Why Wallyball ?
- Great workout
- Don't have to go chase the ball
- Many possibilities for strategy and skill shots (angles, spin)
- Many opportunities to dig the ball
- Easy to reserve a place to play for 4-6 people
What is Wallyball ?
Want to know more about wallyball ? Here are some good resources.
Wallyball Information Network
The Twin Cities is home to the
Wallyball Information Network (WIN)
The WIN site has many resources, including:
- A description of wallyball
- Wallyball rules
- A wallyball video!
As for any topic,
is a good resource for a quick primer.
Levels of Play
The WIN site has some good information on different levels of play, but here are a few words as well. Our meetups will generally be tagged as being at one of these levels.
Beginner / Recreational
The main goals are to have fun, get the ball over the net, and improve skills. Players may or may not worry about passing the ball to teammates. This is where to start, unless you have some decent experience with volleyball (it does take
some time to get used to the walls and the corners though!). There is usually regular recreational wallyball on Sunday evenings at Maplewood Community Center.
Players are improving on their passing skills. Let it be clear, though, that intermediate players
make plenty of mistakes
. There is, though, an agreement on what the approach is. Generally, there is a designated setter. Wallyball probably has more "spikes" on the second hit than volleyball (if the setter has an opporunity h/she can take it), but attempting "bump-set-spike" is a norm to try to follow. Hitting the ball over on the first hit is fine if it is a defensive play, but hitting the ball over on the first hit when a decent pass could have been made is discouraged. Generally, a person with some decent experience with volleyball will do fine at this level.
Probably the most important part of intermediate (and above) play is the understanding of all players that the second hit is the setter's ball. Often, with 3 players on a side, the setter will be in front, with the other two players (i.e., "hitters") playing in the back (i.e., a triangle shape). The first hit will almost always be fielded by a hitter (the setter can field extremely short shots that would otherwise land within a couple feet of the net). The hitter should be trying to pass the ball to the setter. What is most important, and what most distinguishes intermediate and above from recreational play, is that, as mentioned,
the second hit is the setter's ball
. Specifically, what this means is that the other hitter should NOT take the second ball, even if it is more towards them than the setter. However, the setter may yell "help" to direct the team that the setter is deciding that the other hitter has a better play on the ball. However, in general, if the setter CAN get to the ball, h/she SHOULD take the ball. If the setter yells for help, then the other hitter should try to get the ball up to save the volley. So two common "errors" would be: 1) a hitter taking the second ball when the setter has NOT called for help; and 2) the setter both not taking the second hit and not asking for help. The third hit, ideally, is a set to a hitter (and can be to either hitter).
Of course there are exceptions, and exceptions to this bump-set-spike pattern are probably more common in wallyball than in volleyball. Alterations can be used, for example, where the setter hits the second ball over (e.g., the setter, who is right on the net, may have a good opportunity to spike the ball if the first pass is right on the net, and in that case, the setter can be encouraged to go ahead and spike the ball (especially since you can spike the ball into the side wall that you are facing; However, remember you are the setter and that your hitters would like you to be setting to them, so don't take the spike-the-second-hit to an extreme). As another example, after saving the second hit, a hitter can set the ball to the setter in front rather than to the other hitter. And due to the very fast pace of the game, there are a fair number of "defensive" first hits where you are simply trying to keep the ball in play (and to do so you may have to just hit it back over the net). Exceptions should be called out and communicated. For example, a hitter can and should take a ball, without waiting for the "help" call, on a ball that obviously is only playable by him/her. But this should be the exception and should only be on balls that are hit so low or so fast as to make that determination very obvious. It should be understood that a good setter can get to nearly all balls in the small area of a half racquetball court, if they are "up" to a least a resonable height. Of course, the walls, ceilings, corners, and spin on the ball have a tendency to make things unpredictable.
Generally, faster pace then intermediate, more precise passing, blocking on nearly every play, hard spikes. At least to start, we will not have advanced meetups in this group, but there are places to play advanced wallyball, including Central Courts in Fridley.