ONE of the most unique types of sports that I’ve seen in my career is the version of volleyball played in some areas in Cebu. “Inday-Inday volleyball” is the name for it but there’s nothing “inday-inday” about it.
The first time I saw a game, back when I was still a college student, burly top-less guys who you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley played it. It follows the rules of volleyball except that “palming” is allowed and the ball used is sometimes a small basketball. And boy, do these games attract a crowd.
I always wanted to know how this version of volleyball came to be and why it’s mostly played in the poorer sections. (Hey, Sociology students, that might make for an interesting dissertation.)
I remember passing an area in Imus where games are regularly played. I’ve always thought that that shows how untapped the volleyball market is in Cebu.
Of course, since the lockdowns, I haven’t seen much.
But lately, while traveling to and from the city, I saw a few crowd-drawing events. I passed a cock-fighting scene and you know what the rest was? Inday-inday volleyball.
Volleyball, not basketball. And boy, can you hear the crowd even while passing through them.
And yep, the players were the typical toughies.
Man, I hope the powers-that-be that is the Ligang Volleyball ng Pilipinas can see these types of games. If I was with the NSA, I’d gladly tap into this market to help push for the popularity of volleyball. No, you don’t have to encourage having these guys follow the rules of volleyball, you merely have to encourage their favorite kind of volleyball.
Hey, if we can have 3-on-3 basketball, why not this Pinoy version of volleyball?
The opportunities are tremendous and you only have to look at the internet for inspiration. Haven’t you seen videos of guys playing a version of beach volleyball with intersecting nets or of guys heading a football around a ping-pong table?
The popularity of those two sports grew exponentially because of visionaries and I hope we can have a visionary for that type of volleyball.
But sadly visionaries are rare in Philippine sports and in the case of Philippine volleyball, there are two competing groups trying to win the honor to be recognized as the national sports association for volleyball.
I hope they get to see some of these crowd-draws in the future because I’m confident these events will turn on a light bulb in their heads.