Volutobol. Some call it the greatest game ever played, the only sport capable of matching the complexity of the human spirit. Of course, others insist that it is less of a sport than it is of a way of life. But what is volutobol, you ask?

Let’s jump back in time–I believe it was in the summer of 2008. The sun sparkled on the lush Pennsylvania grass. It was a simpler time. An ordinary boy hit a volleyball back and forth with his sister in their backyard, but he soon became annoyed by his inability to hit the ball straight. He realized that the Neanderthal conventions of the game held back not only his potential, but also that of every person that is and ever will be. That is when this ordinary boy had a big idea. He began inventing new rules, few of which made any sense, and soon enough his spark of invention gave birth to a new cultural phenomenon.

This was how volutobol came to be. I know this because I was that boy, and perhaps I still am somewhere. I knew I had to somehow share my creation with the world, so I went on the Wikipedia page entitled “Volleyball Variations” and submitted the following text:

Volutobol can be played on virtually any surface or location. It usually involes two players, the Volutor and the Quaffadocio. The Volutor is the dominant position in the game, being able to control the boundaries of the court as well as keeping a dead ball in play. However, the Quaffadocio has an extremely powerful advantage. Constant conversation must be kept throughout the entire match, and if the Volutor is discourteous or somehow impolite to his/his opponent, then the Quaffadocio has the ability to call the point and become the volutor. The game takes place in three rounds: the first just being straight out play, the second being each player choosing an advantage based on their environment, and the third and final being the players switching advantages. Each round is played until one player can no longer stand, resulting in their loss of the round. Any vomiting or profanity results in immediate disqualification.

 This game has spread rapidly across Europe, originating in an asylum in Venice. It has recently become popular among college students in the United States and is being petitioned to become an Olympic sport.

Unfortunately, Wikipedia refused to keep this information up for more than a few days at a time, regardless of how often I posted it. Vandalism, they called it, refusing to see the truth. Were they frightened, angry, confused? I do not know. Others, however, accepted the truth. Out of either laziness or appreciation, many website authors copy text directly from Wikipedia, meaning that volutobol soon spread across the far reaches of the internet. It looked like an unprecedented cultural renaissance was about to unite the human population. But then, without much reason, the growth stopped, and the boy grew up and moved on to other things. Volutobol was forgotten.

That is, until today. I received an email from my father bearing joyous news. Instead of actually doing his job, he decided to run a Google search of “volutobol,” and he found something incredible. The Wikipedia page for the Panachikkadu Temple lists this passage as its fourth paragraph:

Stone carvings on the walls illustrate Vishnu and his servants playing a game similar to modern day Volutobol. This competition is perhaps a physical presentation of Vishnu’s “Preservation of the Universe”, as Vishnu is clearly dominating the opposition with his many arms. These inscriptions also suggest that India, not Italy, is the birthplace of the game.

I have no clues as to the identity of this mysterious author, but I owe him or her my utmost gratitude. With this, we will start again.


(I know not what this picture means, but it shows up in the Google Image search for “volutobol,” and that means something.)

This is a call to arms; what we have already is only the beginning. We need as many people as possible to spread the message of volutobol. It does not matter whether you blog, tweet, or post on Facebook about it, only that you get the word out. Contribute to the sport’s legacy in any way that you can. Copy and paste the existing text somewhere, or compose your own piece about volutobol’s history and practice. Our world is filled with questions, and the only right answer is volutobol.

Join this fight. Volutobol!


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