You may not have heard of it yet, but Volfsball could soon be the biggest sport in south west London.
Spawned from the creative mind of comedian Marek Larwood, who is better known for his TV work, including BBC Three shows Rush Hour and We Are Klang, the new sport is a cross between basketball, football and cricket.
It revolves around a six-foot tall stand in the middle of a circular pitch, with players scoring points by throwing or kicking the ball at the stand or through the hoop on top of it.
Marek was keen to create a new sport and developed the idea in a pub two years ago – opting for the name ‘volfsball’ as the obscurity of it allowed him to secure the website name cheaply.
The three-a-side sport generally takes place during spring and summer and Balham Choke Hazard are one of 11 teams that have taken part since its conception – having joined the All Comers League in 2015.
Starting out as an ultimate frisbee team, Choke Hazard consists of regular players Thom Saunders, his wife Mandy and his best friend James Hunt.
Thom, 36, lives in Norbury and was immediately interested when he saw Marek’s first video about the sport.
“I’m a video game programmer so the chance to test a new set of rules and see what breaks is always exciting,” he said.
“We work pretty well as a team. Mandy’s our goal scorer, James is our defensive master and I know what day the games are on.
“Everything’s very DIY – the pitch is drawn out with flour, which is pretty effective until passing dogs come over and eat it.
“I also love playing alongside all genders, which is all too rare in a lot of sports.”
James is proud to sit fourth in this season’s points scoring table and is nowhere near ready to give up his spot.
He said: “I can’t wait for my call up to represent GB when we finally have another nation to play against.
“I hope that it grows and grows in 2017, but not with people who are good at sport.
“I’m the fourth best player in the world and it needs to stay that way.”
Marek is currently the second highest points scorer in the league, but he insists it’s mainly due to being able to attend every single match due to owning the only volfsball stand in the world – which was created by his inventor father, Alan.
He is also responsible for what he describes as one of the greatest hitherto unrecognised sporting moments of 2016 – having scored the second ever ‘Doppelsvolfsball’ in history, which involves kicking the ball through the hoop to earn 10 points.
Despite starting out as a bit of fun, the comedian hopes to see the sport expand in the future and is keen to get as many people involved as possible.
Marek said: “I would like to take volfsball further but I have no idea how to do so.
“It is really important to me that people enjoy hanging out just as much as playing the sport.
“It has proved to be a lot more expensive than I ever thought in terms of developing the equipment.
“I have run out of money now so I’ll have to wait for a millionaire investor to come along.”
The final matches of the season will be at the Larwood Invitational Cup on November 27.
Anybody interested in having a go at the sport or donating can visit www.volfsball.com.