Balls to Sunday | 17th July 2011 | 20:14 PDT

The sky is thick with grey clouds imprisoning rain that is trying to escape its evil clutches one drop at a time and the sun is stuck in solitary confinement, as it has been all week for being too wild and out of control the week before.

The land the people around me were fighting back with smiles and laughter as spirits were high, the atmosphere infectious, loud and vibrant and the action was gripping and being displayed at a full throttled pace. This is how Sundays should be spent.

I was currently standing on the sand of Kitsilano beach overlooking the masses of crowds from within the boisterous buzz of the beer garden as I looked over the semi-finals and the finals of the "Volleyball BC, Vancouver Open" the whole occasion made even more prestigious as it was the 20th year of the competition.

Girls Final with some mid-air action

Now, I've no idea really about Volleyball, I know there's sand involved (as I was standing on it) a net involved (as I could see one) a ball involved (as I can read) so, I looked on with vague eyes with 33% of me going, "huh?", 33% of me going "ohh!" and the other 33% of me listening out to the crowd to gasp and clap at appropriate times.

It only took one game for me to break free from taking pointers from the crowd and get involved to understand this sport, which is really simple looking back at it:
2 teams of 2 people, punch a ball over a tall net, this goes on until the ball touches the ground, 1 point is given to the team that didn't let the ball touch the ground, it's the best of 3 games, a game is won by the first team that gets 21 points.

Mens Final with some mid-air action

As it was the last day, it seemed that both spectators and players were having a 'no holds barred' attitude to the joys of life, people merrily drinking beers and shouting encouragement to the teams and when a clear winner was more or less decided "SKYBALL!" (Smacking the ball as far into the sky as you possibly can) would echo around the stands - which was greeted with either screams of delight or playful boos if the request wasn't met.

The players joined in the good times and seemed to be letting loose, seemed more like a testimonial match to show boat and entertain and any serious undertones about the serious cash to be won (with $3300 being won by 1st placed teams) was non-existent.

Oh and it's nothing like THAT scene from Top Gun either... Well... Maybe a little bit... Doesn't matter as everyone was certainly entertained by fantastic ball.

Embracing stuff (via

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