Sitting Volleyball Tournament Levels Playing Court for Athletes with Disabilities
Release Date: 02/25/2008

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OMAHA, Neb.— Athletes from around the United States are gearing up to bump, set and spike — all while staying seated — at the Sitting Volleyball Tournament taking place on Saturday, March 1st, at the Westroads Club, located at 1212 N. 102nd St. The tournament — now in its fourth year — has grown to be the largest sitting volleyball tournament in the country and this year will feature players from the Men’s and Women’s Sitting National Teams, along with coaches and supporters. The event is designed to raise awareness that disabled and able-bodied male and female athletes alike can compete in the sport.

“It doesn’t matter who can jump higher, sitting volleyball levels the playing field for everyone involved,” said Jena Munson, co-organizer and certified therapeutic recreation specialist at Alegent Health Immanuel Rehabilitation Center. “It gives athletes who love the sport but have a physical disability, the ability to get off the sidelines and onto the court.”

Sitting volleyball is a Paralympic sport played and enjoyed throughout the world. Compared to standing volleyball, sitting volleyball has modified rules and guidelines, which includes a smaller court size and lower net height. Athletes play sitting on the floor, however, a player’s hands and legs are permitted to lie in the attack or free zone outside the court. A match is made up of three games; the first two games are played to 25 and the final game to 15. Rally scoring is used for all three games and two referees regulate each match.

Due to the event’s popularity, this year’s tournament will host both a competitive and recreational division. Also, national sitting players will be matched up with able-bodied teams from the area to increase awareness and an individual player’s skill level. There is an entry fee for players and cash and prizes will be awarded for outstanding players and teams. For more information regarding the tournament, contact Jena Munson at (402) 572-2276.

The event is sponsored by the Alegent Health Immanuel Rehabilitation Center, the Eastern Nebraska Wheelchair Athletic Association, Great Plains Region Volleyball Association and Omaha High Rollers.