Volleyball is an incredibly popular sport with growing fans, but how many people know about Hooverball? Hooverball is designed to keep the players physically fit as it combines elements of Volleyball and Tennis. Generally, it is played on a grass or sand court similar to the ones used for playing Volleyball, and the scoring system is based on the rules of Tennis.
Hooverball Vs. Volleyball
In Volleyball, the objective is to smash the ball into the opponent’s side of the court, and the players have to set, spike, and dig the ball. In Hooverball, the players catch the and throw it over the net into the opponents’ territory to score points.
The balls used in both sports differ significantly in weight. A Hooverball is a medicine ball that weighs 6 pounds; strength training is crucial for playing Hooverball as it takes immense strength to lob the ball with accuracy. A Volleyball merely weighs over half a pound; the players mainly focus on being fast and improving their vertical jumping abilities.
Hooverball is played by two against two or four against four. If there are more than four players in each team, two Hooverballs must be used to play (fondly dubbed as Ultimate Hooverball). Akin to Tennis, the server throws the ball, which the opponent has to catch and throw back where it cannot be reached or caught by the server; stopping the momentum of such a heavy ball is no small feat, and, on top of that, the player has to return the ball strategically to score points. Needless to say, this sport is more intense than Volleyball.
Difference between Hooverball and Volleyball
The court used for Hooverball is usually 66 x 30 feet and has eight-foot poles on which the nets are tied, whereas the dimensions of a Volleyball court are 59 x 29.6 feet. The poles used for playing Volleyball are seven feet. When playing Volleyball, a player can always depend on his teammate to smash the ball over the net if he manages to keep the ball aloft. A player cannot expect such a save when playing Hooverball; if he fumbled and let go of the ball, his fellow player would be in no position to rectify the mistake, as the heavy ball would have already tanked to the ground.
Though Hooverball requires some level of teamwork, it is Volleyball that is considered the epitome of teamwork, partnership, and camaraderie. Hooverball is meant to be played as a recreational activity or as a part of core-strength training.
Why play Hooverball?
Hooverball does help people remain fit, but why should they not choose another sport that fulfills the same goal and is easier to play? Well, Hooverball though strenuous, is highly gratifying to play. Those who love showing off their strength and developing their muscles benefit a lot from playing it; this is far more effective than intense workouts throughout the day. Besides, all that practice for playing Hooverball comes in handy for any sport that requires a lot of abdominal strength.
Of course, those who tend to injure themselves more often than not while playing and those with back or shoulder pain should stay as far away as possible from this sport. It is not pleasant to be bashed in the face with what can be described as a slightly padded cannonball. Injuries are common in all sports, but players can be drastically injured if things go wrong when playing Hooverball.
Some people love the sport because of that very fact; they see the injuries as part of the fun and bounce back after recovery (it must be fantastic to have an optimistic mind!). But most injuries can be avoided if the players learn to absorb or evenly distribute the shock of the ball’s impact when they receive it.
There is no mind-blowing technique or finesse to Hooverball players’ style, but their main objective is to wear the opponent down before they bite the dust from exhaustion. Hooverball is slightly less intense for women as they can pass the ball to their teammate once before throwing it across the net and are allowed to serve from half-court. Such concessions make the game far more enjoyable and less risky while remaining adrenaline-inducing.
Fun aspects of Hooverball
Bizarrely, those who love Hooverball staunchly believe that people must have a sense of humor to appreciate the sport. Although when one takes a closer look at the moves made in Hooverball, it is easy to understand why people love it. One of the most common strategies in Hooverball is faking a long throw. The players act like they are about to throw the ball far, grunting to add to the illusion and toss it with merely enough force to clear the net. An opponent who falls for this trick will not be able to recover in time to catch the ball.
Some players do it by using a throwing style called over-the-head throw. They face away from the net, hold the ball slightly below their waist, bend their knees, and heave it over their head. Such a throw requires them to use their backs as well as their arms; that way, they will not tire quickly, and this throw is the beginners’ favorite. Tricking others is always fun if it does not harm them.
Another strategy is picking an opponent; the players will find a weak opponent and keep throwing the ball to them to make them tire soon. Most beginners will not know how/be able to play for a prolonged time and will be easy prey to their opponents. Or, the players feint picking a player and throw the ball to their side or someplace entirely away from them. Experienced players will not fall for this trick as they will study their opponents’ body language and keep a close eye on the ball’s trajectory.
Keep Away is another strategy players use; they identify the strongest player in their rival team and try their best to prevent that player from getting his hands on the ball. To implement this strategy, the team has to work together as one, which paves the way for forging bonds. Developing friendships is always enjoyable and well worth one’s time.
The sport’s popularity had an unexpected surge in 2003 and is being played even now. Players have begun introducing advanced techniques in Hooverball; this is a crucial factor in its popularity as all sports fans love watching the implementation of tricky techniques and strategies. Some describe it as playing Tennis with a cannonball, while others think of it as a variation of Volleyball with a focus on physical strength and fitness. Why not try to come up with a more fun explanation after playing it to satisfy one’s curiosity?
Not everyone may understand why Hooverball is so popular, but it is worth playing, even if there is no way to make it a career option. Sometimes, having fun is more important than achieving success by playing a sport. It is understandable to have reservations about playing Hooverball, but it is great to step out of one’s comfort zone now and then. Who knows, people may find this new fitness regime lovable and exciting.