SUPBall: Everything you need to know about the new watersport taking the UK by storm

It’s the new watersport that is taking the UK by storm but what is SUPBall? Where does it come from and how do you play it?

Katie and Anna from Cullercoats in North East England have brought the new watersport to the UK.

The two women are passionate sea dwellers, and frequently work with their local community.

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They were initially inspired by the Australian version of the SUPBall and wanted to bring it to the UK.

What started out as a laugh when adapting the rules for the UK’s colder, less predictable waters, quickly grew arms and legs.

Katie said: “[We are] always looking for daft shenanigans and saw [SUPBall] as a fun thing to do.

“By 10am that day we had the rules sorted, and by 3pm we were affiliated with British canoeing so we could be recognised as a sports club and legally play throughout lock down.”

The club was recently invited by British canoeing to be their new #ShePaddles ambassadors, where they showcased the sport.

Katie tells us “it went down really well, so now we are wanting to develop Supball UK as a full on league”.

They were also able to do a demo in association with the North Sea Weekend event recently which turned out to be a roaring success.

“We had 130 people sign up for the demo session,” they said.

“So we did a rolling game and continually swapped players out.

“We had around 30 people in the water wanting to play, and called for another game that afternoon so everyone could have a go.”

What is SUPBall?

SUPball is a combination of waterpolo, netball, lacrosse and rugby played on Stand Up Paddleboards.

Who can play?

This game is inclusive, and available for all water sport abilities. With it being a new sport they are able to be flexible and be more accessible as they grow! The girls are hoping that the sport will expand and see more teams established across the UK rather than just in Cullercoats.

What are the rules?

Games are played between two teams of five heading in opposite directions.

Matches consist of two 15 minute halves with a five minute break between and teams swapping direction at half time.

A goal is scored by hitting the ‘SUPball goal buoys’ with the match ball.

Games must be played using inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboards (SUPs) with paddles. Hardboards, kayaks and other water/surf craft are not permitted.

Players cannot paddle or swim while in possession of the ball, and can only be in possession of the ball for no more than 5 seconds.

Players are out of play if more than 50% of their body is in the water.

Players can sit, stand, lie on the board and still be in play, and if the pitch has sides, players must go to knees if within 1m of the edge.

Katie tells us that because the sport is new they are still ironing out the rules, and developing the sport, which gives them space to be more flexible when it comes to getting more people involved.

If this sounds like something you want to get involved with check out SUPballUK on Instagram. Or email them at [email protected].