Matkot is a popular game played on the beaches all year-round in Israel. Israelis often refer to the game as their national sport. It is becoming popular all over the world, so next time you’re on the beach, be sure to test out your skills with some fellow sunbathers!
What Is Matkot?
The sport has been played since the early 1920’s, and is just as popular as ever. While the game is usually played with two people, a third can also sub in and out. The name of the game comes from the world racket, which means matka in Hebrew. During the summer months, you can’t go to the beach and not see someone playing matkot, it is extremely popular. The best part about the game is that there is not age requirement or limit…fun for the whole family!
Matkot is played using a paddle, and is very similar to beach tennis. The goal is to hit a small rubber ball using a wooden racket back and forth to your partner as many times as you can. The rackets used are most often wooden, and the balls are the exact same as those used in the game “squash”, so they are very light and bouncy. Scoring one in a bright color is the best way to go, so you can easily spot it during a game. While you can easily get a set for $20, nicer paddles and balls (for the experts) sell for up to $200.
Although it is still most popular in Israel, as of late, matkot has gained worldwide recognition. You can mostly find people playing the game in places where there is a strong beach culture. Brazil has adopted the game, but they refer to it as frescoball. The United States has as well, hit a beach in the summer and you’re sure to come across someone playing the game. Israel had it’s first matkot competition in the year 2000, and it has since become a yearly occurrence.
If you don’t head to your local sports shop, or Amazon and grab one quick, you’ll be missing out on a whole lot of laughs and smiles this summer!