I began playing Adult Ed volleyball about fifteen years ago. It is a co-ed class, made up of people ranging in age from their 20s to their 60s, and all with an enthusiasm for a lively game. (We have a few people who might be considered overly enthusiastic, including a couple who can often be seen sliding across the floor.)
When I first started playing, volleyball was being run by a man who also ran the adult ed basketball. When family obligations forced him to give it up, it was taken over by a couple who were regular players. The imminent arrival of their child had them bow out after two years and, after a couple more of our regulars took their turns in charge, I volunteered.
It's not that difficult a job. Get there early and set up the poles and nets, take attendance, rotate the teams during the evening, and take everything down again. (There are usually a few of the guys who will help with the set-up and take-down, too.) Occasionally I've had to switch players from one team or another to balance things. Once or twice I've had to remind an overly aggressive player that we are not in the Olympics. Otherwise, it's easy.
We have a core group, some of whom have been playing even longer than I have. That group has changed over the years and we now have a couple of second-generation members as the sons of two regulars have joined. Each year brings new faces, including a steadily-growing contingent of "out-of-district" who pay a premium to play.
In our just-finished spring session we had 48 people signed up. I actually had to "close the class" because, with only three courts, if everyone showed up, we'd have two people rotating in on each team. (As it turned out, we had one night with 43 players, and fewer the rest of the time.)
There have been some amusing moments over the years. Perhaps the most memorable was the night that one of the players, who liked to wear "breakaway pants" (the type with the snap buttons down each leg), got tangled up with another player and lost said pants. As many of the other players said that night, "If only we had instant replay!" It was a scene that would have made the highlight reels forever.
Now that the adult ed program is over for the year, some of us switch over to playing at Jones Beach for the summer. It's a much larger program, with a lot more courts and a lot more players, but since I'm not in charge, all I have to do it show up and play.
I love volleyball! I used to play in a guy's weekly and a co-ed weekly... considering how we played, I don't think "league" is quite adequate.ReplyDelete
My most interesting moment was when we were on a side court, and the gym wall was about two feet from the left line on our court. Our guy over there was trying to set, but he misplayed it a little, and it went straight up. I was center from and charged at him, screaming, "Duck! Duck!" at the top of my lungs...
He ducked in time, I vaulted him, spiked the ball in mid-leap, and tried to push that cinderblock gymnasium wall another few inches out. It almost worked... but the wall won. Those damn walls usually do...
Eric L. Sofer
The Silver Age Fogey
With the notable exception of an outfielder in a minor league baseball game a few years ago (a video that turns up regularly on highlight shows), I don't think anyone ever beats a wall.ReplyDelete
Not barehanded... or barefaced, as the case was. But I tried to make an impression... :DReplyDelete
Eric L. Sofer
The Silver Age Fogey