News

Gondwana's Newsroom

DTS Volleyball for All – Suitable for the Guinness Book of World Records?

Avatar of inke inke - 30. January 2017 - Sport

Sport and fun at the annual Volleyball for All tournament. (Photos: Allgemeine Zeitung)

Pass, set, attack… For more than three decades the first Saturday in February has been a set date in Windhoek. On this day thousands of volleyball players will go to the annual ‘Volleyball for All’ tournament hosted by the ‘Deutscher Turn- und Sportverein’ DTS. A small sports club hosting a great sporting event. And if you ask me, an ideal addition to the Guinness Book of World Records. Why? Here are a few facts:

Since 2014, annually there are 240 teams participating in the event. Considering that a team has at least six players, a total of 1560 would-be volleyball players compete on the 20 playing fields. Minimal numbers considered… There are probably about 2000 participants, as the teams often have players on reserve. Additionally there are lots of visitors and supporters.  

In 1984 the DTS introduced the tournament for the first time. The basic idea was to make volleyball known to the general public and to promote the sport. They wanted to offer companies and friendship groups the opportunity to have fun together through sport and friendly competition. One of the major goals was to start funding the construction of a hall for the volleyball players to practice in.

In 1984, 34 teams competed on five different fields. In the early years, the volleyball division managed to organize the tournament on their own. However, within a few years, all DTS sub-divisions rolled up their sleeves to help. Soccer, tennis, volleyball, “knobel”- players and later the field- and inline-hockey divisions were added – these all helped with food preparations and selling of drinks. The volleyball division is responsible for the organisation of the tournament and the refereeing of matches. 

The fun concept wins the day

Through the course of the first few years Volleyball for All has developed a recipe for success. Each team is only allowed two players who are registered with a volleyball association. All other players need to be amateurs. These players adhere to relaxed volleyball regulations. The whole idea of the tournament is to promote support, team spirit and the joy of the game!

The rules are simple. First off, all teams play matches of about ten minutes each, followed by knock-out rounds to build up to the final. This may seem like short matches to professional volleyball players, but to amateurs these matches may certainly lead to aching muscles.

As I mentioned, the muscle ache has drastically multiplied over the past years, since 240 teams participate in the tournament. Thanks to technology, it has become possible for more and more teams to participate. In the 1990’s a computer company developed software specifically for the Volleyball for All tournament, to ensure a smooth process and fast data processing. However modern technology is not everything. 

First class organisational performance

On the edge of the DTS field you will find the announcement tower, from which two or three members of the organising team watch over this big event. They ensure that all matches start on time and that referees are present at all times. It is quite a sight, as every fifteen minutes a whole herd of referees is pulling up their socks and heading for their courts, running back after the matches to hand the scores in and quickly fan out again for the next match. These are not only DTS volleyball players, but also volunteers from other clubs, retired players, young and old, coming together for their sport.   

In addition, there are numerous helpers who ensure order and cleanliness on this giant playground. They pay attention to small details and even pick up tin caps, so that players do not cut their feet. A medical team is also available on site if any injuries occur. Players’ physical well-being is cared for by partnering companies, as playing under the bright African sky makes you hungry – and above all thirsty. It is no coincidence that the main sponsor of Volleyball for All has been the biggest Namibian brewery for several years now.

They all contribute to the success of this mass sporting event, which more than a quarter century after Namibia’s independence is a mirror of society, a carnival of cultures and a great folk festival.

Don’t miss it…

This year, DTS will be hosting the 34th consecutive “biggest social sports event in Africa” – as the club calls the Volleyball for All tournament. In my opinion, a modest estimate. The DTS with not even 900 members is a small sports club, which has been inspiring thousands of people every year with an organisational splendour.

Have you ever heard of a similar event which is not hosted by a large national or even international association? I have not. And I have googled: The Usedom Beach Cup for beach volleyball made it into the Guinness Book of Records with 1020 participants in 2008 – as the world’s largest beach tournament. Perhaps a small sports club in Africa can create a small sensation?!

Have we peaked your interest? Then take a look at the Volleyball for All tournament on the DTS sports grounds in Olympia, opposite the municipal swimming pool or have a look at our Gondwana Facebook page afterwards. Our Gondwana photographer will attend the event and you will find a whole photo album packed with delight and action. 

Inke Stoldt

Comments are disabled for this post.

0 comments

Stay up-to-date with our monthly 'Gondwana Tracks' Newsletter Sign up Today