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  • Ecuavoley is a big part of local celebrations.

    Ecuavoley is a big part of local celebrations. | Photo: El Telegrafo

Published 12 March 2016

One of Ecuador's favorite sports.

What's That?

Ecuavoley, Ecuador’s homegrown version of volleyball, is non-professional, but has a much larger following than its conventional cousin. Courts are standard issue in towns across the country.

Different from Vollyball

Teams are half the size of conventional volleyball teams, with only three playing on each side. Games are divided into three “quinces,” you have to win two to win the game.

Players

Each team has a “volador” (“flyer”), “servidor” (“server”) and a “ponedor” (“putter”), each carrying out a specific role.

A Sport for the People 

In Ecuador, it’s the people’s sport: players are drivers, farm workers, builders and young kids. Nighttime taxi drivers gather between shifts around courts, using their cars’ headlights to light the court, to battle it out until dawn.  

A Focal Point

A game can become the focal point of a town’s celebrations. In the mining town of El Carmen de Pikili, residents gather solemnly each week after church to watch games on two courts.

Place Your Bets

A lot of money changes hands over casual bets, with some comparing the wager-culture to cock-fighting.  

No Uniform

Teams don’t wear a fancy uniform or even matching t-shirts, a mishmash of knock-off sports wear is a badge of honor.  


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