What are the competitively played sports which players use multiple balls at the same time?

I'm not counting games that are played in specific regions. Let's say there should be international matches and championships to consider it to be competitive. Also let's not count golf. There are multiple balls, but each player only handles one ball, and players are not allowed to use any other players' ball. Furthermore, lets not consider sports that use multiple balls throughout the game, but in rotation, such that only one ball is used at a time.

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    Would bowling count? Pro bowlers generally use 2-3 balls a game, even more for some guys, depending on the lane conditions.
    – New-To-IT
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 21:58
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    I'm gonna say no. As the question mentions, there should be multiple balls taking part of the game at the same time. Bowling is rather a rotation of balls
    – alamoot
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 22:00
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    I edited the question to specifically mention rotation of balls doesn't count. You can use the same argument that multiple balls are used to play tennis, volleyball, soccer, football ...
    – alamoot
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 22:14
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    Also, this fits well. Most sports require one ball. Wrestling requires two.
    – CodeNewbie
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 5:06
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    @PhilipKendall I don't see a problem since this is a list of finite set. We can make a community answer of all responses. See sports.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/548/…
    – alamoot
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 18:11

7 Answers 7


Billiards is a internationally competitive sport which incorporates at most 16 balls in a game. There are other games that can be played on a billiards table such as, seven-ball, eight-ball, nine-ball, ten-ball, cut-throat, straight pool etc. One ball (cue ball) is used to hit other balls (stripes or solids) into the side and corner pockets.

  • 1
    This is the only multiple ball sport that I could think of that is internationally competitive. Even if there are other sports that involve multiple ball play, billiards is by far the most popular multi-ball sport. Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 20:56
  • Just did. Hopefully we'll get some more answers
    – alamoot
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 21:35
  • Hopefully! I am wanting to know some other sports Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 21:39

Bocce and it's variants. Normally, played on a flat court (13 feet wide, 91 feet in length) with one small ball (called also jack/boccino/pallino) and each team having 4 big balls. In the simplest variant, there are 2 players/teams.


The 1st player throws the jack on the pitch. Then he bowls one of his 4 balls. Then the 2nd player bowls one of his 4 balls. From then on, the side which does not have the ball closest to the jack has a chance to bowl, up until one side or the other has used their four balls. Then the other side uses its remaining balls.


The team with the closest ball to the jack is the only team that can score points in any frame. The scoring team receives one point for each of their balls that is closer to the jack than the closest ball of the other team. The length of a game varies by region but is typically from 7 to 13 points.

Here is a video that shows and explains the rules in an easy way.

Interestingly, I learned this game from Assassin's Creed video game.


Dodgeball uses 6 balls. There are tournaments and leagues for it near me and I am sure that there has been international tournaments before.


Petanque or jeu des boules uses 3 balls for each player and a small target.

Not being able to comment on billiards. The game of snooker uses 22 balls on the table.


How about the sport of Quidditch? It is a game inspired from a work of fiction, but its rules have been formally defined. there is an international regulatory body for the sport, the International Quidditch Association and there have been international and regional championships for the sports too, such as the IQA World Cup.

Having established the validity of Quidditch as a sport, here is how it is a valid answer to your question. Quidditch is played using 5 balls at the same time. One quaffle, three bludgers and one snitch. The snitch typically comes into play after a certain amount of time has elapsed, so at any time, at least 4 four balls are in play at the same time.


The group all-around competition speciality involves the use of more than one ball (here a video of WC 2012).

In individual competition each athlete use one rubber ball, while during the group there are more balls on the floor area.


Let's not forget croquet.

Here are the rules... looks like all forms use 4 balls (2 per pair). Apparently there also can be 8 separate colored balls when 2 games are being played on one court, called double banker... but unfortunately it appears there's basically not any interaction between the games, as balls are market, and balls deflecting off the balls being used in the other game are replaced.

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