Volleyball THE IDEAL PARTICIPANT Team-oriented kids. At the highest competitive levels, it also helps to be tall because you can control the ball
better, says Ard Biesheuvel, president of Stars Volleyball. Programs like Stars in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan and Spikes in Ontario use smaller courts, lower nets and lighter balls. Children can play as young as six with Stars and eight with Spikes. PHYSICAL BENEFITS Boosts strength, reflexes, agility and concentration. OTHER BOONS Learning to rely on your peers. “Volley-ball is the ultimate team sport,” says Biesheuvel. “You can be the best hitter in the world, but if you don’t have
a setter, you’re out of luck.” SAFETY TIPS A good warm-up and knee pads can help reduce injury. Sprained ankles and broken fingers aren’t uncommon, but difficult to avoid. New lighter, cloth-
covered balls mean the sport is easier on young arms. TIME INVOLVED One hour per week. In middle or high school, one to five practices per week. $$ $80 for eight weeks with Stars; can be as much as $160 for the same
elsewhere. PARENT REALITY CHECK You may not be able to
find a program for your younger children. Stars and Spikes are pretty new, and not widely available yet.