Roof Ball is a fairly new sport but is growing in popularity and expanding rapidly around the globe. While the exact origins of the sport are unknown, the random rules and strange uniforms worn would lead us to believe that sophisticated and interesting individuals came up with this sport.
Roof Ball is a game to be played with 2 or more people and involves a roof, a ball and a playing area. A game begins by lining up the players that will be used to determine the sequence of play. The first player ‘serves’ the ball and each player must follow in sequence. Once a player mishandles the ball they are out and must wait for the next game to start. The last player standing gets one point and the first player to five points wins the match.
Roof Ball is played using the following equiptment:
- a roof with a minimum width of 20′, a slope between 30 and 50 degrees
- a playing surface that stretches at a minimum the length of the roof and at least 10′ back from the edge of the roof.
- a ball that meets the following size specifications; the official diameter as 65.41-68.58 mm (2.575-2.700 inches) and must weigh between 56.0 g and 59.4 g (1.975-2.095 ounces). Okay, it was a tennis ball.
Rules of Play
The first player in line serves the ball by simply throwing the ball onto the roof. From the moment the ball leaves the servers hand the rules of play are in effect. At each subsequent removal of a player the last remaining player to touch the ball will start the service again.
Playing the Ball
Each player must play in sequence. If the ball is a valid ball when it leaves the roof then it is the responsibility of the next player to continue the play. The player must touch the ball with their feet in the air and get the ball back up onto the roof. If the player ever touches the ground with the ball in their hands they are out. The ball must remain valid until the next player touches it. If the ball is invalid then the last player who touched it is out. In the event that the player hits the ball into the air but it does not touch anything, the player can continue to play the ball as long as when they touch it their feet are off the ground.
An Invalid Ball
A ball is invalid if:
- It does not touch the roof before touching the ground
- It leaves the roof off the side of the roof
- It would not land within the player’s surface. NOTE: If a player touches the ball that would be going out the responsibility is now on that player to keep the ball valid.
- A player touches the ground while touching the ball.
A play may be restarted if the ball becomes invalid but the play is under dispute. A play may be disputed if:
- A player is blocked from reaching the ball by another player.
- A new rule is created on the fly .
- An invalid ball is called but the ruling is overturned.
All resolutions will be resolved by the following. Any player involved in the match, even if they are out of the current game, may voice an opinion in the dispute. If any player rules in favor of the Do-over then it will be restarted and the offending player will remain in the game.
Ball Playing Technique
While the sole objective is to get the ball back onto the roof by any means possible here are a few tried and true techniques:
- The Swat: Just hit the ball and hope it ends up on the roof.
- The basketball: Cradle the ball with two hands and release with one.
- The volleyball: Catch the ball with two hands and push/swat it with two as well.
- The Frogger: Somehow catch the ball at about waist level with both hands. At the same time lift your legs really, really high and use both hands to thrown the ball back onto the roof. Requires amazing skill, probably ninja genes. One of the saddest moments in my life was when I heard that we had lost the Ed Kwon Froggy photo…
- One handed: If feeling confident, casually grab with one hand and fling it back up.
Getting your opponent to run is key. Also if you can get the ball to bounce very near the edge of the roof (or just miss it completely) it is almost impossible to read for the next player.
While normal athletic wear is recommended it has been shown that Roof Ball can be played wearing the following:
- Extremely short shorts
- A dress.
- Too tight of a shirt. Note this may result in the shirt ripping, just sayin’.
Posted on June 26th, 2012 by Mike Doyle
Filed under: Uncategorized