First, what is wallyball?
The easiest way to describe wallyball is that it’s like playing volleyball but you can use the walls. Wallyball uses rally point scoring, which means your team can still receive a point even if you didn’t serve. The first team to reach 15 points wins. You can’t hit the back wall on the serve, but after the serve, you can hit all the walls. The ceiling is out of bounds and, like volleyball, you can’t touch the net with your hand. Typically, you have four players on each side to avoid overcrowding. However, we’ve had up to six on each side with the younger kids.
And kids like it because it’s a lot of fun with the ball bouncing off the walls?
Yes! It’s a great sport to teach kids at a young age. We’ve had kids as young as six learn how to play and hit the ball over the net. We use a larger, softer ball because it’s easier to hit a bigger surface and they have more control. It’s also lighter, making it easier to clear the net.
For a coach, wallyball is a great sport to teach because of all the different movements involved, like how to set, bump, spike, and serve the ball. It’s also great for learning to play as part of a team and learning how to communicate effectively.
There’s nothing like seeing a kid get a big hit or make their first shot. It really gives them a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.
With the younger kids, once they learn the basic techniques, we put them around in a circle and play a game where they bump the ball to each other. At first they may get five bumps. They jump up and down. Then we say, “Let’s try to get to seven,” and then, “Let’s try to get to 10.” When given an attainable goal, kids get excited about working together. There are many skills involved in effectively transferring the ball between teammates. You can communicate with your eyes, with your hands, and with your voice. When the kids put it all together, they gain a sense of accomplishment as part of a team.
The older kids pick up the game pretty quickly, which can be exciting to watch and officiate, rather than coach, because they don’t need as much guidance. Once you get to the adult level, it becomes more about technique and strategy (for instance, trying to angle your shot in order to drop the ball in the corner). It’s also popular for team-building events with our corporate clients.