Its the last blog before Christmas and then we will take a break until the new year. But don’t worry, everyone who has be checking out our blog is on Santa’s Nice List. So our TimeOut Christmas present for being good all year is as much volleyball as you can handle. Hopefully at least enough to see you through until the new year.
We are all waiting for our white Christmas, but even if you don’t get the amount of snow you wish for; you can still watch the combination of volleyball and snow joining forces.
If you want to go off-piste and dive deeper into the snow volleyball universe, here are some extra link. Top 10 play Snow Volleyball Player from team USA or maybe you want to watch some full games and get a real feeling of what 3 v 3 on the snow really feels like. Then check out the Austria Snow Volleyball final day from Wagrain.
Staying with 3 v 3 format. Another up and coming way to play volleyball comes in the shape of grass tournaments. Now also officially being run by the AVP. This is a wonderful format where matches can be played at full throttle pace, added with the specialness of amateurs get to rub elbows with professional players from both the beach and indoors.
What is also a fascinating format but not played much in Europe; is the 2 v 2 grass reverse Co-ed (Essentially meaning its a mixed team 1 man / 1 women). It is played on a women’s height net and with extra court markings for 3m lines; as men are only allowed to attack from the backrow. This allows the women to go all out on serve and attack, while limiting the advantage of the men from attacking on the net.
Back to the Beach:
We have up next the „Manhattan 6 Man“ the Mecca of beach volleyball tournaments. What is the Manhattan 6 man I hear you ask? The ultimate beach tournament 6 v 6 costume themed party mayhem. Over the years it become smaller and calmer due to city organisers but its still the #1 tournament on my Bucket list. The 2nd is the recently popularised 4 v 4 beach taking a leaf out of the AVP grass tournaments allowing amateurs / college athletes and pro players to battle it out.
So if 6 v 6 isn’t your thing, 4 v 4 might be. Check out the finals of the Austin Texas tournament where the best of college athletes and AVP Pro’s and legends play fast and loose for ultimate bragging rights.
Now its time up the tempo on just how different and crazy volleyball can get. So hold onto your hats for these ones.
Wallyball is normally between 2 v 2 / 3 v 3 / 4 v 4 and interestingly a mix between squash and volleyball. The 1st video can give an overview of the rules of play and the 2nd video shows some better teams in actions. It is definitively something I would like to try myself some day.
Chinese 9 Man Volleyball:
Originally and mostly played on the streets, being compared to the idea of 2v2 street basketball made famous in the USA where each block or estate play for reputation in the community. It has now become more organised with large tournaments run across the U.S.
Something like a mix between table tennis, spike ball and volleyball. It has slowly started to increase in popularity after the Georgy Grozer became the main face of the sport. Here you can see him promoting the sport in his back garden, before seeing some highlights from the final of the 2019 Championships.
With Bossaball we start coming into the realms of is it actually still competive volleyball or something else entirely? The founder of the sport himself says it more about gymnastics, capoeira and foot-volley combined with music. Although I am sure some of us wished we had that trampoline in our own games.
If you want something as competitively close to volleyball but still has its own unique challenges, then sitting volleyball could be your thing. I have in my player/coaching career had the pleasure of playing and helping the Great British team work towards the Paralympics in London 2012. What a wonderful group of people, and I really enjoyed every bit of playing and coach. Unfortunately regardless of standing or sitting, height still plays a big role in the game and after a long tournament day of 5 or 6 matches sliding around on my bum it was painful being at work sitting at my desk all day.
King of the Court:
The newest kid on the block from all these other formats but one that is definitely a fan favourite for the viewers and the players. Most if not everyone has played this in training, if not. The rules are simple you can only make points from one side of the court (king side) if you win the rally as a challenger you get to move across to the King side to try and even a point. The rounds are played over time, after which teams with the lowest score are eliminated. I have my own theories to why it is such a good format but I will leave that as a separate blog post as it’s not long until the Championship finals in Qatar in January.
It is probably best known from the movie „Meet the Fockers“ and although I doubt there are many national or international championships. It is a great way to spend a sunny day at a friends house with some drinks and a BBQ. Just make sure to protect you nose, and maybe to make sure your swimming shorts are tied properly.
Wow, the world of volleyball is really something else.
If all that still hasn’t filled your appetite for volleyball my last treat is a clip from the very much loved volleyball anime „Haikyu“ (which means Volleyball in Japanese). 4 season can be found online and even on Netflix with English and German subtitles. Although some of the terms may be weirdly translated, I think it does a great job explain volleyball to beginners and yet be very relatable to the trails and tribulations that players and team go through throughout a career. I know personally I have binged watch a couple too many episodes, maybe next time I try to watch it in German.