Tambourine Ball, a sport rooted in the small village of Corrèze in Monceaux-sur-Dordogne.

Tambourine Ball, a sport rooted in the small village of Corrèze in Monceaux-sur-Dordogne.


“The ground, we leveled it ourselves with a tractor. “Philippe Marchegay, president of the committee of the badminton department, is proud of the history of the small club of Monceaux-sur-Dordogne. They have about forty licenses to train every week on this field of 80 meters long and 20 meters wide. Many lovers who find themselves in this position at the exit of the village between the corn field, the vegetable garden and the cargo . “That’s the dressing room we put in not too long ago,” proudly says the president, also a player.

They have all been practicing this classic Hérault team game for more or less a long time, which appeared in France at the beginning of the 20th century. Already, the Greeks played “phaeninda”, the rules of which are those of today’s tamari.

“People are always interested and more and more are coming”

Philippe Marchegay (President of the Tambourine Department Committee)

Although for a long time its area of ​​activity did not go beyond the Languedoc Hérault, this local sport has enlivened the life of the small village of Corrèze since 1998. After moving to Monceaux-sur-Dordogne in the same year, Laurent Zumello, a science teacher, brought this sport and form a club.

More than twenty years later, this Wednesday, August 10, 2022, under the hot sun, two teams of three players compete in the village field. In tennis style, they return the ball to the opposing camp with a racket. The ball is good for jumping as well as in the first round. “Except here, there is no net and usually two teams of five face each other”, notes Philippe Marchegay. The games are made up of 45 points counted from 15 to 15. The first team to reach 13 games wins the game.

On the town ground, evening practice continues to the rhythm of heavy balls hitting tarpaulins with lightning speed. Sometimes you have to go get them in the corn or in the garden on the other side. “It’s good that I have it! makes one of the players happy. This time, he had come to sneak into the car’s shock absorber. Interesting comments for this premiere.

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They are about forty members of the Monceaux-sur-Dordogne club.

Soon, the weight starts again. The team must prepare for its next weekend game. For four years now, the training has evolved into a National 1, the highest level in France. During the season, which runs from April to September, players alternate receptions and trips. Often, the meetings that are contested in the Corrèze area attract local or foreign spectators. “People are always interested and more and more are coming. Last time, there were at least 100 or 150 people”, continues Philippe Marchegay while looking in the air to avoid “any stray shot. “It can hurt!” »

Several projects including new land

But less risk of injury for novices who generally start with a tennis ball. This is also what the chairman of the committee offers to school children in Monceaux-sur-Dordogne as part of school activities at the rate of 10 sessions per year. “The goal is to introduce this game to young people and why they should not continue doing it later. »

payment From Brive (Corrèze), David Oukoloff is still, at the age of 64, on the European roof of the fight.

In the future, the club would like to offer more entertainment and initiation sessions, especially for children. In addition, a project to build a new, more suitable site next to it is underway. Desire allowed following the participation of the town hall of Monceaux-sur-Dordogne in the call for Projects Impact 2024, launched within the framework of the upcoming Olympic Games, which aims to revitalize areas through sport. “Our file came first,” rejoices the mayor, Vincent Arrestier.

Therefore, this new infrastructure required by the municipality will be able to get a large amount of subsidies. “The current tennis court will be a city court and there will also be a petanque court,” adds the city councilman.
Obviously, the tambourine, a sport classified as intangible cultural heritage by Unesco, and the passion that talented players have for it, bring Monceaux-sur-Dordogne to life.

Vincent Faure

Photo: Agnes Gaudin