Kenya: Catchball - New Game Introduced in Kenya

Kenya Catchball team players during a training session (file photo).
15 January 2020

A new game has been introduced in Kenya. Catchball, just like volleyball, it is played by two teams on a playing court divided by a net.

The object of the game is to pass the ball over the net in order to ground it on the opponent's court, and to prevent the same effort by the opponent.

The ball is put in play with a serve, thrown over the net to the opponents.

Kenya is now set to make a debut in the fifth annual Catchball Games to be held in Las Vegas, the USA from February 28 to March 1, 2020.

Shadrack Okello, who is the coach of the Kenya women catchball national team, introduced the game to Kenya and is happy with the reception it has had so far.

"Catchball borrows heavily from volleyball and is a very simple game to play. It is played indoors with six players on each side. The big difference between volleyball and catchball is that in the latter the ball is thrown and not spiked," Okello explained.

"I was introduced to the game in Israel and I have been teaching the same to people in Kenya since 2018. These ladies have embraced the sport and have been training very hard. Currently we have 28 players in the national team but the squad will be trimmed ahead of the tournament," he added.

Okello is hoping to get support from the Ministry of Sports to enable the team to prepare better and travel for the games.


"They are aware of what we are doing and have promised to assist. We really hope that happens soon," he said.

Team captain Gemmine Akinyi says the team's biggest challenge has been lack of equipment and an indoor venue to hold their training sessions.

"We train at this open ground in Baba Dogo and the weather hasn't been favorable lately and therefore we have been forced to miss many sessions which is not good bearing in mind we are going for an international tournament for the first time," Akinyi said.

"We also lack equipment such as proper balls, shoes, and the likes. Besides all these, we are enjoying the game and looking forward to representing Kenya in Las Vegas next month and hopefully make a living from the game in the near future," she added.

Kenya has been placed in Group C which has other beginners in the sport. They will battle against Capital Catchball from Washington DC, Dream Catchers from Seattle, LA Angels, Net Angels from Atlanta and Vegas Royals.

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