4-wall wallball (or handball as it is more commonly known) is a fun and frantic sport played predominantly in Ireland and the USA, where it is frequently televised. The current world champion is Paul Brady. Sadly we don’t really have much of a chance to play this standardised version in the UK as we don’t have many courts, however we do have our own variant called Rugby Fives. We have many Rugby Fives 4-Wall courts up and down the country.
The international sport is played with a small ball handball (a heavy durable bouncy rubber ball) and padded gloves. You can play singles or doubles. The courts are racquetball/handball courts which are a bit like squash courts except slightly narrower, no line markings, no tin and the added element of a roof to hit the ball off – which adds a crazy pinball element to everything. The only racquetball courts in the UK at present are on US Air Force bases and occasionally some of our players are granted limited access.
Although we don’t get much of a chance to play, many of our players relish the opportunity if given the chance. At events in Ireland and the USA we’ll often enter the lower grades just to give it a go. Currently our most experienced and finest 4-wall player of all time is Gareth Price.
We hope that over the coming years more regulation 4-wall courts will be constructed in the UK. In the mean time, we have the great fast and powerful sport of Rugby Fives.