Traditional sport Balle au tambourin

Traditional sport: balle au tambourin

Similar to tennis, tambourin is a ball sport that has been very popular in Montpellier and the Hérault for 250 years.

The players, 5 per team, are equipped with a tambourin which is used like a racket to send back a white & red ball. This sport has a national championship where teams from the Hérault region dominate as the department represents 85% of the members!

It has, through various forms, crossed civilizations to arrive in the last century (1870) at its modern form, and then take the name of Tambourin, instrument used to hit the ball. This was made from a wooden circle on which a goat skin was stretched.

team sport

Tambourine is played on a flat, clear surface, 80m long and 18 to 20m wide. It can be clay, asphalt or synthetic.

The ball is made of hard rubber, white or red, with a diameter of 65mm and a weight of 59g.

A team consists of five players on the field and two substitutes. They are divided into three roles:

  • the backs, which are two players located at the ends of the field, one of whom is the batsman (the one who takes the ball).
  • the thirds are in the middle of the field.
  • the tailpieces are the two players located near the middle line called “bass”.

The points rule is the same as in tennis (15, 30, 45, games). A match is played in 13 or 16 games depending on the category.

Tambourine can be played at any age, with friends or family.
There is a club in Montpellier where you can learn this sport: the STC (Sport Tambourin Club) of Montpellier.