Sitting Volleyball Team Prepares for World Qualifier

This weekend, the Volleydome in Calgary will host the men’s and women’s National Sitting Volleyball teams as the men prepare for the upcoming World Championship qualifier.

The qualifier for Worlds is the Pan Am Championships, October 9 to 13 in Edmond, Oklahoma, and the next World Championships are in Elbag, Poland, in June 2014. The Canadian men must finish in the top two in Oklahoma to qualify for the Worlds.

This year, the men's team will be led by Austin Hinchey of Edmonton, Alberta, a below-the-knee amputee who plays both sitting and able-bodied volleyball. He is currently in his fifth year of CIS eligibility with the UBC Thunderbirds, but he has been released by the Thunderbirds to be able to train and compete in this event.

The men were 16th at the 2010 World Championships - the first time Canada participated in the Sitting Volleyball World Championships.

The women’s program is in the middle of a rebuilding phase, and will be training with a group of new and veteran athletes.

Sitting volleyball is a discipline of disabled volleyball that is played while sitting on the floor. The sport is governed by the same set of rules as the able-bodied game, with a few minor rule modifications.
The sitting volleyball court measures 10m x 6m, divided into two sides of 5m deep by 6m wide. The net height is lower than that of able-bodied or standing volleyball, and is set at a height of 1.15m for men, and 1.05m for women.

For international competition, sitting volleyball is open to athletes with a physical disability who meet the minimum disability requirements for volleyball. An athlete’s disability must be permanent (either progressive or non-progressive). Athletes with progressive physical disabilities (i.e., muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, etc.) are given a temporary classification and must be classified at each competition. The sport was introduced into the Paralympic program in 1980.

While many sitting volleyball athletes at the international level are amputees, the sport can be played by athletes with other types of physical disabilities.

Anyone interested in finding out more about either playing or coaching the sport can contact High Performance Director Ian Halliday

The public is welcome to view any of the court sessions listed below.

Friday, September 20
9:00am – 11:00am On-Court (MEN) Volleydome
11:00am – 1:00pm On-Court (WOMEN) Volleydome
1:00pm – 3:00pm On-Court (MEN) Volleydome
3:00pm – 5:00pm On-Court (WOMEN) Volleydome

Saturday, September 21
9:00am – 10:30am On-Court (MEN) Volleydome
10:30am – 12:30pm On-Court (WOMEN) Volleydome
12:30pm – 2:30pm On-Court (MEN) Volleydome
2:30pm – 4:30pm On-Court (WOMEN) Volleydome
4:30pm – 6:30pm On-Court (MEN) Volleydome

Sunday, September 22
9:00-11:30 On-Court (MEN & WOMEN) UC Gold Gym