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Para Volleyball

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Introduction

Basketball & Netball are both sports which are played by individuals in teams on courts, which are especially mapped out to the specific sizes & dimensions that the sport requires. They also both use hoops and a ball. These sports are played at social, club & Provincial level, as well as at the Special Olympics & Basketball was previously played at the Paralympics, where the classification process is used.

Sitting Volleyball is an inclusive sport for both dis-abled and enabled players and is played from club up to Paralympic level. The sport is extremely similar to traditional volleyball, although played on the floor, with slightly smaller court and a lower net.  Otherwise, the rules are almost identical.

Most suitable players experience one of the below:

  • Lower limb amputees
  • Polio
  • birth deformities lower limbs
  • clubfoot

Otherwise fit and healthy with a strong sense for team sports.

There are plenty of video on YouTube which demonstrate the sport (Google sitting volleyball. A brief demo and explanation for the London 2012 games is available here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V66iwMfOj5A ,  we also sent you the most current newsletter with all the links for further media coverage.)

The court layout is as follows:

Currently we have clubs in the Western Cape and Limpopo. Please get in touch with Tina 0845534182 for the Western Cape and Kedibone 0728881769 for Limpopo.

ParaVolley South Africa has a very active Facebook page: ParaVolley SA with heaps of information.

The International body is WorldParaVolley: http://www.worldparavolley.org

How is the game played and to what extent does it differ from the volleyball played by fully abled players?

Sitting Volleyball is extremely similar to traditional volleyball. There are still six players a side and teams have three touches to score through digging, setting and spiking. The main differences are that players are on the ground and use their arms to move and slide. The court is slightly smaller and the net lower, which actually results in a faster paced game than traditional volleyball.

How do players “qualify” to participate?

Anyone can play, and Sitting Volleyball is one of the most inclusive sports in the world. That having been said, the sport is targeted towards disabled players and particularly lower limb amputees.

 Up to national level, male, female, abled and disabled can all play together on the same team. At international level, the sport is split into male and female teams and disabled only.

What is the nature of the injuries / disability?

China vs Bosnia at London 2012 Paralympics

 

People with all sorts of injuries or disability can play. The most common disabilities are people who have lost one or both of their legs (foot amputations, below knee or above knee amputations or double amputees of any sort).

There are also a lot of people who have limited mobility or function due to disease (e.g. polio) or people who have fused ankles, ruptured ACL tendons or any other restricted movement from injuries or birth defects. The key is that people have control over their upper body and can move/slide on the floor to play the ball. 

How many of these injuries are the result of road crashes?

More than 50% of players tend to be from road accidents and motorcycle crashes in particular.

What do you believe are the major benefits of the sport for the participants?

Anton Raimondo playing in the UK Club Championship Finals

There are a number of great benefits:

Fitness - the sport if very active and is good way to get exercise and keep fit.
Social - This is one of the few team sports available for disabled players. So it is great for meeting others and sharing experiences. Friends can play together whether abled or disabled.
Competitive - Sitting Volleyball is a Paralympic sport with World and Continental championships. For those who would like to be competitive and represent their country, this is a great sport to be involved in.
Rehabilitation - You can start playing the sport very soon after an accident, as no wheelchair or prosthetics is required. Physiotherapists often encourage people to play and join for the physical and social benefits.
How well is the game organised in South Africa and internationally? Is there registration with sports bodies?

Internationally - The World ParaVolley Organisation (http://www.worldparavolley.org ) administers the sport. There are plenty of world, zonal and club competitions happening around the world with over 55 active countries playing Sitting Volleyball. It is highly competitive and there is some good footage of the sport on YouTube - search 'sitting volleyball paralympics'

South Africa - Sitting Volleyball is a new sport in the country, started in 2014, and so provides a lot of opportunity for new athletes. The sport is affiliated and supported by Volleyball South Africa with the intention of having a South African team take part in international competitions.

What are the major challenges to running a successful league?

South Africa club players in Cape Town

 

The sport is new in South Africa - the biggest challenge is letting people know that they can join a club or compete as an athlete in the sport. The more people that play and join, the better for everyone! This leads to more clubs being formed and therefore a greater league.

What do you believe the public may not be aware of about this sport and need to be given more exposure of?

I think the sport in general lacks exposure because it is has never been played in South Africa before. Very few people know about the sport. Fortunately it is so similar to traditional volleyball that many people can easily identify with it and there is already a big volleyball culture in the country. Exposure is key.

The more exposure we have, the more people can join the game or take up the sport to represent their country. I think people will be surprised at how fun and competitive the sport is and how much movement is required. You don't do much sitting at all, despite the name!

Where can those interested in participation find more information about the sport and how they get involved?

Take a look at recent South African news and information by joining our Facebook page, 'ParaVolley South Africa' or contact us by email on contact@paravolley.co.za. The sport is free and we welcome anyone to come and play. There is also plenty of information online. Check out http://www.worldparavolley.org or Google the sport.

South Africans playing Beach Sitting Volleyball on Camps Bay beach

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