August 18, 2016

Wallyball: The Next Olympic Sport

  • Subline: Volleyball in a racquetball court, what a great idea
Sadie Snyder serves up the ball during one of the tdg wallyball games at the Deadwood Recreation & Aquatics Center. Sadie Snyder serves up the ball during one of the tdg wallyball games at the Deadwood Recreation & Aquatics Center.

With all the hype surrounding the Rio Olympics, it got me thinking about one event they are missing, WALLYBALL. Some of you may not know about wallyball. I just learned of it three years ago. Basically, it’s volleyball, but in a racquetball court. Except for the back wall and ceiling, there’s no such thing as out of bounds. It gets pretty lively.

Lucky for you, we have some of the best wallyball players right here at tdg. We play at least once a week with some of the Deadwood Chamber staff. It’s a great escape from work, and it’s better to hit a ball than to hit your coworkers. (Although you can hit coworkers with a ball.)

What I didn’t know until recently is that wallyball is a real sport, with a website, referees and a set of rules. Lots of rules, apparently. Here’s a sampling:

PRE-GAME TOSS: A coin toss shall be made before the start of the first game of a match by the referee between the two (2) team captains.

We don’t do that.

PRE-GAME WARM-UP: Warm-up periods of three (3) minutes will be allotted each team, either on the playing court or at another designated site to be determined by the referee. If both teams warm-up on the playing court at the same time, the referee will allow 6 minutes for the warm-up. At the end of the warm-up period the referee shall sound the whistle to indicate play to begin.

We don’t do that, either. We don't even have a referee.

TIME BETWEEN GAMES: Two (2) minutes shall be allotted between the first and second game of a match. Between the second and third games, five (5) minutes will be allotted. No extra time shall be allotted for changing sides.

No one in our games has a watch. In fact, we sometimes lose track of time. (Sorry, Dustin.)

HITTING THE BALL OUT OF THE COURT AREA: Any time the ball is hit outside the court area into the spectator’s gallery or an adjacent court on the first or second hit or volley (legally), the ball shall be declared dead and the point replayed.

We don’t have a spectator gallery. ... Just walls.

Come watch the professionals at tdg play every Thursday at noon at the Deadwood Rec Center. We will be taking suggestions for team names. We have four years to prepare before the Tokyo Olympics.