Tchoukball, a Scientific Sport With a Social Conscience
“The objective of human physical activities is not to make champions, but rather to help construct a harmonious society.” — Dr. Hermann Brandt
Dr. Hermann Brandt (1897-1972) was an eminent Swiss physician and physical educator. His work in the practical application of scientific knowledge as it relates to physical activities led him to develop the sport of tchoukball. After writing the book From Physical Education to Sport Through Biology, Dr. Brandt presented his now-famous paper Critical Scientific Review of Team Sports. For this work he won the coveted Thulin Prize, a world competition on the theory of physical education organized by the International Physical Education Federation (FIEP). Dr. Brandt’s prize was presented at the University of Lisbon in 1970.
Brandt worked to develop a team sport that would:
- Be competitive without encouraging aggression
- Avoid violent confrontations
- Increase self-confidence and the ability to concentrate
- Reward problem-solving and anticipation as well as physical ability
- Teach teamwork and positive social behavior
- Teach principles of physics
Brandt used a scientific approach in order to design rules advancing his educational objectives. Brandt wanted to create a team sport in which the players’ skills could be expressed without confrontations with opponents. He also wanted to teach through play the benefits of nonviolent action. Each rule was carefully adapted to human psychological, physiological, and social capabilities, and was calibrated to enhance challenging play within a totally non-contact framework.
The Tchoukball Charter
Dr. Hermann Brandt also carefully wrote the Tchoukball Charter. The followings are small parts from the Charter and we urge you to read the Tchoukball Charter.
“On a personal level: the attitude of the player implies respect for every other player, for one’s own teammates and for all opposing team players; whether stronger or weaker than one’s self.
Tchoukball is open to players of all degrees of ability (natural or acquired), and one inevitably encounters players of every possible skill level.
In as much as each player is due proper respect and consideration, every player must adapt his own conduct (technical or tactical) to the circumstances of the moment.
On a team level: no outcome, whatever it might be, should be seen to affect one’s standing, individually or as a group, and it should lead under no circumstances to sectarian rivalry. From victory one can derive satisfaction and even joy, but never exaggerated pride.
The joy of winning should provide encouragement; whereas arrogance in victory carries within it the seeds of struggle for prestige, which is condemned as the source of common conflict among humans.
There is a sense of collective achievement within a team.
This binds the players together, it teaches appreciation and esteem for the values of others, and it creates a feeling of oneness in the common effort of a small group.
Each player’s major concern must be to strive for beauty of play.
The universal experience of sports can be summed up by the expression: “Elegant play begets elegant play.”
This attitude is the basis for the social interaction of tchoukball: it encourages one to aim for perfection while always avoiding any negative conduct toward the adversary.
This is more than just the rule of a game, it is a rule for conduct at all times, a psychological component of behavior, the basis of an individual’s personality.
The game provides social exercise through physical activity. By pooling the resources of all, everyone takes part, with the better players accepting the responsibility for teaching the less adept; therefore, there is no real championship, but rather a striving for perfection.
Remember, no set of rules can replace a player’s respect for one another and the Spirit of the Game.