Discover the national sport of Friesland

View and play the game rebounding (Kaatsen)!

Rebounding (Kaatsen) in Friesland

Rebounding is an ancient sport. In the 16th century the sport was introduced by Dutch dike workers in Friesland. Meanwhile it´s the national sport of Friesland. It is one of the oldest and most popular ball sports practiced in the clay area. On grass two teams with three players each compete against each other. You don´t want to miss anything? That will not be necessary, you can visit the match or practise yourself!

Its origin

The rebounding has its origins in the 16th century. Dutch dike workers introduced the sport in Friesland. Meanwhile, the sport is still widely played in the province. The ball is traditionally made of leather and stuffed with cattle hair. It weighs about 24 grams. A well-known derivative of rebounding is the sport Tennis.

The game

In rebounding 2 teams of 3 players each play against each other on grass. The field is 61 meters long and 32 meters wide. The field is divided into four parts; a battle line, middle line, and front line. Such a team of three players is called a “partuur”. In a “partuur” there are different tasks to be distributed. There is a hitman and two side players. One of the side players is responsible for the hit. It is played with a small leather ball that weighs about 24 grams. The players are wearing a handball glove which resembles a baseball glove. The difference is that in the game of rebounding the player must hit the ball with his hand. Similar to tennis, you may hit the ball in one shot or hit it back with a bounce. In the score the four winning hits give you one `first`. When the partuur has two `firsts` this is a game. The game is won when the partuur has 6 firsts or 3 games are collected. This scoring is kept on a telegraph, a scoreboard for rebounding.


In the sports competition of rebounding there are more than 2000 games, but of course some of them are the more important than others. Every year many visitors come to encourage their favorite team in the competition. The most famous one is the P.C., the Permanent Commission. Every year on the 5th of July there is a battle for the title for the 16 best men parturen. Every year more than 10,000 visitors from The Netherlands come to Franeker to witness this spectacle! In August, the female version on the PC takes place where the ladies compete for the title. Also the Freule in Wommels is a well visited race. This rebounding festival is especially for the boys of 14-16 years. The female counterpart is called Ald Meiers and is played in Hitzum. The players are playing for the Sulveren Pong here. If you want to experience one of these Frisian spectacles, you can! In our events calendar you will find the exact date of the competitions. Moreover, there are plenty of opportunities to complete the day with a dinner or overnight stay!

The rebounding museum

That rebounding is an important part of Friesland’s past and present has become clear now since the existence of the rebounding museum in Franeker. Since 1972, visitors can learn all about rebounding. Many photos, documents, awards and attributes can be found in this museum. Of course they also explain the rules once more to you if you want. Besides the many attractions in this museum, you can also hit a ball yourself! The field next to the museum offers the opportunity to practice the sport itself. With a real ball and glove. Also with a group this is a nice outing. You obviously will be guided by an experienced rebounding trainer. On the website you will find all the information!

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