Visiting scholar invents sport to increase activity in youth, seniors

| Contact: Megan Archer, Assistant Director of Communications, 304-696-3916

Dr. EungSoo Oh, lamenting low student participation in physical education classes around the world, invented something to get students moving – a brand-new sport.

Oh shared the sport, called FunEBall, with Marshall students today at the Marshall Recreation Center.

FunEBall combines elements of dodgeball and volleyball to create a low-impact, collaborative game, perfect for people of all ages and ability levels. Unlike dodgeball, FunEBall teaches players to throw the ball to, rather than at, one another. The game encourages positive play in young people, while exercising a child’s natural throwing motion. Like volleyball, teams form on either side of a net, but the ball is thrown over the net rather than spiked or served downward.

The name FunEBall is an abbreviation of the game’s intent – to be Fun for Everyone. The game is designed with young children, people with disabilities and the elderly in mind. FunEBall includes all players in game play by awarding points for collaboration, encouraging skilled players to pass the ball to their teammates to get points.

The rules can also be modified to accommodate different team sizes and skill levels. Players can pass the ball in a variety of ways, allowing people with low mobility to play. The height of the net can be changed as well, to increase difficulty for more skilled players.

Oh, from Busan, South Korea, has traveled to Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee to share the sport with physical education professionals. He hopes FunEBall will help teachers create fun fitness experiences for every student in a class.

He said he looks forward to teaching the sport to Marshall students, saying that "the required passing and attacking rules make people run and be happy while playing." The sport is a successful activity at the Recreation Center’s Healthy Herd Youth Camp, and is gaining traction in the United States and Korea.

To learn more, please contact Oh by e-mail at ohe@marshall.edu or by phone at 304-696-6490.

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Photos: (Above) Dr. EungSoo Oh is shown teaching the fundamentals of FunEBall at Marshall’s Healthy Herd Youth Camp. (Below) Alden Jones smiles as she learns to play FunEBall at Healthy Herd Youth Camp held at the Marshall Recreation Center.