Frescobol – a name dedicated to the gringos?
It is not only Europeans using the term frescobol for beachball nowadays. And independently of the usage of the word, the term Frescobol was originally invented in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The cariocas, the inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro, say that the term is devoted to the gringos, a quite deprecatory word for foreigners in Brazil. And there is indeed a plausible explanation of how the term FRESCOBOL originated in the late 40s in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazilian locals say that frescobol could only be played in the cooler, late afternoons, when the temperature was lower than during lunchtime and in the early afternoon. Women and especially foreigners that couldn’t stand the heat in the hot Brazilian summer preferred that time of the day for playing the beach ball game. A game that is played during the afternoon freshness (“Fresco”) with a ball (“bol”) at the beaches was therefore called “FRESCOBOL”.
An alternative explanation for the concept of frescobol is again connected to the weather conditions. Because of the hot temperatures and the high humidity in Brazil, the cariocas say that it was only possible to play frescobol close to the waterfront, the freshest and coolest place of the beach. Close to the waterside, you play the fresh (“fresco”) game frescobol.
Another odd thing is that there is even feast day dedicated to Frescobol in Brazil. All over the country, July 10th is called Frescobol State Day.