California Beach Volleyball
A friend had asked me along to a beach party — her friend was having a
birthday — so she came by my place at about 1pm and we did the drive
down to Capitola. At any rate, we all played volleyball on the beach,
and they were fanatical. In the interests of education and preventing
other people from looking as foolish as I did, here are the guidelines
to California Beach Volleyball, as near as I can figure them out:
- Low-fives: after a good play, you congratulate the other players on
your team by hitting your hands together. Your hands should be about
waist-level; “high fives” mark you as a clueless neophyte. The idea
is to do it as if you are completely exhausted from your hard
playing, but feel the need to exert yourself to keep up team morale,
so you want to do it offhandedly and with minimal vigor.
- Never say, “Mine, mine!” or “I’ve got it!” These mark you as an
amateur. Instead, say only “I got” or “I go.”
- If you blow a play, never say “I’m sorry” or anything like that.
These mark you as an ineffectual dweeb. Instead, simply say, “My
bad.” Note that this excuses almost anything. If you knock the ball
particularly badly and it hits an elderly lady watching, causing her
dentures to dislodge so that she chokes to death, horribly and
painfully, while her three beloved grandchildren stare in horror,
all you have to do is say, “My bad,” and the grandmother’s relatives
will all smile and nod knowingly and not be angry.
- Never hit the ball directly. Instead, volleyball with fanatics plays
like this: first person hits it to the center front line. Center
front line pops it up in the air to left or right front line. Left
or right front line drives it down for the point. This means:
- The second hit always belongs to the center front line, unless
he or she yells “Help!”
- When your team is serving, the center front line needs to be
facing away from the other team, towards his own players. This
makes you feel like some huge mark just waiting to get hit by
the ball, but really, it works better.
- Finally, you can get by for a long time not knowing anything about
beach volleyball. Every time you play badly or miss the ball or let
it hit you on the head, just shake your head and mutter something
about not being used to playing on sand. This can get you through
one or two games, easy, before they start to realize that you’re
probably not used to playing on grass, either.
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