Hoover Ball certainly seems like something CrossFitters would invent: volley ball played with a 6 pound medicine ball but scored like tennis. Hoover Ball is much, much older than CrossFit. Hoover ball was created by Hurbert Hoover’s White House physician Admiral Joel T. Boone to help keep the president active despite long days and tight schedules. The game has seen little popularity since the Hoover administration, but it is a natural fit for CrossFitters who always seem to have medince balls laying around.
Hoover Ball was the functional fitness game before its time.
“It required less skill than tennis, was faster and more vigorous, and therefore gave more exercise in a short time,” Hoover wrote in his Memoirs.
“It is more strenuous than either boxing, wrestling or football,” wrote Will Irwin, a friend of Hoovers, in a 1931 article “The President Watches His Waistline” in Physical Culture magazine. “It has the virtue of getting at nearly every muscle in the body.”
It seems that President Hoover would have loved CrossFit.
So why the fun history lesson about Hoover’s physical fitness? We will be having a Hoover Ball Tournament April 27th! You should immediately start forming your co-ed teams of four (2 male, 2 female). As the tournament date nears we will announce rules and practice times where coaches/refs are available to help your team. Until then, here is a video of some CrossFit Hoover Ball: