In its article “Gentle Sport with Fun Factor” of the July 2020 issue of the magazine “Stadtmagazin Bensheim” you can read what makes our sport so special and what the city of Bensheim has to offer in terms of BailongBall.
The following is our translation of the article from the publisher’s home page. See also below for the German print media article.
THEMED SPECIAL STADTMAGAZIN BENSHEIM
Gentle sport with a fun factor
BAILONG BALL ORIGINATED IN CHINA AS A VARIANT OF QIGONG OR TAIJIQUAN. BY NOW, THE SPORT WITH BALL AND RACKET IS FINDING MORE AND MORE FANS IN THIS COUNTRY, TOO. THE RITZ FAMILY FROM BENSHEIM ALSO BELONGS TO THEM.
No, oomph is needed, neither are muscle strength or mega power. Instead, gentle swinging, flowing body movements, but also speed, ability to concentrate and react as well as inner balance keep the ball in play. Provided you master the game and dare to create your own figures with full physical exertion, with arms, torso and legs while keeping an eye on the small, sand-filled ball. Twists, pirouettes, small artistic interludes, different variants, low and high forehand and backhand, individual choreographies – everything is possible. And it all looks upmost aesthetic ans athletic at the same time. “Defusing” is the magic word, based on traditional Chinese movement arts.
Bailong Ball is the name of the little-known sport in Europe, which originally comes from China and is played with a small, robust racket (catcher) with rubber blade and a 55 gram light ball filled with grains of sand. No use in smashing: solid strokes like in Tennis are impossible due to the construction of the racket and ball. Rather, it is important to pick up the ball with smooth, circular movements without stopping and, in the best case, to control it from the center of the body. What may sound complicated is actually simple and easy to learn. You can call it a variant of Qigong or compare it with a playful variant of Taijiquan: typical of the traditional Chinese self-defense and movement arts.There is even a photo of Chancellor Angela Merkel, which shows her with racket and ball in 2006, together with the Chinese Prime Minister in a park in Beijing.
In any case, Susanne, Mike and Shannon Ritz master the art of ball game from the Far East to perfection. In 2009, three years after the previously unknown sport spilled over from Asia to Germany, they became certified BailongBall trainers. And to this day you can see the enthusiasm for the game and not only while they are playing – alone (solo play), in pairs, in a group (multiplay), with each other (cooperative) or against each other (competitive), with or without a net, in the open, out on a meadow, in the park (like the “Fürstenlager” in Bensheim), on a small plateau above the vineyards of Bensheim or in the hall. Bailong Ball can also be played on the street or on the beach. Everything is possible: fixed sequences of defined movements and freestyle to the music. It is not difficult to keep your distance. Another advantage: racket – there are two sizes – and ball fit in any sports or beach bag. And the equipment is inexpensive.
“A game for the whole family that never gets boring.”
“The fun factor is huge and happiness hormones are guaranteed to be released,” promises Susanne Ritz, who runs the “Taiji am Neuhof” studio and is also a certified Qigong and Taiji teacher. She describes the holistic movement sequences with the Bailong Ball as smooth, round, elegant, harmonious and gentle on the joints. Injuries are almost impossible.
The art of movement
Trend sport Bailong Ball from China releases happiness hormones
“BailongBall is guaranteed to release happiness hormones”
Popular sport from China
Rather by chance, did amateur box trainer Prof. Bai Rong develop the sport BailongBall in China. In the „Middle Kingdom“ it quickly became the new popular sport.
The Taiji Bailong Ball Association was founded to promote BailongBall in Europe. Susanne Ritz is second chair of the association. She and her family – like daughter Shannon in the picture – give courses in Bensheim, beginners are always welcome
Susanne, Shannon, Mike Ritz