Horseball is a highly spectacular equestrian sport that can be defined as a mix of "basketball and rugby on horseback". Inspired on the Argentinian “Pato” it started in France by French Army Captain Clave, a show jumping World Champion. In the 70’s the French Equestrian Federation defined the rules on which the game is now played. In 1999 the International Horseball Federation was created with the intention to manage, promote and control the sport across the globe and to build and maintain contact with FEI. Horseball today is played by thousands of people on 5 continents.
Horseball is an equestrian team sport based on attacks and defenses with the objective of score goals. Each team has four players, plus two substitutes (6 in total), and they must make a minimum of three passes between three different players before scoring. The ball cannot stand more than 10 seconds on player’s hands, so they have to pass in between them the ball when they are constructing an attack! When the ball falls, the player must pick it up without dismounting the horse, this action it’s called “ramassage”, French term for pick up the ball. The players score by throwing the ball through a vertical hoop, which stands on each end of the field as a goal. The game is played on a soft sand surface, in a rectangular pitch that is approximately 65 meters by 25 meters (200x75 ft.). Each game have 20 minutes, with 10 minutes each part with a 3 minutes break period. At the end wins the team that scored more goal during the game.
The current modern Equestrian Disciplines are coming from different kind of use of the horse during the past centuries. This use was mainly for work, transportation or more often for the war. Some figures of Dressage for example "les sauteurs" were exercises with the gaol of using the horse to defend or kill his opponent. These exercises and all the basic training used today in flat work are coming from the necessity to have horses ready physically to do so. In fact Dressage, Eventing, Show jumping and Driving are coming from the use of horses for the "Art of War". Disciplines like Reining, cutting or Barrel Racing are coming from the use for work. But it seems that an important use of the horse in the past centuries has been forgotten: the game!
In fact there is no current official modern disciplines that are coming from the game! Nevertheless around the world still exist plenty of very old games that were played during last centuries. In Argentina we will call it Pato (as in the past was played with a duck, in Spanish "Pato", in Central Asia Koug Bourou played with a hat, in Afghanistan "Buskachy" played with the skin of a dead ship, in India and South Africa they play Tent Pegging.
FIHB Mission is therefore to federate old local games with a new modern version of the game able to offer the same value and emotion, using modern rules and organisation for the safety of horses and players. FIHB mission is to make of Horse-Ball an international game played all around the world from children to adults using local horses, offering a new way to approach equestrian skills.
To reach this FIHB strategic objectives is to put in place the right conditions to create a culture around this sport, helping the people sharing their views and experience for the evolution of the sport, through seminars involving professional from other sports to complete their knowledge and get better prepared.
Cpt. Heinz Wolff
João Ralão Duarte
Jean Paul Depons
World Horseball Ranking
The World Horseball Ranking (WHR) is a recognition system based on the performance of a player, horse, coach, club and on the participation of a referee. The ranking lists are established by points gained by Horse-Ball players, horses, coaches, clubs or referees in participating to recognized FIHB event: they will be automatically ranked in the World International Ranking List. At the end of each calendar year all the ranking list will be frozen and the three best total point of each ranking will be rewarded. Their names will be published on the FIHB web site at the section “Hall of Fame” for the relevant year.
Fédération Internationale de Horseball
C/o la Petite Bilande
140 Tienne de la Petite Bilande
1300 Wavre, Belgium