This Valentine’s Day, Olympic junkies were treated not just to ski jumping, curling and skating but something different: snow volleyball. Could it be the next beach volleyball? USA Volleyball is banking on it.
While Europe already has a Snow Volleyball Tour and it’s wildly popular, the sport has not been introduced here in America – or not introduced much, at least. But the two-a-side version (again, similar to beach volleyball) is something USA Volleyball is hoping to capitalize on, and to start up at ski resorts in the U.S.
While it doesn’t take much of a specialized surface, being played on hardpack, it does require a regulation court with playing lines, a net and places for players to rest between games. Players wear soccer shoes to get a better grip on the snow, and dress in layers, since like its beach counterpart, the snow game is a fast and physical. It also thrives on a party atmosphere, and on the tour, includes a D.J., cheerleaders (in attire suitable to snow) and a hot tub for post-game relaxation.
USA Volleyball has been quick to see the après-ski potential and is encouraging ski resorts to set up a court near the bottom of the main lift, outside the lodge, so that those unwinding after a day on the slopes can enjoy watching the play. The national governing body has also noted that colleges may be leading the way on this, much as they did with the beach game. And since many colleges in areas that receive dependable snow already have teams for sports like biathlon, ski jumping, alpine skiing, snowboarding and so forth, it’s not much of a stretch to think of students forming snow volleyball clubs.
The rise of snow volleyball could be assisted by companies such as those in ASBA’s Courts & Recreation Division – who could contact local ski resorts and colleges about the possibility of installing courts. It’s a market that, given the Olympic momentum, is waiting to be tapped.