Sitting Volleyball (SV) is a variation of Volleyball. One of the most interesting features of this discipline is that it is open to a wide range of participants without discrimination (skills levels, age and gender). Therefore, it holds a strong potential for social inclusiveness, especially if addressing young people. At the same time Volleyball is a traditional, grass-roots team sport which is very widespread in Europe and in all of the SIT2PLAY partner countries. Volleyball is the only high-energy, zero body contact, mixed team sport playable indoors and outdoors. For this reason it is very popular in schools around Europe. Sitting Volleyball shares with Volleyball many features by adding an inclusiveness dimension:
- Team mind-set: “There’s no “I” in a team. Volleyball teaches cooperative work where everyone has a role. Sitting Volley adds an additional diversity layer by tackling individualism: society is made up by many unique and different individuals;
- Responsibility: Everyone’s action in the team has an influence on the overall outcome of the game, from working hard to observing the rules. Illegal (breaking the rules) behaviour is not only penalised by the referee but also by the results and by other players’ control;
- Reducing stereotypes: within teams, racial, sexual and diversity stereotypes tend to blur thanks to the fact that the main focus is the game. Sitting Volleyball also amplifies this features putting able and disabled players on the same level;
- Train to respect: team sports teach respect of authoritative figures, such as coaches, referees and supervisors, as well as the other players.
Some additional sitting volleyball specific features, related to the SIT2PLAY project, are:
- Contact-less (fighting violence and violent role models);
- Gender-neutral: particularly adequate for mixed teams both from a technical and a social acceptance point of view, unlike other team sports (e.g. football);
- Communication skills: given the diversity of players and their different abilities, communication (verbal as well as non verbal ) is also an essential feature of the sport.