Sinjin Smith: Make the men’s volleyball slower

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Sinjin Smith is best known as a beach-volleyball legend, but he was also a two time national champion and All-American indoors at UCLA. His son, Hagen, is currently a senior at UCLA. So he’s pretty well-versed on today’s men’s game as well. Coinciding with our story on volleyballs, we had spoken with Smith about just that — volleyballs. Here’s his take:

“I’ve been working on this one for a long time. It’s the ball itself.

“Everyone wants to change the game and make the game better. The athletes are bigger and stronger and the ball travels really fast. In the men’s case, it’s so fast you can’t react. That’s why in the women’s game you have rallies. The ball isn’t traveling as fast.

“So if you wanted to actually make the game more interesting to the public and see more rallies, slow the ball down.

“On the beach it’s a softer ball already. The ball doesn’t travel as fast and you’re able to cover everything. If the men played with a ball indoors that was as soft as the beach ball, it would slow down, there would be more digs, the ball would stay in play more and it would be a more interesting game to watch.”

Smith said there are a lot of different ways to make it happen.

“There’s the bladder, there’s the cover, there’s the inflation — how many pounds of pressure — the technology is there to do what you want with the frickin’ ball these days.”

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“And the size of the ball, too. Make it bigger. Just a couple of centimeters, change the circumference. Particularly for the men.”

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