Wednesday, 29 May 2024

I Just Need a Line

The drive along the Santo Domingo coast offers a picturesque view of palm trees and rugged lava rocks. As I passed by, I noticed local fishermen patiently waiting for a catch, using nothing but a simple handline. This made me reflect on the simplicity of other popular sports like soccer and basketball and how we can apply similar principles to volleyball.

In our sport, all we really need is a line and a ball. The line represents the joy of keeping the ball off the floor and engaging in various techniques like spiking, blocking, and digging. It’s about the thrill of playing the game, whether near the ground or high up in the air, on a crowded court, point after point.

At the NORCECA Physical Educators clinic, we utilized white ribbon instead of traditional ropes, making it easier for players to see the “top of the net.” This cost-effective alternative allows us to focus on the game without compromising quality. The importance of having a ball cannot be underestimated. It is the catalyst that enables people around the world to play volleyball.

The “Leave a Ball Behind” program, now in its 10th year, aims to provide volleyballs to less fortunate programs. The availability and affordability of volleyballs play a significant role in the growth of our sport. In some places, hand-stitched volleyballs are sold at exorbitant prices, limiting access to the game. By donating unused balls or leaving them behind at the end of the season, we can make a difference in these communities.

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During the NORCECA meetings, coaches expressed concerns about not having enough balls for training sessions. We discussed the value of using stations and fun games, as outlined in the minivolley book, to overcome these limitations. Renowned coach Eugenio George, who has won three Olympic gold medals, also highlighted the book’s positive impact on both kids and top-level teams. It was a heartwarming experience to see their excitement when they found out that the book was freely available for download.

The FIVB Development Center, where part one of the USA Volleyball State Department Grant will take place, was the site of a thrilling school championship. Observing the kids and coaches playing on a flat but hard surface was a testament to the universal love for the game. While some are fortunate to play on concrete courts, many around the world compete on dirt, sand, or grass. This stark contrast highlights the challenges faced by players and the need for continued support.

In conclusion, volleyball is a sport that transcends barriers. With a simple line, a ball, and a passion for the game, we can create opportunities for people to play and enjoy volleyball. By supporting initiatives like the “Leave a Ball Behind” program and embracing innovative ideas from the minivolley book, we can contribute to the growth of the sport worldwide.


Q: How can I get involved in the “Leave a Ball Behind” program?

A: To participate in the “Leave a Ball Behind” program, you can donate any old volleyballs that are no longer suitable for training. These balls can be given to the program directly or left at your regionals or other season-ending events. Another way to help is by encouraging your athletes to sign good luck wishes on the balls before donating them.

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Q: What are some alternative materials that can be used for nets?

A: Instead of traditional ropes, you can consider using elastic webbing or plastic tape as more affordable alternatives. These materials are easier to see and provide a net-like appearance. Additionally, 2-inch wide white ribbon, wire-reinforced and available at cost-effective prices, can be an excellent choice.


In the world of volleyball, simplicity is key. With just a line and a ball, we can ignite a passion for the sport. The “Leave a Ball Behind” program seeks to provide volleyballs to those in need, addressing the global scarcity of this essential equipment. By embracing innovative ideas found in the minivolley book, we can create engaging training sessions and inspire players of all levels. Let’s come together as a community and make volleyball accessible and enjoyable for everyone. For more information and to get involved, visit the Alpinetgheep website.