Why is Volleyball Becoming so Popular?

August 3, 2023

In everyday life, it’s said that we have three places, the spaces in which we spend the majority of our time. For most people, we spend the largest part of our day either at home or at work, but what do we do the rest of the time? If home and work are two of our three “Places” where is this third place that we spend our time? In the past a third place could have been a church or the local bar, but then all that changed when the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the globe. 

Your “Third Place” is one in which you are most active, most social, where you blow off steam from a hard day at work before you go home to rest. During the pandemic we lost this third place, since we were at home during the lockdowns our three spaces got crammed into one, preventing us from having an outlet from work or home life. But what’s happened since the pandemic? We’ve noticed an increase in recreational sports, specifically volleyball. 

Drop-in volleyball is not a new invention, it existed long before the pandemic, and while it was popular, the active players in urban settings like Toronto, Ontario, are higher now than ever before. So why are people choosing volleyball as their “Third Place” away from work and home? 

Volleyball Builds a Strong Community

Volleyball is more than just a sport; it's a community. The camaraderie that develops on the court extends beyond the game, fostering friendships and creating a sense of belonging. Whether you're a seasoned player or a newcomer, the recreational volleyball scene is incredibly welcoming. You'll find people of all skill levels, from beginners to pros, all united by their love for the game.

Someone’s third place is often a social setting, in the past communities would gather every Sunday for church, or occasionally for block parties. Religion and the idea of community have deteriorated in the Western world, people's interests have changed and evolved, and now it’s harder to find common ground with your neighbour. But in a sports setting each play is there for their love of the sport, this provides common ground as the foundation for long-lasting relationships. 

The Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Volleyball 

Volleyball is a fantastic way to stay fit. It's a full-body workout that improves cardiovascular health, builds strength, and enhances coordination. But the benefits aren't just physical. Volleyball also promotes mental well-being. It's a stress reliever, a mood booster, and a great way to take your mind off the daily grind. Plus, there's nothing quite like the feeling of successfully executing a spike or making a crucial save.

If you look at shows like Cheers (1982) or How I Met Your Mother (2005), the cast in these shows we found hanging out in bars, a safe place where they could relax and share their common interests. As the popularity of drinking and party culture declines for the obvious health risks, spaces like recreational sports open up as the perfect opportunity for those who want to spend time with their friends while getting in a good workout.

Volleyball is Accessible

One of the great things about drop-in volleyball is its accessibility. No matter where you live it’s likely that there are indoor and outdoor volleyball courts all over the place. If there isn’t, one of the best parts about volleyball is that you can play anywhere. As long as you have a patch of grass, a makeshift net, and a few players you’re good to go. 

Finding drop-in volleyball games isn’t a challenge, these runs can be found on social media, at local gyms or with a quick Google search. Many people choose volleyball because it’s one of the first sports they discover when looking for recreational activities. Not only is volleyball fun to play, but once you’ve gotten into it you start to crave playtime, this is why you see all-day long tournaments, players love the sport, they love playing with their friends, and they’re willing to spend their weekends on the court instead of on the couch binging the latest season of Too Hot to Handle (2020). 

Volleyball Brings People Together

Volleyball is a social sport. It brings people together and fosters a sense of community. It's a place where you can meet new people, build relationships, and create lasting memories. Whether it's the shared excitement of a well-played game or the laughter and banter between points, volleyball creates a shared experience that brings people together.

Volleyball is more than just a sport; it's a lifestyle, a community, and a "third place." It's a place where you can escape from the daily grind, connect with others, and engage in a fun, healthy activity. So, why not make volleyball your third place? Grab a volleyball, head out to the nearest court in the GTA, and join the vibrant community of volleyball enthusiasts.

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