History of Frescobol
Frescobol is a Brazilian sport invented by Lian Pontes de Carvalho in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, after the end of the Second World War.
The sport was born on the stretch of the beach between the Copacabana Palace Hotel and Rua Duvivier (the famous two and a half post). Lian, who owned a furniture factory on Rodovia Presidente Dutra, made the first rackets after being introduced to the game by French, Spanish and English officers.
(It is interesting to note that racket games have existed in the north of France since the 15th century)
It was in 1946 that Frescobol began to spread and take off!
Lian started to sell his wooden rackets on the beach with the help of the lifeguards (without intending to patent them, he even sold a good number of them to a store in the city center). Soon the public developed an interest in this beach game. Those who could not buy them or have their bats made in sawmills, cut pieces of wood they found on construction sites of the Avenida Atlântica and gave them shape and finish by painstakingly and patiently carving them with glass splinters, a fret saw and sandpaper. The bats were rustic and heavy. Woods such as pine, cedar, angelica and araucaria were used to make them. Often with different species, resulting in colored bats. This resulted in the famous multi-tone design found on modern Frescobol bats, now the hallmark of Frescobol 1946 wooden beach bats.
Over time, the handles were shortened and the rackets began to be painted or varnished to better protect them from water. Until 1976, the game was played with peeled tennis balls. After that date, imported racquetballs began to be used.
The name Frescobol was created because the term FRESCOR DO FINAL DAY was used by the ladies who frequented the beach in the afternoon. The gringos, who couldn't stand playing in the heat of Rio de Janeiro, mixed the terms FRESH + BALL and the cariocas (inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro) called the sport Frescobol.
The sport spread to Leme and Post 6, thanks to an ever-increasing number of players, giving rise to the first frictions between players and bathers, and leading to the first ban by the Copacabana police in the 50's and 51's. It then moved to Diabo beach, which became the great Frescobol academy (there its practice was always tolerated and liberated).
For a long time, Frescobol was considered as a simple beach entertainment. Numerous championships were organized in different states, but with regional rules that were always open to various interpretations and dissatisfaction from the athletes.
Gradually, local clubs were formed, and then frescobol began to grow and state federations appeared, seeking to professionalize it.
Its growth was thus favoured by the technical evolution and the unification of the rules.
But it was in 1994 that Frescobol was established as a high level competitive sport with the realization of the first Brazilian Frescobol Circuit.
Today, Frescobol is one of the most popular sports on Brazilian beaches and its practice is slowly increasing in the rest of the world.