Team looks to net tourney

THE NINTH MAN: Robert Chung is hoping to have his team, Connex, host the nine-man Canada Cup at Riverdale CI July 1.

Robert Chung is doing his best to dig up support to host the Canada Cup nine-man volleyball tournament at Riverdale CI this summer.

Unfortunately the Connex team vice president and player is coming across some tough blockers.

Park permits and competition from four Mississauga teams are volleying the first chance in 10 years to host the Canada Cup away from him.

“It’s a pity, over 300 people will participate,” Chung said.

Nine-man volleyball started 65 years ago in New York City’s Chinatown. Now it’s part of Asian in metropolitan centres across North America like Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Toronto.

Though it’s geared to the Asian community each men’s team is allowed to have three players that are not fully Chinese.

Chung said the registration rules were set by members of the community.

“Because Asian people are a little bit shorter, we’re not that big but we are a little bit faster, what we do is the net is a bit lower and we can hold the ball a little bit longer,” he said.

Basically it’s street volleyball, he added.

“The rules are not as tough as the Olympic rules,” Chung said. “It’s just like street basketball, if you’re a little bit rough they let it go. Same idea.”

Chung’s even noticed a change in the rules of traditional volleyball.

“First contact, you can hold the ball a little bit. Not like before.”

Chung is no stranger to the sport, he was one of the first Canadians to sign up for the tournament in Boston, Massachusetts back in 1974.

To this day he’s still involved. Successfully even, as Connex has won 11 out of the last 13 Canada Cups.

Still there’s hope that Connex will host the national tournament, using facilities in Chinatown East.

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