Let me introduce to you one of the fastest-growing classic sports, soccer tennis which is also known as football tennis or futnet. A lot has been asked regarding the sport and whether soccer tennis is a real sport.
Football tennis is a combination of soccer and tennis, and it’s a super exciting sport though it’s completely different from normal soccer and tennis.
And the best part is, You can play this sport both indoors and outdoors. This is the kind of sport you can play with your friends and family, enjoy the game and keep your health in good form.
And while learning about the sport, it’s important to also understand the rules and regulations that guide soccer tennis. However, in this post, you will learn about soccer tennis which includes when soccer tennis was invented.
Plus the rules that guide the football-tennis game. With that said; If you are ready to learn about the sport, then stick with me. Don’t forget to grab a cup of water. So, let’s dive right in.
What Is Soccer Tennis?
Soccer tennis which is also referred to as football tennis is a kind of sport played with a ball, and it originated in Czech and Slovakia which has around 100 years of history.
Football tennis is also known as nohejbal in Czech and Slovak while it’s popularly known as soccer tennis in the United States of America.
You can practically play futnet everywhere except inside the water side ( that’s a joke ). You can enjoy playing the sport indoors or outdoors on a court that is divided by a low net between two opposing teams of one, two, or three players each depending on how you plan the size of the court.
However, to score a point, a player must hit the ball with any part of his body other than their hands and must make the ball bounce in the opposing team’s court in such a way that it makes it almost impossible for the opponent to play the ball back to him over the net.
According to history, soccer tennis was invented in the 90s and it was later adjusted by the players of Slavia Prague during a game called football over the rope.
During its discovery, football tennis was played over the rope before they now decided to turn the rope into a net. In addition, the first league of futnet which is also known as Trampaska Liga was played between 1953 and 1961 while the first futnet cup was in 1940.
READ: What Is Futsal? (Guide)
Is Soccer Tennis A Real Sport?
Yes, soccer tennis is a real sport with a regulatory body ( UNIF ), though you can not compare their popularity with the likes of football, tennis, basketball, and hockey to mention a few.
The sport which has a history of hundred years has its own set of regulating bodies, rules, and regulations.
And according to the regulatory body, their mission is to promote football tennis, or futnet worldwide and get men and women of all age groups to play the sport.
Soccer Tennis Rules
The soccer-tennis regulatory body, UNIF has a set of rules and regulations that guide the sport in the following area;
- Court and equipment
- Match format
- Game rules
- Ball bounce rules
- Scoring rules
1. Court And Equipment
Soccer tennis is played on a regulation-size double tennis court, 78 feet long and 36 feet wide. And the court is divided in half by a tennis net that is 36 inches high in the middle. Plus, a size 5 soccer ball is used for ages 12 and older.
Also, shoes that mark or damage the court, such as cleats or studded shoes, are not allowed.
2. Match Format
A regular match consists of two out of three games. The first team to score 15 points wins the game, however, three players from each team will compete.
Plus, only two substitutes per match are allowed for each team, and In a co-ed match, at least one female player must be on the court at any given time.
However, after each game, teams are allowed a 3-minute break and switch sides.
Before the game will kick off, a coin toss will be tossed to start the match, and the winner of the toss can choose to serve first or pick the side to start playing on.
However, the service is referred to as a kick-off. The player who starts the kick-off must stand behind the baseline and has two attempts at getting the kick-off in play.
He can kick the ball out of his hands or drop-kick the ball, allowing it to bounce before kicking it. The ball can land anywhere on the opponent’s side of the court.
If the kick-off hits the net and goes over, it is replayed. If the ball fails to go over the net or land within the court’s boundaries in the two attempts, a point is awarded to the opposing team and they will start the next point.
4. Game Play Rules
Players are not allowed to touch the ball with their arms or hands, but any other part of their body, including shoulders, is allowed.
Teams are allowed up to three touches and two bounces. All three touches do not have to be taken before returning the ball. It is legal to return the ball after one touch.
If three touches are taken, all three players do not need to touch the ball.
For example, player A passes the ball to player B who then passes it back to player A, who then returns it to the opposing team.
5. Ball Bounce Rules
The ball is allowed to bounce only once before a player touches it. With three players on a team, means the ball can bounce only twice.
The ball does not have to bounce; a player can elect to return the ball only after one touch.
An example of three touches and two bounces is when player A touches the ball, the ball bounces, player B touches the ball, the ball bounces a second time and then player C returns the ball to the opposing team.
6. Scoring Rules
The team does not have to serve or kick off to win a point; the winner of a rally wins a point. So, teams will be awarded points when the opposing team commits a fault.
Examples of faults are hitting the ball outside the court’s boundary lines, a player touching the ball with his arm or hand, the ball is hit into the net, the server stepping onto the playing field before or during the kick-off and a team too many touches or bounces before returning the ball.
Soccer tennis has been growing steadily since 1922, and it has proven to be a real sport with its own regulatory body, rules and regulations, and tournaments.
Futnet originated in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and the idea of the game is to imitate football and tennis in a different version, and many who have practiced it have spoken well about the sport.
It’s a game you can practice indoors, outdoors, or behind a closed door, but it is advisable to play it on a surface that won’t injure you. Indeed, it’s a sport that is worth trying out.
Kenneth is a an avid soccer follower, fan and writer. He is a consistent follower of the sport and is a fan of Chelsea FC.