Volleyball is “Torture Ball”

volleyball-problemsFor our homeschool PE, I like to introduce my children to each of the different sports for a few days so that they are not ignorant when the church sets up a volleyball game or whatever. I want them to know what the rules are, and some basic skills so that they have the ability to play, or to enjoy watching. I do not want my children to have to join every team out there for season after season. No, I think a week or two to learn the basics with me is decent enough.

I use the Cub Scouts Academics and Sports program, which you can pick up for $5 at any Boy Scout store. In the sports section of that program, you can earn a pin for each sport that you complete. If you are not in Cub Scouts, you can buy the pin yourself and give it to your kid. Each sport lists different skills that need to be mastered, so I drill those skills.volleyball-problems-2

For volleyball, 90 minutes of practicing skills was required, so we practiced serving, setting, and bumping the ball. Each time the children served or bumped the ball, they screamed in pain. My son Bryan nicknamed the game “torture ball.” He said he was bruised after that first day of half an hour. I told him I was bruised, too. On the way home, I turned the opposite way and decided to get a softer ball at a sporting goods store. After all, I had bought this old volleyball for 99 cents at Goodwill two years ago, so who knows its condition?

Arriving at thevolleyball-problems-3 sporting goods store, I asked if there was a children’s volleyball or a softer volleyball. One of the men who worked there spoke authoritatively. He stated that the main reason a volleyball would hurt is because there is too much air in the ball. I should let some air out of my ball. Secondly, he had a ball that was softer, but it was expensive at $35. Also, he had me feel the ball. He said, “See, this one has too much air. This one over here is better.” I felt each one and figured out how it should be. I thanked him and left.

volleyball-problems-4The next day I let air out of the ball. (My husband took something off the air pump and pressed it into the hole.) When we arrived at the park with the volleyball net, we fared no better. It was slightly less pain for me to serve it, but it certainly didn’t make much difference. My husband told me volleyball always hurts. I told him that a couple of times that I played it, it didn’t hurt. There must be a way to hit it to minimize pain. If anyone has any ideas, let me know. Meanwhile, all I hear from my boys is “Ow,” “ow,” “ouch,” “ow.”

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14 Responses to “Volleyball is “Torture Ball””

  1. Christie Gibson says:

    Don’t let any finger bones or joints (except possibly the MP of the thumb) ever touch the ball. Serving works best with the wrist and distal forearm (hand extended).
    You might have a coach actually show the kids. I remember lots of pain until someone taught me.

  2. random observer says:

    Judging by the pictures, that is definitely an indoor ball. Indoor balls have a different covering on them (more like rubber), and I’ve found they hit significantly harder and faster than an outdoor ball, even with air removed.

    You can try removing more air from the ball, but if that doesn’t work, I’d suggest trying to find an outdoor ball. It’s a more leathery cover and gives a lot more than an indoor ball does. Try them in the store before you buy one because they do cost $35-50 each and you don’t want to pick one up only to find it still hurts when you play. We use Spalding King of the Beach for our games and have had good success with those.

    it definitely shouldn’t matter what joints hit the ball, there’s almost no pain involved when you pop up an outdoor ball with just a knuckle (or your face).

    good luck

  3. Tracie says:

    I remember the volleyball that we used in middle school gym class always hurt my hands. But not too often, because I was usually the girl in the back who ducked when it came near me. Sports are not my gifting.

  4. Adrienne says:

    Torture ball? Haha

    This totally makes me want to get a volleyball net. My boys are not team sports kind of kids. I had no idea you could earn badges like that. Do you have to be a boy scout?

    • Susan says:

      You can do it on your own without being a boy scout.

      I prefer badminton myself, because it doesn’t hurt, and you still run around and get exercise in the sand with a net.

  5. Mommy Reg says:

    Yes!!! Torture ball is it. I can’t stand volleyball because every single time I have ever played it hurt like the dickens and I had bruises up and down my arms for weeks after. My kids haven’t played yet that I know of. I should probably subject them to this torture so they can at least know how to play if they get asked.

    • Susan says:

      When I was a kid, I hit my finger so hard one time with the volleyball that my finger turned fat and purple. It hurt like crazy.

      • Mommy Reg says:

        Wow, that had to have hurt like the dickens. I like the less painful sports like badminton no one I know has ever been injured by a birdie. 😉

        • Hannah says:

          I understand where you’re coming from, usually after my practice you should have bruises, they should be only in one spot. But if you truly want to play the pains would help improve your skills. Plus after awhile you dont really think about the pain, or your arms turn numb and you could do whatever you want without any pain. This is why when people say volleyball is an easy sport they’re wrong!! Its really hard.

  6. Hannah says:

    I play volleyball, almost all of the new players complain about arms hurting. A way to fix that is to show the kids where to hut the ball. For passing (bumping) never ever hit the ball with your hands, that really hurts, instead you want to let the ball com to you and let the ball hit your fore arm, but not too far up. For setting youll want to pretend that youre drinking a two liter above your forehead. Then push the play to wherever you want it to go.
    Hope that helped, oh for serving you only hit the ball with your palm. Fingers are bent a little backward so the dont touch the ball.

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