Per Dorine Goth
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“He rsoundnet ? Oh, it’s the game with a ball and a net on the ground! I saw him on the beach this summer. When it comes to nightly programming, the writing ofSeine-Saint-Denis news he looks at her doubtfully. This game invented in the 80’s, also known as spike ball, it is still unknown in France. It has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, especially with its practice outdoors, on the beach or in parks.
Roundnet’s first room
But this time, we find the sport in a more urban setting. The roundnet has its room: UrbanRoundnet. At the end of a courtyard, a former industrial building in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis) has housed since February 2022 the seven rooms where it is possible to practice this sport, whatever the weather.
“Our installation in Saint-Denis was not by chance. We are 200 meters from the Olympic Village, which will host athletes in 2024. Our ambition is to make Roundnet an Olympic sport, ”he said. Jean-Romain Sintes, co-founder of Urban Roundnet.
When you cross the door, first the bar on the right, which welcomes visitors. Urban Roundnet is also this: a hybrid space, where you can have a drink and eat. But it quickly surpasses the purpose of the place: the practice of sports. “You better change. It’s cardio as a sport and it makes you sweat!” Warns one of the coaches.Seine-Saint-Denis news there is to wet the shirt. In this case, two from the French team, one from Côte d’Ivoire and one from the Malherbe Caen stadium.
Minimum equipment and two teams
In the dedicated room, the equipment is minimalist: a circular net and a foam ball. Barou welcomes us and our inexperience does not raise our eyebrows. “We often have groups that come to discover the sport,” he said. The rules are explained quickly. Two teams of two players return the ball to each other by throwing it into a net. Passes between players of the same team -up to three- are allowed, as well as bounces against walls. But if the ball hits the ground the point goes to the opposing team. Matches can be played on 11, 15 or 21 points.
For starters, the hard part is getting good service. “This net is small!” Murmured the swimsuit wearer in very bad faith Kylian Mbappé. Two attempts are allowed. There are a few warm-up laps to catch the ball. “It’s not a fireball!” says Barou, when he sees us juggling. A few minutes later, the player of the colors of the Malherbe stadium joined her two hands to say goodbye. “Reflections of an old volleyball player! Kylian Mbappé increases it regularly and tries to reverse it with his right hand. “Don’t forget that you also have a left hand”, advises Barou.
Cardio, ground throws and rebounds
Finally the game is launched and the teams are formed: it will be the selection of France, formed by the two best players, Kylian Mbappé and Karim Benzema, against Côte d’Ivoire and Stade Malherbe Caen. The editorial staff quickly entered the game, Côte d’Ivoire did not hesitate to crash the ball against the net. But there was an idea to it – the misdirected ball was turned into a cross towards Karim Benzema, who was waiting for it in the box.
Cardio is there. Always on the move, players evolve around the net, depending on the directions the ball takes. “How many points are we in? asks Ivory Coast. The stadium Malherbe Caen has a score of 7-8. The score is adjusted and exchanges rarely last more than a few seconds.
“A benevolent sport”
In the next room, the players of the French Federation, in mixed teams, raise the level. With power, they return the ball, which multiplies the rebounds against the walls and the net. The players congratulate each other. This is also the spirit of Roundnet. “It’s a benevolent sport. There is a good team spirit “, underlines Barou. In our room, it is finally a difficult 10-11, for the two players of the French team, which closes the game.
Since its opening, Urban Roundnet has attracted mainly young workers, aged between 18 and 30. “We have a lot of players from companies around that come with teammates,” Barou said. In France, the game has already attracted approximately 200,000 practitioners, regular or occasional.
Urban Roundnet, 29 rue Calon in Saint-Denis. Open from Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 7 pm and with a reservation from 7 pm to 11 pm. Open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. From 8 euros per person.
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