any hostile undercurrents.
· each player's major concern is to strive for beauty of play. The universal experience of sport can be summed up by the expression: "elegant play begets elegant play".
This attitude is the basis for social interaction of Tchoukball: it encourages one to aim for perfection while always avoiding any negative conduct toward the adversary.
This basic premise is more than just the rule of a sport - it is a rule for conduct at all times, a psychological component of behavior, the basis of an individual's personality.
The aim of Tchoukball is therefore the avoidance of conflict, with one main goal in mind: fair play that does not compromise the level of play but rather links the two teams together in common activity. The beauty of one team's play makes possible - and reinforces - the beauty of play by the other team.
Tchoukball provides social exercise through physical activity. By pooling the resources of all, everyone participates, with the more adept players accepting responsibility for teaching the less adept; therefore, there is no real individual champion, but rather a collective striving for perfection. When one says, "let the best man win", it should mean that a person achieves his/her best through adequate preparation. This being so, it is appropriate that the results reward the efforts which players have undertaken, individually and as a team.
Within these limits, a victory can and should bring satisfaction and meet with an adversary's respect. Victory should inspire in an adversary a desire to do as well, without any feeling of belittlement. Winners should not convey any feeling of arrogant domination. Rather, a sense of healthy satisfaction on the winner's side is like a handshake to encourage the adversary to continue to train properly.
For these reasons, the notion of "victor" should give way to the simpler more appropriate one of "winner." Play as a means of perfecting one's performance is a basic desire that every activity should include and develop. It is toward this goal that every Tchoukball team must work, whether it is in the smallest, friendliest match or the most important meeting "at the summit".
Remember, no set of rules can replace a player's respect for one another and the Spirit of the Game.