What do you do when a badminton racquet breaks on a scoop shot and then the birdie gets stuck in a tree and all you wanted to do was play a game! Over 30 years ago my husband Don was playing badminton in our yard with our son Brad and his friend when that happened! So being the inventive sort he created a new sport! There was a stars and moon play ball in the yard, he grabbed the ball, hit it with a tennis racquet and started making up rules.
In the early years we called it Squash because of the way the ball “squashed” when we hit it with a racquet. The word spread and we had weekly games where players would dive, jump and run to keep the ball in play. After being accused of “changing the rules” to fit the situations and many “dinner table debates” we decided to write them on paper.
As time went on and players became more dedicated to the game we realized there was already a sport named squash. We eventually got sample white balls from a manufacturer with a reinforced valve area, as play balls did not hold up to being hit with a racquet.
At first Don painted a portion of the ball black, in honor of his grandfather who would smear mud on the baseball when he pitched. This caused a corkscrewing visual effect, which would confound the batter. What we found is that it was a great visual for improving tracking of the ball and helped with hand eye coordination. In holding the ball up with the black covering a portion of the white ball it looked like an Eclipse, that is when we renamed our sport Eclipse Ball. The balls were then manufactured with the black patch on them.
Through media and conventions, teachers began to pick up and play the Eclipse Ball game in their PE classes. It is now played nationally in many school systems. We feel blessed to have been able to affect so many young lives with the positive spirit of having fun, interacting with other players and being active all at the same time!