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October 25, 2010

Behold: The extra large tennis ball.

I’m guessing that the majority of sports were invented by bored college guys. Rarely do you see a group of people with more of an ability to take a ball, or any random object, and invent a new game in about 15 minutes. While attending Campbell University, my friend Dan introduced us to VolleyBasketTennis. If I remember correctly, the game was conceived when he and his friends from home couldn’t play basketball because all the courts were being used. He brought it to Campbell, where the enthusiasm of the rest of us perfected the game.

– Tennis court
– Large ball, preferably a basketball or giant tennis ball.

To begin, you divide the group into two teams and set people up on each side of the tennis court like a volleyball game. And the rest of the game is pretty much like volleyball, except with VBT, the ball can bounce once and be passed once each time it’s on your side of the net.

The fun was in the different throws the game had. A personal favorite for many of the girls was the Fanny Brown. This was an underhanded throw to the other side. And whenever you messed up, whether by hitting the ball out of bounds or just missing the hit, it was required that you yell “I missed the bus!” for everyone to hear.

The beauty of the game was in its simplicity and the fact that even someone as un-athletic as myself could play without feeling like they were bringing down the whole team. I will admit that I avoid team sports because I’m the person to whom everyone is polite. “Oh, you missed that completely perfect pass? That’s okay. Good hustle, Tiffany.” No, no it’s not a good hustle. It’s more like my eyes and hands are enemies and working against each other like siblings pitted in a rivalry for the ages. Sports like singles tennis and golf were created for people like me. I’m a hiker and cyclist. No one loses in hiking. No one needs to be embarrassed by my horrible score except myself.

With VBT, your chances of public humiliation were limited because of the low net and relative slowness of the game. But you could still have a good time playing a game with friends. And it was better than watching The Replacements for the forty-seventh time.

Anybody else out there have a sport or game they invented? And to the VBT players, did I miss any of the rules?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. PTGranger permalink
    October 25, 2010 10:38 am

    Let this be confirmation that I did not create VBT. There, Dan.

    No, you got it. The great thing is the speed and intensity automatically adjusts based on the players. So if you get 6 or so super-athletes together, it can get really intense. But, like you said, game-play is still awesome no matter who is playing.

    One of my favorites is the “shake-n-bake,” which entails a fake-out over one shoulder and a quick toss over the other. The “shoe shiner” is when the ball hits and opponents feet and is nearly impossible to save. One of the cheap moves was “putting change in the meter”, where you would lightly let it go just over the net so the opponent didn’t have time to save it.

    What made the game is it’s push to not be about winning, but about enjoying the game with each other. Nothing ruined a game faster than a selfish, show-off, sore loser; nothing made it better than just having fun.

    If any of the readers out there play, they should report the results! It’s been played around the country, by people from around the world!

    • dtdorrin permalink*
      October 25, 2010 1:18 pm

      Thanks Paul! I couldn’t remember any of the other plays, but I knew there were several more.

  2. PTGranger permalink
    October 25, 2010 10:40 am

  3. PTGranger permalink
    October 25, 2010 10:41 am


  4. Ben Sargent permalink
    October 25, 2010 1:11 pm

    Wasn’t there some trash can kicking involved?

  5. Schniff Schnaff Shalomie permalink
    October 25, 2010 1:12 pm

    I do vaguely remember something like that.

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