HOW TO PLAY FRESCOBOL
Updated: Apr 30
Frescobol is an all age friendly game between two people who are working together as partners trying to keep a small rubber ball in the air for as long as possible. The only equipment needed is a ball and your beautiful Capri Frescobol beach paddles. The game is best played on a sandy beach but can be played anywhere. The only objective is don’t let the ball hit the ground!
Standing approximately (6-8 metres) 15 feet apart, two players face each other, and one gently serves the ball to their partner. You keep hitting the ball back and forth slowly at first. When starting out it is sometimes the easiest to stand closer and to do an underhand swing which lobs the ball up to your partner. As you progress you will soon get a rally going and establishing a rhythm between you.
With practice the pace will pick up and you may find yourselves moving further apart as your skill increases. You will also find your swing will vary and your grip will change depending on the feel. The goal at first is to have a rally of 20 hits.
You can also play a version where you have 3 players. In this game, one stands alone and the other 2 stand next to one another across the single player. The single player alternates hitting to each of the 2 players.
THE FRESCOBOL PADDLE (aka beach bat)
The most important piece of equipment in this game are the beautiful wood, paddles used to play the game. It is very common in Europe and Brazil for players to personalize their paddles with decorations and engravings to stand out. We think our Capri Frescobol beach paddles are quite beautiful on their own, but we highly recommend you add some personalized touches.
Frescobol beach bats are typically made of wood and should be heavy enough to strike the ball and light enough to be comfortable playing. The typical weights are between 300 – 400 grams. Our Capri Frescobol beach bats are made of Black Walnut and Basswood and weigh approx. 340 grams each. The grips can be tape, rope or neoprene and should allow a firm grip even while wet with sweat or water. Over time and use the grips will wear out. You can easily find any racket sport handle tape to replace them.
Your hands grip on the paddle is very similar to other paddle sports and should be as if you are giving a firm handshake. Over time with practice and experience you will find your grip will vary throughout the game.
The only other piece of equipment is a small rubber depressurized ball. These are very similar to squash balls and a training squash ball makes a great replacement should you ever lose yours.
There are many different types of balls used by frescobol players and are chosen depending on skill level. The higher the bounce level or hardness the faster the speed. For beginners and amateurs, softer and low bounce balls are preferred.
Like most paddle sports there are various swings or hits accomplished during the game. The key to hitting a ball is to keep your wrist locked and as straight as possible, allowing no movement. A proper swing should be made using your arms, shoulders, core and legs all in conjunction to provide movement and power.
At all times try to keep centered with your legs in line with your shoulders and your knees slightly bent. The center of your body should always be opened and after each swing should return to that position.
The most common swings are forehand and back hand, but you may also want to use a defensive swing where you just hold the paddle (sometimes with both hands) just to bounce the ball back to the attacker.
Try to keep the ball at chest height and avoid hitting the ball to low as it will require your team mate to sweep it up which than would cause you to strike downwards replaying the same motions.
Traditional – partners are playing for fun and just trying to keep the ball in the air as long as possible. No worries about keeping tallies of hits or time, just enjoying the sun, sand and play.
Duos – Two or more duos record for how long the ball can be kept in the air to discover which duo plays the longest.
Fast ball - Two or more duos record how many hits are made over 3 minutes to discover which duo plays the fastest. Score is only counted when one person hits the ball. If the ball drops the time keeps going and the count only continues when the rally starts again.
Tournament – in a timed set, a judge counts hits as well as scores points for attacks, defense, accuracy, power and precision.
Points are scored for the following:
· The least dropped balls
· The speed and power of the strikes
· The balance between attacks and defends for each partner
· Number of attacks made by each partner
· Number of rescues – where the ball is saved from hitting the ground and the style of the rescue attempt involved
· The style of strikes, the riskier the better.
· The style of the players, how they move, play, speed. This is purely subjective but is important to show the flair and attitude of each player and team.