Channels

A man plays paddle ball, known in Hebrew as "matkot", a popular Israeli sport, at a beach in Israel
If it's Israeli Independence Day, it must be paddle ball
Beaches of Tel Aviv will be overwhelmed with the sound of 'matkot' - considered by Israelis to be the unofficial national sport - at the start of the annual celebrations
As Israelis mark their Independence Day, the "ting-dong" sound of paddle ball being played on beaches is as much a part of the celebratory noise as the crackle of fireworks.

 

 

Israelis consider the game, called "matkot" from the Hebrew word for paddle, as their unofficial national sport.

 

A man plays paddle ball, known in Hebrew as "matkot", a popular Israeli sport, at a beach in Israel
A man plays paddle ball, known in Hebrew as "matkot", a popular Israeli sport, at a beach in Israel

 

On a Tel Aviv beach, part of a hotel-lined waterfront popular with tourists and residents, numerous matkot games were underway on Wednesday ahead of the official start of the Independence Day celebrations at nightfall.

 

People play paddle ball, known in Hebrew as "matkot", a popular Israeli sport, at a beach in Ashkelon, Israel May 6, 2019
People play paddle ball, known in Hebrew as "matkot", a popular Israeli sport, at a beach in Ashkelon, Israel May 6, 2019

 

"Matkot is Israel," said Haim Dagan, owner of a workshop making paddles by hand.

 

The shop is named Ting-Dong after the sound made as two players hit a small rubber ball from one to the other.

 

A man plays paddle ball, known in Hebrew as "matkot"
A man plays paddle ball, known in Hebrew as "matkot"

 

"In all the beaches you will hear the sound of the matkot - and if you are not careful you can also get hit by a ball," said Dagan, whose father started the business in the 1970s.

 

He said its popularity on Israeli beaches, where bathers often have to navigate around the players to approach the water, was testament to Israeli "chutzpah", or nerve, in a region still locked in conflict.

 


פרסום ראשון: 05.09.19, 09:16
 new comment
See all talkbacks "If it's Israeli Independence Day, it must be paddle ball"
Warning:
This will delete your current comment