Let’s be honest, when Christmas shopping it’s not always easy to find that volleyball-theme gift for that college volleyball fan in your life.
With the Christmas shopping season beginning this week, Off the Block has scoured the internet to create the 2013 Ultimate Christmas Gift List for college volleyball fans. Everything from books and retro NCAA Tournament shirts to great volleyball stocking stuffers made the cut to this year’s list.
Check out these must-haves and must-buys for any volleyball fan this holiday shopping season.
VOLLEYBALL BOOKS TO GET THIS CHRISTMAS
THE BIGGEST MISTAKE I NEVER MADE
By Lloy Ball as told by Blake Sebring
This is the autobiography of former U.S. Olympic gold medalist and IPFW All-American setter Lloy Ball. The book provides an in-depth analysis of Ball’s life, including his time with the U.S. Men’s National Team and his decision to play for his father and the IPFW men’s volleyball team instead of committing to play for coach Bob Knight and the Indiana University men’s basketball team. In addition, Ball doesn’t hold back any of his opinions as he gives readers an inside look into the world of professional volleyball and family life as a professional athlete. To order your copy of “The Biggest Mistake I Never Made,” click here
THE VOLLEYBALL DEBATE
By Vinnie Lopes
It is one of the least known stories, but perhaps the most intriguing and important, in both the history of the Ball State athletics and college volleyball. “The Volleyball Debate” examines the five-year struggle in the 1960s of how Hall of Fame coach Don Shondell and his new Ball State men’s volleyball team overcame resistance for school officials and their athletics director to become one of the first college varsity volleyball teams in the nation. With all original research, this book also provides an in-depth look at why this fight almost 50 years ago still is relevant today for college men’s volleyball. To order your copy of “The Volleyball Debate,”click here.
THE SCORE’S WRONG
By Thomas Wurtz
Wurtz with this book provides a first-hand account of his bizarre, humorous and emotional journey as the father of a club volleyball player. “The Score’s Wrong: The Lunatic Rantings of a Volleyball Dad,” looks at all aspects of youth club volleyball including coaches, officials, club rules and even the author’s actions as a passionate volleyball fan in the stands. In addition, Wurtz provides an insightful and unabashed analysis of club youth volleyball topics that are not normally discussed but are prominent throughout teams and leagues around the nation. To order your copy of “The Score’s Wrong,” click here.
THE UNTOLD STORY OF WILLIAM G. MORGAN
By Joel B. Dearing
Volleyball is one of the world’s most popular sports, but one story untold before this book was the history of its creator William G. Morgan. This non-fiction book chronicles Morgan’s life ranging from how and why he created volleyball in the late-19th century to places and people that influenced him to start the game. For any volleyball fan, this book provides an insight and historical understanding to the sport. In addition, the book’s author Dearing earned the Mintonette Medallion of Merit from the Volleyball Hall of Fame in October for his achievements to volleyball. To order your copy of “The Untold Story of William G. Morgan, Inventor of Volleyball,” click here.
MY MOM THINKS SHE’S MY VOLLEYBALL COACH, BUT SHE’S NOT
By Julia Cook with USA Volleyball
This may look and read like a children’s book, but it provides a simple and powerful message for parents: behave appropriately in the stands during your child’s matches. The light read examines the problems that can happen if lines are crossed and parents move from being supportive to being obnoxious spectators. In addition, it reminds the reader that coaches coach and parents parent. To order your copy of “My Mom Thinks She’s My Volleyball Coach, But She’s Not,” click here.
THE VOLLEYBALL COACHING BIBLE
By Don Shondell and Cecile Reynaud
If you are a volleyball coach or considering becoming a volleyball coach, this is the book to get this holiday season. “The Volleyball Coaching Bible” has some of the top U.S. men’s and women’s volleyball coaches explaining their insights to coaching, including Ohio State coach Pete Hanson, Ball State women’s volleyball coach Steve Shondell and former UCLA coach Al Scates. The book also hits on all aspects of coaching from practice strategies and techniques to overall principles and methods of coaching a team. To order your copy of “The Volleyball Coaching Bible,” click here.
VOLLEYBALL CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES TO GET THIS CHRISTMAS
THE NET LIVE T-SHIRT
The Net Live is the national-award winning volleyball podcast hosted by former U.S. Olympian Kevin Barnett and DJ Roueche. The weekly radio show has become a staple in the volleyball community for providing insightful commentary on the latest volleyball news and having compelling live interviews with some of the top newsmakers in the sport of volleyball. The official T-shirt of The Net Live is made by Hurley and currently available in gray. To order your The Net Live T-shirt, click here.
2013 UC IRVINE CHAMPIONSHIP T-SHIRT
UC Irvine became the first team to win back-to-back national championships in almost 20 years as it defeated Loyola and BYU during the NCAA Tournament in May. Under first-year head coach David Kniffin, this was the Anteaters’ fourth NCAA championship in the last seven years. This official championship T-shirt is also the identical T-shirt given to the UC Irvine players during their on-court, championship celebration. To order this championship T-shirt, click here.
