The only rule is to keep the ball alive
Baliboa® is closely related to other ball games such as tennis, squash, Jokari, paddleball, pickle ball, and shares some similarities with Badminton and beach games such as the Frisbee. It combines many of the characteristics of those games minus the constraints (financial, facilities, weather) or injuries/health contraindications sometimes associated with them.
To play Baliboa® all one needs to do is to rally for as long as possible, and in whichever way possible. This is what attracted us most to this universal game, keep the ball alive. The players do not play against each other but simply try to keep the ball in the air. There is no competition, no winner … it is by playing “with” the other that the best exchanges can be had.
Nothing could be simpler. One can begin with slow exchanges at waist level and speed up the exchanges depending on the skill level of each. It is best to start with a reduced distance between the players (about 9 – 15 feet) to encourage the maximum number of exchanges for as long as possible without letting the ball hit the floor.
Is it possible to win at Baliboa®?
For this you must first work with your partner’s strengths, then as soon as you both feel confident and the racquets are ready, you can progressively increase the distance between the players and the intensity of the exchanges. To prolong the pleasure of the game for as long as possible, one must be as consistent as possible, attentive to the your partner and remain reactive.
For those players who must absolutely “win” in the ways of the western world, one can attempt to make his/her partner surrender by hitting back every ball, without any blunders, and in the best way possible. The player, who exhausted and unable to continue the perpetual exchanges, asks to stop loses a hypothetical point and wins the complicit smile of his/her partner!
All-terrain! Beach racquet, city racquet
Baliboa® can be played anywhere: at the beach of course but also in public spaces such as city squares, parks and on any other playground (basketball, handball, bocce). Baliboa® is another way to reappropriate public space.
All one needs is just a few feet of a more or less flat surface and you are ready to go. Whether you’re at the beach, a park or back yard, on a parking lot, on the street, against a wall, young or not so young, a game of Baliboa® is the perfect pastime. Hitting the ball back-and-forth and sustaining the exchange for long periods of time is healthful.