"Sitting volleyball is a dynamic, exciting, fast and high spirited sport. It is a peaceful game that can be enjoyed by all. When played at the highest level, only people with physical disabilities are allowed. Coaches coming from a volleyball background will find they need to take into consideration the degree of disabilities as well as functional ways of playing. Coaches and players coming from disability sports, would probably find the need to get to grips with the key concepts of the sport. At a glance, team systems in the game can appear to be complex, unsystematic and often rather confusing. When Sitting is NOT Resting: Sitting Volleyball, is an essential resource for coaches and players to help his or her own understanding of playing sitting volleyball. The make up of this book comprises of match analyses of international matches combined with knowledge specific to volleyball strategies. It’s an insightful and practical guide that goes beyond skills and drills of volleyball training, with direct application to competition scenarios.
The book is the first of its kind to compile the history of the game from documented sources. The intention is to provide context for the readers on how the game was, is, and will be played. There are also examples of how sitting volleyball has been used outside of elite competition through which studies examining the psychosocial instances of inclusion in schools, clubs and society."
Two teams approach the centre of the court as the announcer names the teams. There is stillness among the crowd. It was time to play the national anthems. The national anthem that was played first was the Star Spangled Banner, the American anthem. What followed was the new anthem of Iraq - Mawtini. In a neutral venue there were Americans and Iraqis. It was a sight that is not seen every day.
In the summer of 2006, the World Championships of sitting volleyball took place, in Roermond, Netherlands. Both USA and Iraq played against each other for 9th/10th place. The game had significance importance, and it wasn’t just for the 9th place result. It could be noted that at that time, the trial following the USA’s capture of the Iraq’s leader was nearing completion in its second year and a verdict from the court. Troops from the USA Army had lost a limb or two through their service in Iraq featured in the American team. Players in the Iraqi team had friends and families affected by the recent conflict. In some people’s eyes, deep wounds from the war may have emotions that would engage more strife between personnel than any other match throughout the tournament. However, it wasn’t the time where two groups fought in vain against each other.
There were supposed to be tensions between the two countries however, on the sports field a different reality existed. There was huge emphasis on peace and friendship among this sporting community. A contest was of skills, gamesmanship, talent, team work, and ball skills, not of weapons, warfare, and alliances. Players on the field seem to forget the recent events and concentrated on the match. Ball after ball, until a team won three sets, the players continued on. On this occasion, the American team were victorious. After the game, teams met at the middle of the court, shock hands, some seen to give hugs to each other. The victims of war were brought together through peace and sport. The sport that allowed them this, was sitting volleyball.
Sitting volleyball has an uncanny knack of bringing peace and sport together. The terrorist bombings in London on the 7th July 2005 blew away the limbs of people and lives of others. One survivor from the bombings now plays sitting volleyball for her national team. She was later noted as the winner of the inspirational woman in sport for 2012. Also, in the same team, is a former troop that served in Iraq, when in 2006 she was left paralyzed. As sitting volleyball is a new sport in Great Britain, the recruitment of players was direct and there lies strong links between people who were in the services and sport.
From a country of novice players to former world champions, sitting volleyball is hugely successful and popular in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a country that was torn apart in the Yugoslavian break up during the 1990s. Reports of players that have found solitude from the sport as a result of the civil war are now playing sitting volleyball. Players from the Bosnian team went from rehabilitation through to serious competitive training. The results only got better to when they reached the top of the world in 2004 and became household names in the country. Players that were once on the brink of death, consider them to be lucky to be alive. They embrace the sport of sitting volleyball and demonstrate peace and friendship through encounters on and off the court.
Sitting volleyball hasn’t been recognised as a means of dealing with post-traumatic stress syndrome, but it might as well, given the number of positive cases that athletes have been through. Many elite athletes found themselves referred by professionals to participate in sport following a traumatic event. But the attribution of sitting volleyball as the first solution would be rare. In both modern medicine and homoeopathy, if the sport was solely seen as a means of dealing with post-traumatic stress syndrome, it will probably have to be the sole purpose of it. However, sitting volleyball isn’t just a cure for dealing with traumatic life events. It is much more. It is a type of volleyball that can be played by virtually all people. In this sense, it is the inclusive version of volleyball.
Kwok Ng has formerly been a Steering Group member (coaching workforce) of the Sitting Volleyball Committee in the British Volleyball Federation. As an internationally qualified coach, he has been interested in technical, tactical, mental and environmental aspects of the sitting game. His research is in the areas of psychological and environmental factors surrounding sitting volleyball, from schools through to elite athletes. The opportunity to referee international matches has given him an experience that adds to his holistic outlook of the game.