Wallyball blends two common sports

Jess Briganti

Course serves as workout

If you’re a fan of volleyball but know all the rules and want a new challenge, Wallyball has been around since 1979, and has been offered as a one-credit class at Kent State for two years now.

Instructor John Newman has taught the class since Wallyball’s unveiling at Kent and teaches two classes a semester.

Wallyball is a combination of indoor volleyball and racquetball. The rules are similar, but the walls are a key element in the game. The net is the same height as in volleyball, but the game is actually played in a racquetball court. The ball is similar to a volleyball but made of rubber.


•Choose the subject: “Physical Education – Basic”

•The course is called “ST: Wallyball, PEB 10095, Sections 005 and 006. CRN: 14798 and 15014

•Times offered: TR 3:20-4:10 and 4:25-5:15

In Wallyball, nothing can touch the net and players’ feet aren’t allowed to cross the center line. Wallyball and volleyball have the same rules for the number of hits a team can take to get the ball over the net, which is three, but players can also bounce the balls off the walls in Walleyball. Players can’t hit the ceiling and can’t block or attack serves.

Greg Keys, senior sports administration major, said he took the class because he wanted to take a fun class in his last year at Kent State.

“I’ve played Wallyball before and think it’s fun,” he said. “It’s really like volleyball.”

The students are required to take one quiz and two tests. Their grade is also based on their attendance. At the beginning of class, Newman gives a hands-on overview of how to play and what is expected. He then leaves the last 40 minutes of class for the students to play actual games against each other.

Scott Sherwood, senior exercise physiology major, said he took Wallyball because he and his friend had never heard of it and looked it up on YouTube, expecting it to be intense.

“It’s a great time while getting credit for burning calories,” he said, adding that his favorite part of Wallyball is the interaction with his teammates.

Karen Gooley, junior nursing major, said she took the class to experience something outside of nursing.

“It’s exercise I don’t have time for otherwise,” she said.

The game in its purest form is played on a two-against-two format, but to accommodate the class size, many games are played with more players on each team.

The class meets once a week for an hour and 45 minutes.

Contact features correspondent Jess Briganti at [email protected].