Chapel Hill Treehouse

A decidedly mixed bag of musings by andrew reynolds, professor of political science at UNC Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Sunday, August 06, 2006


The sport of Pabble was invented in 2005 by Andrew Reynolds (of Chapel Hill, NC) while on vacation on the island of Ocracoke NC in the Atlantic (closer to America than to Britain).

It is a beach sport owing its geneology to paddle-ball, badminton, table-tennis and the Paris-Dakar rally.

The first international match (or 'sandy' as it is known in pabble terminology) was held in August 2005 between Dr. John Lynch and the above named inventor. It was a close fought battle with Reynolds ultimately coming out on top with a 7-6 victory (subsequently Lynch objected to Reynolds making up the rules mid game).

Pabble is played on a rectangle of sand - 10 paces by 7 paces. The court (or 'platter') is then divided into four with a small semi-circle (the 'serving platter') drawn in each back corner. The middle line is the net, which has no height, in fact it has negative height as the net is the indenture made by the pabble bat as it draws the line.

The serving pabbler must have one foot planted in the serving platter and serve the ball to the diagonal quadrant (e.g., as in tennis). The pabbler has free choice as to which quadrant they wish to start serving from, then they must alternate sides.

A pabble point is only scored on a service. A pabbler has to win back service before winning a point.

A game is won when a player reaches 7 points. There is no two-point margin required for victory.

If, at any stage of the game, the ball lands directly on a line both pabblers must exclaim "pabble!" and the point is replayed.

The first international round robin Pabble tournament was played in August 2006 at the site of its invention (one past pony beach, Ocracoke, NC).

Aug 2006 Pabble League Table

Pabbler Pl Won Lost Pts

Atticus 5 3 2 6
Andy 3 2 1 4
John 2 1 1 2
Layna 1 1 0 2
Maddy 1 0 1 0
Wendy 2 0 2 0

(Wendy continues to be the 'greatest pabbler never to have won a major').


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