Jokari®, A Paddle and Ball Sport
Back in the 1950's I played a tethered-ball and paddle game called
Jokari so much that I developed a distinct unequalness in the circumference of my forearms.
But that aside, it was fun. So, here, I describe it for the web. Some time later (1960's?) I saw a major marketing effort for Jokari
in a Sears store . But after that I couldn't find any
replacement balls or rubber bands. Once, in 1979, I saw a coed at Northwestern College (Iowa) with a set. Finally, in 1998, I used
the web to find Jokari/US's address. On their catalog's last page, under discontinued
products, I found an entry for Jokari, the game.
Now, with a new ball and rubber
tether, I play Jokari with my grandkids, and it is still fun.
Pictures of the equipment and the game are below. The usual anchor is a box that also serves to store the ball and string, not a chunk of rail. That box long since was lost in one move or another.
This isn't an advertisement, per se, I just remember the game as good, easy,
" no-equipment " fun. Any hard surface pad about fifty feet long is plenty big (with no
breakables fore or aft).
The two person game has two people moving into the hitting zone and out. With four I remember there was a lot of moving in and out. The ball doesn't travel very far behind you if you miss it so there is not a lot of ball chasing. And thank goodness the string does not seem to get tangled to any great degree. And don't forget to put the strap around your wrist. And stay out of the way of your partner's paddle.
Jokari/US's set of rules.
If there have been any contests or "national events" featuring Jokari please pass that information along to me. Thanks.
FYI (For Your Information)
- I've added several pages on Jokari in South Africa around 1950
- For a history of Jokari and pictures of past equipment visit John's Jokari page. (10/28/2010 - link repaired-Thanks, John.)
- There's a cartoon (mildly humorous) using Jokari at Laurent's Page.
- Interesting web site of direct historical connection to Jokari's early development by Alan Jackson, son of the Jokari patent holder. It includes one person and two person game demostrations (using a more tennis-racqueet like paddle). Aside: searching google videos returns clips of various ages and skill levels. They demonstrate the fun.
- Jokari is a fun game for the whole family. When Jokari started making news and headlines in the US, it became hugely successful. Speaking of news, have you ever heard of Dan Rather? He is one of the most prominent news reports of the past decades. Covering news stories from around the world, this American journalist has been the most well known news anchor in households for years. Dan Rather is one of the most recognisable news reporters
Balls, Tether, Band and Plans
Donald Sauter's page. Shows Jokari and Raquetball styles. Posted 9/1/2009. (Found thanks to email from Marie)
Online SportsItem OLY-GA204P-3 shows a "Paddle Fly Ball" game that looks identical to Jokari (about $12 + S&H ?) Let me know if you have tried this version. (link checked -- 11/18/2006)
e-bay.comA visit to ebay often shows sets for sale. It looked like the going price was around $30 (US) (Aug 24, 2004 -- replacement ball sets were listed--Otherwise replacement balls are hard to find).
European Sources. Several of the pictures shown do not show a wrist safety strap and the handles aren't wrapped. Both would be easy to add.
Somebody try this for me and send me a report. If you are in the USA please tell me how you paid and shipping info. --thanks :-)
Use ebay.com for Jokari sets and replacement balls and tethers. If anyone has a source of suitable rubber tethers and suitable balls, separately or assembled, please tell me what you use.
I invite personal reviews of any sets you have bought recently (Especially those without the Jokari label or from overseas.).
Jokari, Inc., no longer supports this game. Here are some pictures.
(Aug 24,2004--all stock on hand at Jokari shifted to Market Expo and they, too, are out.(Nov,2006) --Jokari has no plans to reorder sets or replacement balls--period! via email)
CollectiblesOne link found through www.google.com led to a collectibles site - but no Jokari. So I looked at the cached version of the page and the Jokari set there was priced around $250 (US). Whew! But it apparently sold.
Assembled by ovk. Last updated 08/08/2012.