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Dueball: Say ‘hello’ to this thrilling ‘Made in India’ sport

6 players on each side and a goalkeeper. A player has to put the ball through a hole to score a goal. Here is India’s own Dueball that vows to excite and exhilarate you.

Invented and developed at Nagpur in Maharashtra by Firoz Khan, Dueball is a hybrid sport considered as one of the fastest growing sports in India at the moment. It is a sport that India can completely call its own and is now an international one that has already reached to 25 countries and is growing in popularity at a surprisingly fast pace. It took a mere 7 years for Dueball to become a proper international sport and that is indeed a huge feat.

Dueball: A Hybrid Sport

PC: Dueball Federation of India

Dueball is a combination of three extremely popular sports, namely, Basketball, Handball and Football.  Designed with new techniques, cover, and architecture, this engaging sport can be played almost anywhere and is easy to set up. The first Federation Cup of the sport was organized on the 20th of September 2013 in Nagpur and as a result, this date is also celebrated as the World Dueball Day

Dueball: The Humble Beginning

Firoz Khan
PC: Dueball Feferation of India

Previously a Football player himself, Firoz Khan once saw a few children playing an innovative game.

“I was standing on my terrace and my eyes happened to fall on a few children playing. They had taken a broken Basketball board, usually used at home, and had painted a circular mark in the middle of it. Then they were trying to hit that mark with their Basketball.”

PC: Dueball Federation of India

An idea shot through Khan’s mind, who is an avid sports lover. He realised that if that simple childish game was refined, polished and structured with a few normal ball-game rules, it had the potential of becoming something incredibly big. Wasting no time, Khan put his idea into action. Today his vision has become a reality and Firoz Khan, the Founder and Working President of International Dueball Federation, is extremely happy to have gifted a brand new sport to the world. 

The naming of the sport also has an interesting story behind it. Yuvraj Padole, Coordinator in Chief of International Dueball Federation beautifully explains:

Due in local slang generally means, when someone gives a party, the pendency of giving party stays on another person and is called Due. Similarly, in Dueball, when one of the team scores, then the other team has a ‘Due’ of goal. This is from where the name of Dueball, found its origin.”

Dueball: The Rules

This high-intensity sport is extremely flexible and can be played on an indoor or an outdoor court of grass, or an artificial turf, hard ground, etc. It also has a version which can be played on the beach, and hence known as Beach Dueball, which is also gaining immense popularity in India.

PC: Dueball Federation of India

A game of Dueball is played on a pitch measuring 24 x 40 metres for both the Senior and Junior categories, and a pitch measuring 20 x 38 metres for the Sub-junior categories. There is a board (Due Board) located at the end of each side of the ground. It is a 1.2 metre board, placed at a height of 4 metres from ground level and has a hole in the middle that measures 60 cm in diametre. The main objective for the players is to put the ball through the hole, in order to score a Goal, or a Due. The size of the ball is the same as the No. 1 size of a Basketball.

The matches consist of two halves of 20 minutes each and come with a halftime interval of 5 minutes. Each team has to go on scoring Dues (Goals) and at the end of the allotted 40 minutes, the team with the highest score, wins the game. The attackers need to cover half of the ground and make sure that they avoid getting into the goalbox. On the other hand, the goalkeeper cannot score a goal, barring a penalty stroke. 

There are no restrictions on making substitutions and the teams only need to inform the table official, before they want or make a substitution. Dueball is speedy and all the players need to go up in attack and come down to play a part in defense. As a result it is bound to increase the agility, endurance, speed, stamina, focus, quick decision-making skills under pressure, concentration, and most importantly, working as a team.

Dueball: From Player’s Perspective

Gajendra Sorde, a professional Dueball Player, who has been playing the sport since 2018, has the distinction of being the 1st player to ever score a 2-pointer in the game of Dueball. He has been a national-level Netball and a Throwball player. He got introduced to Dueball through a friend and fell in love with it. Owing to his previous stints in other sports, it did not take him much time to achieve great success in the game. He soon became the captain of the Maharashtra Dueball team, which is one of the strongest in India.

Gajendra Sorde
PC: Dueball Federation of India

Gajendra Sorde recounts his memory of scoring:

“2.5 metres from the centre line is the Dash Line and if a player can score from there, you get 2 points. Being new, I had no idea how to score from the middle. But having been a Throwball player, I had confidence in my accuracy and decided to give it a try. I took a shot and was successful. So, I kept scoring 2-pointers throughout the game. I was surprised at being awarded the “Best Emerging Players Award” at the end of the tournament. Imagine my surprise when the officials told me that the main reason for that was the rule of scoring 2 points from the Dash Line had been implemented just from that tournament and I was the 1st player in the history of Dueball, to score a 2-pointer.”

Dueball Federation of India

The Dueball Federation of India (DFI) came into action to promote this new sport in different states of India. Presently there are 25 states and 5 union territories affiliated under DFI

PC: Dueball Federation of India

The organisation has hosted different competitions at multiple age levels in collaboration with the International Dueball Federation (IDF) and the Asian Dueball Federation (ADF). Recently, the sport has been recognized by the School Games Federation of India. Hence, Dueball will now be able to grow faster at the grass-root levels. DFI is also vehemently trying to get this relatively new sport recognized under the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs. 

Firoz Khan is overjoyed with the fast pace at which the sport garnered popularity.

“I am pleasantly surprised with the Dueball-fever that has gripped the nation. We are all working together for the last 8 years to take the sport to the next level. Today we have international presence in 25 countries.”

The DFI has always been very supportive of all the needs of the players. Gajendra Sorde says:

“The tireless efforts of the Federation have ensured that despite lack of funding, we always have proper equipment or other materials necessary for playing the game.”

The Future

Yuvraj Padole
PC: Dueball Federation of India

The rising popularity of the sport is not without reason and is the result of a well-thought out plan of some bright minds. They realised that the online social media platforms are an extremely cost-effective and efficient way of getting the word out to people. Even in the middle of the pandemic, the Federation is regularly involved in online activities and interactions so that the sport prevails in the mind of the people. Yuvraj Padole says:

“DFI is already on track to organise the Asian Dueball Championship and Dueball World Cup in Mumbai. But our immediate plan is to organise the Dueball Premier League just after the unlocking of situation. We are targeting the month of September for the announcement of the League.”

Hence signing off with the words of Gajendra Sorde who wants to dedicate his life to a relatively unknown sport:

“Success ho ya failure, eksaath udne mein bada mazaa aega.”(Whether we succeed or fail, it will be great to fly together).

About Debopam Dutta

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