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Freshmen Find Fradd Ball Foils Frustration


Back in the seventies a University baseball captain invented the catcher's mask, now seen on diamonds all over the country.

Somewhere around 1925 Norman W. Fradd, assistant director of physical training, invented the game of Fradd Ball.

The game has not swept the country, but it has been played continuously in the College since its first use in faculty physical training groups.

Fradd Ball is described by its creator as "a mutation of volley ball." Played in a low-ceiling court on the third floor of the Indoor Athletic Building, the game often takes on elements of football, basketball, and jai alai. Fradd Ball's basic rule is that every surface in the room is playable, and that the ball (a volley ball) becomes dead if it touches the floor more than once on each play.

Since hardly a point is played without a dispute over this dictum, the rules are in a continual state of flux.

Piles of mats in two corners of the room, Swedish ladders lining the side walls, and an overhanging ventilator in the South court have produced some of Fradd Ball's trickiest shots.

At present, the game is played exclusively in freshman physical training sections, where it provides relief from the monotony of push-ups and stretching exercises.

Almost everyone who plays Fradd Ball is enthusiastic about the game. "It's the only game where an amateur can feel like superman," said one freshman. The instructors like it, too, and mention of the game brings a smile to their lips. "Fradd Ball," says Bruce Monro and Nate Parker, "is a fine sport."

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