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Four-Square Volley Ball

We reinvented Four-Square Volley Ball at Friday's "Sports for Fun, for Free, for Everyone" workshop. We were in a large carpeted room, maybe about 70 of us. Chairs were placed against the walls so that there was plenty of room for us to play. I had my bag o' balls, including a baseball-ball-sized sacky-sack. In order to illustrate the concept of Junkyard Sports and all implied thereby, I asked the group to make up some kind of game we could all play together. Since most of them were involved with very active youth, and because it was almost lunch, they elected to play a game with a lot of movement. Because the room we were in could be subdivided into two rooms, the carpet design was in two sections - with a broad strip down the middle. Apparently, this seemed like a volleyball net to some people, so volleyball was the game of choice.

I explained that though this would probably work, it seemed to me that not enough players would be involved. The suggestion was that each team had to hit the ball at least five times. Or maybe three. Or anywhere between three and five. Since there were maybe 35 on a team, it seemed to me that there would still be a problem with participation. Someone suggested that we divide the court in half again, so that there were four sections, as in the game of four square. We used people's jackets (including my just-cleaned sports jacket) and laid them on the floor, perpendicular to the dividing strip. This gave us four teams of maybe 17 on a side. Since we didn't really want to keep score, someone else suggested that if a team misses, they'd lose a member. This raised a concern about people having to be "out" - a major no-no, Junkyard Sports-wise. So, we made it the rule that the last person to miss the ball would join the team that served it.

And it was good.

OK, other people have invented their own versions of 4 Square Volleyball. But, a) it was ours, and b) that "if you miss you join another team" rule was uniquely Junkyardly, manifesting a certain sensibility that the real and maybe only purpose of a good sport is to keep everyone in play.


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