28 January 2011

Volleyball

2009 Champions - the Spiked Punches,
(non-Austrian)
I consider it a major strike of luck that one of the only team sports I'm even remotely capable of playing is also among the most popular here in Austria.  Since October I've been expanding the international profile of 2009 Brown University P.E. Low Division Intramural Volleyball Champions 'The Spiked Punches' (see right) by playing with my school's team almost every Wednesday.

The older players are mostly quite talented and an extremely high percentage of the students (in comparison to volleyball teams in American high schools, at least) take part.  Volleyball, in general, is taken much more seriously here than it is in America, where it's much more likely to be played one-handed by beer-holding old men in their backyards between a round of horseshoes and seconds at the grill.  In fact, the nearby town of Amstetten (population: 23,000) even has its own professional volleyball club - consisting of at least 25% unemployed American volleyball stars.  Other similar towns (or metropolises, depending on your point-of-view) also have professional teams that compete with each other and, somehow, make money out of the arrangement.   

But back in the small time racket, I've been enjoying our weekly practices despite embarrassing myself at times by grossly misunderstanding information, rules, and gender-specific instructions.  The local dialect, always difficult for me to understand, becomes even more difficult to understand when it's screamed by enthused and competitive sixteen year-olds on the court.
 
I have, however, learned some fun and useful volleyball vocabulary*:

Meine Schuld - my fault
Deine Schuld - your fault
Schlagen - to serve (to hit)
Aufspielen - to set
Netz - net
Wie steht's? - what's the score?
Out - out
In - in
Spike - spike
Block - block

English has, apparently, influenced the game's terminology abroad.

Although it`s been too cold for outdoor/beach volleyball for some time, I hear that my town has a 3x3 snow volleyball tournament planned for February.  More on that later...

*Note: German volleyball vocabulary is, in fact, only useful for playing volleyball in a German-speaking country.  For something actually useful, click here.

1 comment:

  1. i think you're describing my father..."Volleyball, in general, is taken much more seriously here than it is in America, where it's much more likely to be played one-handed by beer-holding old men in their backyards between a round of horseshoes and seconds at the grill."

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