Monday, May 27, 2013

Volleyball, Bossaball, and Sepak Takraw


Most of us know what it is; it's a sport in the olympics and there is even beach volleyball. Although beach volleyball is slightly different. In a regular game of volleyball, there are six players on each side. Once the ball touches the ground a point is awarded to the other side unless it is out-of-bounds.On a serve, the server has to be behind the back line and once it goes over the game begins!! You can only hit the ball a total of 3 times on each possession and a player is not allowed to hit it more than once in a row. Three games are played, once you get twenty-five points you move onto the next game. It's best out of three. The net is not allowed to be touched and you can dig the ball. 

This all requires a lot of energy and focus. People at the net are constantly jumping and you need excellent focus and reflexes in order to know where the ball is going and where you need to be at that time.
Beach volleyball may require even more energy because there are less people and the play in sand. Have you ever tried to run in sand? It's hard. Plus they're also jumping with no solid ground. Every time they push down with their feet a little more sand moves out of the way.

I have now found a sport that may be even harder than beach volleyball. Bossaball.

Bossaball is a ball game between 2 teams, combining elements of volleyball, football, gymnastics and capoeira. It is played on an inflatable court featuring a trampoline on each side of the net. A Bossaball game is played between two teams of each 4 or 5 players. The aim is for each team to ground the ball on the opponent's field. The ball can be played with two techniques:
- Volleyball touch: playing the ball once with hands or lower arms.
- Soccer touch: double touch allowed (counts as 1 touch).Scoring with volley touch:
1 point: when the ball hits the opponents playing area.
3 points: when the ball is played directly in the opponent’s trampoline area.

 Scoring with soccer touch:
3 points: when the ball hits the opponents playing area.
5 points: when the ball is played directly in the opponent’s trampoline area.

After looking at the video it seems that the skill needed to play this game is not in my reach. Not even close. Put you have admit that this form of volleyball seems to need much more energy than a normal game. In bossaball the player is constantly jumping. Constantly. At least in regualr volleyball you may be able to wait for the ball to come near you but in this game in order to obtain enough height to spike it WITH YOUR FEET you need a couple jumps. Not only do these players need the same physical strength, they also have to have amazing coordination. Maybe even more than normal volleyball players need.

They are jumping and at the same time they could be hitting a ball while in the air upside down because they could be doing a flip and wow. That's a lot of coordination going on. We should commend them for their skill and coordination.

Sepak Takraw

The name itself comes from two languages. Sepak is "kick" in Malay, and Takraw is the "ball" in Thai. The court and the net height and size are identical to those used in badminton and each team has three players. The rules are very similar to those in volleyball, with the following five important exceptions.
  • The use of hands is not permitted.
  • Each player may touch the ball only once before it is kicked over the net.
  • There is no rotation in the defense position.
  • It becomes a score (net in) even if the ball touches the net before falling into the companion court.
  • Most people don't know very much about the game!
The team which scored two sets out of three sets first get the victory in the game. Each sets consist of 15 points. Only 6 points of the the third set are systems.

Personally, I believe that this is definitely equal to or more difficult than regular volleyball. If you look at these pictures, not only do they need to be extremely flexible but they also have to be very well coordinated like the players in bossaball. 

Since they are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands at all they are forced to either do flips or move their feet quickly enough to receive the ball. Oh my gosh. These players have to be aware of where their feet are in order to make contact with the ball. They also need to be flexible and not afraid to put their body in harms way. If you look at the top photograph, one of the players looks like he will be landing on his back. In the bottom photograph, actually I don't even think I need to explain why he is flexible. I can't even come close to doing the splits and he is able to hit a ball while putting his legs in splits. We should commend them for their amazing agility and coordination.

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