USA VOLLEYBALL MIZUNO JACKET
The U.S Men’s National Team under new head coach John Speraw won the NORCECA championship in the fall and then finished in fifth place at the FIVB Grand Champions Cup in November. Now volleyball fans can show their support for this Olympic hopeful team by getting some USA Volleyball swag. This Mizuno jacket features the nation’s colors of red, white and blue, and has “USA” across the back. In addition, the USA Volleyball logo is featured on the sleeve of the jacket. To order this USA Volleyball jacket, click here.
MOLTEN NCAA VOLLEYBALL
THe Molten NCAA Flistatec Volleyball is the official volleyball used during the men’s volleyball NCAA championships and by most college men’s volleyball teams throughout the regular season. The Molten volleyball is the official size and weight for regulation indoor play and features a red, white and blue pattern. In addition, when purchased through Molten it comes with a two-year warranty. To order this volleyball, click here.
VINTAGE VOLLEYBALL ITEAMS TO GET THIS CHRISTMAS
1982 NCAA TOURNAMENT T-SHIRT
The first men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament played on the East Coast lived up to all the hype. UCLA swept Penn State in the championship match to win its second of four consecutive NCAA titles. With a sold-out Rec Hall for the semifinals, though, Penn State upset USC in five games to become the first non-West Coast team to reach the championship match. To order this championship T-shirt, click here.
1988 NCAA TOURNAMENT T-SHIRT
Almost 25 years later, the 1998 NCAA championship match remains one of the best finals in college men’s volleyball history as USC rallied from a two-game deficit to beat UC Santa Barbara. The 1988 NCAA Tournament was also the first time the event was played in Fort Wayne, Ind. Ball State and George Mason also reached the four-team NCAA Tournament. To order this championship T-shirt, click here.
1997 VOLLEYBALL NCAA TOURNAMENT HAT
This throwback hat is from the 1997 men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament that was played in Columbus, Ohio. Stanford in the 1997 NCAA finals defeated UCLA in five games for its first national championship in program history. Along with Stanford and UCLA, Ball State and Penn State reached the 1997 men’s volleyball Final Four. To order this championship hat, click here.
1998 VOLLEYBALL NCAA TOURNAMENT HAT
With the NCAA Tournament being played in Honolulu, this championship hat was first released 15 years ago. UCLA in the championship match swept Pepperdine to win its third and final national title during the 1990s. In addition to UCLA and Pepperdine, both Lewis and Princeton reached the 1998 NCAA Tournament for the first time in their programs histories. To order this championship hat, click here.
1980s LONG BEACH STATE JERSEY
Nothing says throwback college men’s volleyball like a jersey with a collar. This Long Beach State volleyball jersey is listed on ebay.com as an original team jersey. Long Beach State during the 1980s had eight winning seasons, including having multiple 20-plus win season and even a decade-best second-place finish in the WIVA. The 49ers also had three players earn All-American honors during the 1980s. To order this retro jersey, click here.
VOLLEYBALL STOCKING STUFFERS TO GET THIS CHRISTMAS
If you’re searching for a stocking stuffer to give a volleyball player, or even a volleyball fan, the Springbak Performance Enhancing Springsoles could be a perfect fit. The Springsoles are shoe insoles that come in a variety of sizes. In addition, they are used by college and professional teams to improve performance ranging from better jumping to increased running ability. To order a Springsole, click here.
1984 OLYMPIC VOLLEYBALL PIN
The U.S. National Men’s Volleyball Team captured its first gold medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. The United States led by former UCLA outside attacker Karch Kiraly and former USC setter Dusty Dvorak swept Brazil in the gold medal match. With a majority of Eastern European countries boycotting this Olympics, the United States went 5-1 during the international tournament, including beating NORCECA rival Canada in the semfinals. The United States throughout its history has won two Olympic gold medals in men’s volleyball. To order this Olympic pin, click here.
If you have a dirty Santa event coming up with a $5 to $10 spending limit this would probably be the best, i.e. worst, volleyball movie to provide to the holiday game. The plot of this movie centers around a washed-up star basketball player who ends up competing in the Manhattan Open. However, the athlete’s old demons begin coming back into his life and threaten to wreck his chances of succeeding at his new sport. It’s a movie that has volleyball in it, so that’s kind of a positive for the game. And to “Beach Kings” credit it’s probably better than the Air Bud movie that focused on volleyball, “Air Bud: Spikes Back.” To order this DVD, click here.
Continuing in the volleyball-themed movies to get for a dirty Santa is “Spiker.” However, you may need to be in a more high dollar game of dirty Santa as this movie could cost around $15 online because of its rarity. This movie is loosely based on the 1984 U.S. Men’s National Team that won the Olympic gold medal. The lone online review that “Spiker” received at amazon.com called it a terrible movie with actors having “no idea how to play volleyball.” But once again it’s a volleyball movie, so that’s kind of a positive for the game. The other plus is “Spiker” is only out on VHS so if you’re old school and have a VHS player this is a perfect gift. To order this movie, click here.
It’s a tradition for some college men’s volleyball teams to toss out mini volleyballs into the stands during starting line-up introductions. For those who weren’t lucky enough to catch one of those volleyball last season, now is the chance to get that mini volleyball as a gift. This mini volleyball has four-inch diameter and can be used for all ages. Plus, it’s a simple stocking stuff for players and fans. To order this volleyball, click here.