Rock-It-Ball was launched in 2005 and is taking the country by storm. Schools in the North of England are already introducing it the curriculum, it is being introduced in New Zealand and Australia, and enquiries are being received from America, Europe and South Africa.
The game was developed in Yorkshire and has attracted unparalleled interest and enthusiasm. Paul Hildreth, a Team Rock-It-Ball member said, ‘wherever we go to play youngsters gather round clamouring to play – even when we turned up in New York’s Central Park and just started to play’.
The sport is played with a ‘Rock-It’ which is a control bar with a thrower/catcher on each end. It can be played in several ways but the format which is proving most popular is Rock-It-Ball Combat Xtreme. Two teams of four players play with four low-impact balls and fire the balls at each other. Hitting the opponent with a ball scores one point but if the opponent catches the ball in the catcher he gets two points. As four balls are in use players find they have to constantly be on the move and on the lookout.
Emma Dempsey, PE teacher at Northallerton College explained ‘All PE teachers know that there are some youngsters who just won’t get involved. They hang around on the wing or talk to the corner flag. In Rock-It-Ball they have to get involved or else they get hit with the ball’.
Teachers who have used Rock-It-Ball have loved it: As well as the exhausting workout they also like the fact that it allows an excellent structure of skill development being particularly good for spatial development and hand-eye co-ordination. It is also extremely robust and shrugs off the abuse normally meted out to school sports equipment. As it can be used for so many different forms of the sport it can also be used all year round no matter what the weather.
However the excitement about the new sport is not confined to schools: Northern Leisure Centres are starting to use it for customers of all ages and abilities who are incorporating it into their fitness regimes. The Dolphin Centre in Darlington hosted the inaugural world championships which had 18 teams registered from a wide range of backgrounds. The overall winners were Northallerton College providing the UK with yet another world champion.
Rock-It-Ball is wonderfully versatile and suitable for players of all ages and abilities. There are rugby teams using it for team building, a York company running weekly after-work Rock-It-Ball sessions and organising competitions with other companies. Even the prison service is evaluating it as it provides a controlled release of aggression in a safe environment.
In 2012 there was so much international interest that the sport was re-named; it is now known as 'VX'.
Further information can be obtained by visiting the VX website: VX International
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