It’s kind of like table tennis, kind of like squash, and looks like it would definitely be a good workout – it’s 360ball, a new racquet sport out of South Africa. Games are played on a circular court by two players, or two teams of two players, who are situated around a central concave deflecting disc. Players hit the ball into the disc, trying to do so in such a way that when it bounces out, their opponent(s) won’t be able to reach it. Unlike tennis, say, there are no designated sides on which players have to remain. Instead, everyone is allowed to move 360 degrees around the disc as play dictates ... hence the name.

To make things a little trickier, each player or team must hit the ball twice before it returns to the disc. In the case of a single player, this means that they have to hit the ball up into the air upon receiving it, then follow through with a second stroke to send it back to the disc. In a doubles game, the team member who receives the ball must pass it to their partner, who then shoots it into the disc.

There are two versions of 360ball, court and pitch. The court game sees the disc and hard-topped playing area enclosed by a tall circular wall, which can be utilized by the players for rebound shots. To play the pitch game, players simply plop the disc down on the grass, beach or gym floor, and have to chase after the ball if they miss it.

The game sets are not yet available for purchase, as the creators of 360ball are still looking for investors to grow their business. Hopefully it will hit the shelves soon, as it appears to be a lot of fun – it also looks like it might involve a lot of collisions between players, but then again, that could be part of the fun.

All photos courtesy 360ball

View gallery - 10 images