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Have you ever watched a volleyball match?

I am not talking about any volleyball match played indoors or in the sand, but a match played on grass in a backyard. In addition to badminton, my family played a lot of volleyball. I mean a lot.

Every Sunday, friends and relatives would come over to my mom and dad's house to play volleyball. Most of us took volleyball very seriously. We didn't play for just a couple of hours; we played from 1 p.m. until 8. In some cases, we played until we couldn't see the volleyball anymore.

This wasn't the kind of boring backyard volleyball with short rallies and players not moving their feet. Each match was an all-out battle. There were overhanded serves, sky-high beautiful sets, booming spikes and incredible digs.

The teams were a mix of men and women with the men doing most of the spiking and diving. Yes, diving. I can remember many times diving for many shots to pop the ball up.

We played to 21 points and some matches lasted a while. Staying hydrated was a must, and I can't remember how much water I drank over the course of the day. Drinking from the outside hose and dousing myself with cool water was something I remember.

The teams were shuffled up after a game or two, but sometimes one team campaigned for a rematch. If the losing team defeated the winning team the second go around, then a third match had to be played to break the tie.

There are many good aspects about backyard volleyball. It builds character, involves teamwork, is great exercise and, sometimes, deals with conflict resolution. Yes, in my family we had to do some conflict resolution at times.

Unfortunately, there were times when (usually couples) would get into verbal arguments on the court. One person would say, "Come on, you could have gotten to that ball."

"No, I couldn't." the significant other would respond. Other argument topics included when a player ventured into the other players 'area' to hit the ball. An argument would sometimes ensue about the importance of staying in the assigned spot.

Despite the arguments, volleyball taught me many things that I still keep with me. The importance of hard work and involving others in the team despite how bad they may be. The matches were extreme; that was a result from the love of the game.

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