About Jombola

Jombola Sport

Jombola is the newest racquet sport in the world today. It is played in a Badminton court using a Jombola racquet and a high grade foam ball. It is Artistic, Addictive and….Awesome! It is a sport for all ages, recreational and yet high performance, for fitness and also fully competitive. Jombola. Soft Ball. Hard Game. Try it.

It is a technical sport requiring excellent motor coordination and the development of sophisticated racquet movements and skills. It is competitive in nature and plays to a score of 11 points for Singles and 15 points for Doubles in a best of three games format.

History of Jombola - My Unusual Journey

Jombola began in 2012. Of course, it did not have a name then. Actually, it did not even know that it would one day become a full-fledged game played by people of all ages, all over the world. It was born out of necessity, just like every other creation and invention. From conception to reality, it would become the most unforgettable journey of my life.

My name is Sukdev Singh. I am a Malaysian, and here is my story, and the story of Jombola, the sensation of future sports.

The Birth of an Idea

My family and I found a tennis court close to our residence in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Located in a public park, it had seen better days. But never mind that. It was better than nothing. We had lots of fun and decided to make it a weekly activity every Saturday. However, our enjoyment was short-lived as the court started to be invaded by skateboarders.

Skateboard fever had gripped the locality. More and more kids showed up every week, indifferent to the fact that the court was being used for tennis. They ran their skateboards all around, sometimes cutting right across. It became nearly impossible to play there. So, we decided the next best thing would be to work out against the ten-foot-high practice wall behind the court.

Challenges and Innovations

The wall was too low. The balls kept flying over the top and disappearing into the jungle behind. Tennis balls cost money, lots of it. Our intended ‘workout’ quickly turned into a ‘treasure hunt’. We spent more time getting scratched by bushes than practicing. After a while, we ran out of stamina looking for the balls. It was time to say enough. And then the idea popped.

What if we used a ball that didn’t ‘fly so much’? After all, we weren’t really playing tennis. We were just exercising, playing against a wall. So, let’s get a ball that is soft, can be hit hard for the workout, and yet does not fly far. Unknown to me then, a new chapter had opened in my life. The journey had begun.

The Quest for the Perfect Ball

It took me two years of testing to finally find the ball we use today. In the meantime, I amassed a collection of balls that amazed everyone. Even on holiday overseas, I found myself shopping for different types of balls to try out. I bought every type of ball I could find. None worked! The inflated ones were useless as the pressure inside varied. The solid ones were too heavy and hurt the arm when hit.

I tried manufacturing them locally in Malaysia, then in India. The bounce was right, but both manufacturers used cup molds. The finished product was made of two half-cup constructions glued together to make a ball. The glue kept coming apart, causing the halves to fly in different directions after an hour of play.

Experimenting with Equipment

As the quest for the ball continued, I came up with another idea: to build a 14-foot-high wall in my house compound. I also experimented with different types of racquets. I crafted racquets out of various woods, plywood, and even plastic. I bought different thicknesses of plastic and wooden kitchen chopping boards, cutting out different shapes and sizes of racquets. None worked. The plastic racquets were too flexible, and thick ones were too heavy. I went back to testing wood.

By 2013, I had a functional ball and racquet. A thought then caught me by surprise—there must be something more interesting to do with all this stuff than just knocking a ball against a wall.

From Experiment to Sport

That’s when the idea of a badminton court as a play area emerged. I was a volunteer teacher at the Sri Dasmesh School in Kuala Lumpur. It was the perfect place to test out the game and the rules. I had a similar 14-foot-high wall built in the school’s compound for the students to practice different strokes. It turned out to be a great investment.

I took my prototype racquets and ball specimens to a major player in the sports industry. He connected me with sports equipment manufacturers who then produced the finished models. I told the students at the school about this amazing new game. Though it didn’t have a name yet, I gave out the equipment and taught them how to play. After exams, we held the first tournament for boys and girls. It was a runaway success.

Naming the Game

The whole school turned out to watch the semis and finals. Students watched and cheered from all the corridors overlooking the playing courts. Seeing that sight, I knew this game would go places. It was time to package it into a sport and take it to the world. But it still needed a name.

I wrote out about ten possible names for the game. I gathered fourteen students, seven boys and seven girls, and asked them to choose a name. They made their choices in isolation to ensure no influence. To my astonishment, they all chose ‘Jombola’.

They explained their choices: one said it sounded exciting and Spanish, another said Brazilian, and another South African. Someone even connected it to ‘Jabulani’, the ball used in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Jombola – A New Sport is Born

A random thought followed by a quest on a dilapidated tennis court had arrived at an unexpected outcome:

  • A game that can rival any popular sport.
  • A mass sport for people of all nations.
  • A high-performance sport requiring combined skills from tennis, table tennis, squash, and badminton.
  • A game bringing new energy and excitement to the world of sport.

Got Time? Let’s Play Jombola.
Jombola – The Funnest Racquet Sport of Them All!


Jombola is Coming to you