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Jorkyball: Two-A-Side Italian Inspired Soccer Game

Jorkyball is a form of two vs. two soccer that takes place in a 32 feet (9.80 meters) by 16 feet (4.80 m) Plexiglas cage on synthetic artificial turf with the possibility to pass, dribble, and score goals using the walls just like in squash. Played on a four-walled court with a net above, the entire court surface can be used, so there is no exterior. The game is played only with the feet, and hands are prohibited, as in soccer.

jorky court inside a gymnasium

Concept Of The Game

The rules for jorkyball are simple and help make it a fast-paced sport. Each match is played inside a “caged” court between teams of two players – consisting of one forward and one defender. The roles are appointed before the game and have to be changed for each set. For example, the forward becomes the defender and vice versa.

As there is no physical contact in this indoor sport, it is suitable also for women and children.  It is not said that whoever is good at eleven or five a side football will be good at jorkyball, where it is essential to know how to play off the walls.

The classic “long-range cannon shot” from afar, so to speak, can be counterproductive because the jorky ball, if it does not enter the goal, could bounce off the opposite wall, goes back, and risk an own goal.

Another variation of soccer that is played in an enclosed space is Human Foosball. Chout out our recent article on this growing game.

At the same time, when a player is face to face with the goalkeeper, it’s almost impossible to direct to the goals because the goal is so small that you risk shooting at him. Better to look to use the walls or teammate to get around the opponent sideways. Not even dribbling here is of much use because there is no space to pick up speed.

It is better to get rid of it immediately when you have the ball because you will lose it at the slightest delay. And, precisely for this reason, it is an activity also recommended for those who play traditional football, to learn how to move in very narrow spaces, hunted by opponents.

player shooting in jorkyball

The Games History

French-born Gilles Paniez probably didn’t imagine the impact his newly invented jorkyball game would eventually have when he created it in his garage in Lyon in 1987. He was inspired by former Inter Milan manager Corrado Orrico who created a similar pitch to improve pressing and defending?

As an exhibition sport at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, jorkyball was introduced to Italy and soccer supporters from around the world for the first time. Spectators and large audiences can easily watch the sport as its played inside and can see through the transparent walls

By the end of 1999, the number of jorkyball courts in Italy reached over 100 due to its exposure at the 1998 World Cup. In addition, the sport gained momentum in France, where there are now 35 jorkyball clubs.

Over the past two decades, jorkyball has been a popular underground sport in both countries, primarily due to the absence of a centralized organization promoting the sport. The world game is governed by jorkyball international federation.

jorkyball world championships game going on

How To Play Jorkyball

The game of jorkyball is played in three sets of seven goals each. A team that manages to win two sets wins. There is one striker and a defender on each team, and one person on the bench. The attacker may compete on the entire court except for the throw-in area, which belongs to the opposing team.

Defenders may only defend from their zone. Players are allowed to change positions after the ball has been passed. Defendants are not allowed to play on the opponent’s side of the court.

A forward commits a foul if they intentionally or unintentionally jump over the opponent’s throw-in line. Jorkyball players are also not allowed to back cross the halfway line. No player is allowed to stop the ball. No team can keep the ball in their box or designated area for more than seven seconds.

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The following situations are considered a foul for which the opposing team is awarded a penalty kick. If an opponent commits one of these fouls:

1. Any player who intentionally touches the ball while protecting the goal or stopping it with their hands.

2. A player who accidentally holds the ball in their hands while it enters the goal.

3. Any player is fouled.

From the designated halfway line, the forward has to take the penalty kick. The back player can only attempt to block the penalty shot.

Because of the small court dimensions, the sport is perfect for children and adults looking for an intense sport that will give them a good workout. It is almost impossible to stand still in the game to catch your breath so suitable for burning fat.

Jorkyball is certainly more fun than running on the treadmill or riding on the cycle ergometer. In addition, the rules are simple, and there is no special equipment needed since it is essentially soccer in a small space.

kids playing 2x2 soccer

Jorkyball Court And Equipment

  • The court is a rectangle with plexiglass transparent walls so that fans and referees can see the action.
  • Length: 9.80 meters (minimum 9.50 meters)
  • Width: 4.80 m (minimum 4.50m)
  • Height: 2.70m (minimum 2.50m)
  • Goal size: 110cm x 110 cm
  • Hand sown felt ball, weighing 200 grams
  • Jorkyball International Federation is the governing body
  • Flat sole, non marking indoor soccer shoes must be worn

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