Sitting Volleyball

In Canada, the men’s sitting volleyball program was launched in 2007 and for women in 2008. It continues to grow with recreational programs springing up across the country for able-bodied and athletes with disabilities alike. Its popularity is on the rise as it offers a unique and enjoyable twist on the traditional sport of volleyball, particularly for amputees.

Sitting volleyball is designed for players with a disability, but the unique thing about the sport is that it is a game that can be played by everyone. While the core and goals of the game are similar to its indoor and beach cousins, a few rule modifications – like a smaller court and lowered net – make the game much faster than traditional volleyball.

An interesting rule of the seated game dictates that some part of the body, from the shoulders to the buttocks, must be in contact with the ground when playing the ball. Players must be able to react quickly to situations and use their hands to not only play the ball but to move on the floor as well. Quick reflexes and strong hand eye coordination are key to being successful in sitting volleyball.

For international competition, sitting volleyball is only open to athletes with a physical disability who meet the sport’s minimum disability requirements. An athlete’s disability must be permanent (either progressive or non-progressive) and approved by international classification. Domestically, in leagues and recreational programs, sitting volleyball is being played by both able-bodied and athletes with a disability. Because of the focus on quality ball contacts and strong all-around ball control skills, sitting volleyball is great cross-training for all athletes.

For more information on Sitting Volleyball and opportunities in your area, visit www.volleyball.ca. The Ontario Volleyball Association’s website, www.ontariovolleyball.org, offers information about the game as well.

There is an adaptive device for arm amputees designed specifically for competitive and recreational volleyball. The overall size conforms to the anatomy and proportions of a human hand with extended fingers. Constructed of a resilient polyurethane, it is flexible and mimics various hand positions and actions, while creating an actual “feedback” or “feel” during play. The Barrage is very versatile and capable of performing setting, bumping, digging and blocking maneuvers. More at www. trsprosthetics.com.