November 17, 2006
It may start an ordinary game of Volleyball, but there's nothing ordinary about it. Players can use the walls and any part of their upper body to get the ball over the net.
"I've seen shoulders, knees, various forms of the body being used, but usually it's typical Volleyball moves," said Karin Anne Jenkins of the Outdoor Adventure Social Club.
In this game, Wallyball, each player has his or her own strategy.
"My signature move is the tomahawk. It put my hands over my head and slam the ball across," said Jenkins.
"I actually sort of do a backhand like a serve with a tennis racket," said Andy Stevenson who has played for several years.
The game is played on a racquetball court. The rules are simple: five on five, the walls are in, except for the serve and the serves can't hit the net.
"The hardest part is understanding where the ball is going to come off the wall," said Stevenson. "Where to position people, how you expect the ball to hit and getting the ball over the net, that can be a challenge."
It can also be a good workout.
"A lot of people after the first time they play Wallyball are really surprised that the next day they will feel a little bit sore especially through the legs and the arms and the torso," said Jenkins.
It may not be a primary sport, but it is played all over. In fact there's even an American Wallyball Association with official rules, but here in Charlottesville the games hosted by the Outdoor Adventure Social Club are about having fun.
"I always joke around I feel like I get more of an ab workout when I do Wallyball because I laugh so much," Jenkins said.
The club introduced the sport last winter and it's now one of the most popular.
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