Typically, 12 people comprise two opposing teams for volleyball but for the first two weeks of this new chair-based indoor activity at the Gulfport Senior Center, enough people showed interest to have at least 19 want to play.
The activity is scheduled each Thursday starting officially at 2:30 p.m. and the action can last from 60 to 90 minutes said Alison Warner, volunteer coach and ball shagger. On Thursday, March 8, 24 players were so excited to get started, play began at 2:20 p.m.
Team members must remain seated in a chair during play, she said.
“We use a beach ball to hit back and forth over a badminton net,” said Warner. “We try to limit it to three hits per side and a player can hit the ball more than once.”
During the first two weeks, players worked on ball handling skills and teamwork.
“We didn’t keep score,” said Warner. “Typically, a game is played to 21 points. We have been playing for fun so we haven’t been keeping score.”
A woman who had come to the center from another one from out-of-state suggested the idea, said Walter Pauly, volunteer coordinator.
“The first week, we had 19 players,” he said. “My hope is to keep it going. If we need to have another court or group set up, then so be it. Right now, this is a good start and we hope to sustain it.”
According to the center’s publicity poster, the game has many health benefits including the improvement of hand-eye coordination and cardiovascular fitness along with being a stress reliever.
For more information, call the center at 727-893-1231.