Let's play Fusen (balloon) Volleyball !

We have created a new sport, "Fusen (balloon) Volleyball" that both able-bodied and disabled people can participate in and enjoy. We dream of a world where we can support one another and live together.

Outline: Fusen (balloon) Volleyball is played on a badminton court with a 40 centimeter diameter balloon with two small round bells inside.Six players must touch the balloon before it is hit to the other team. The balloon can be touched no more than 10 times before it crosses the net.

This is a new type of volleyball match which has as its motto "Everybody is included in the game."


How it came about

Japan Fusen Volleyball Association

E-mail for English:fusenvolley@gmail.com


There are many people with disabilities living in Japan. Many are not able to travel, go to school, or find work due to the challenges posed by their disabilities.

Some, with more serious disabilities, are confined to either institutions or their homes. Many of those who have disabilities face challenges which make it difficult to realize their dreams.

Since the International Year of Disabled Persons was established in 1981, a variety of events have been held, and programs established with a goal of promoting and bettering the lives of those living with disabilities. We would like to help make the International Year of Disabled Persons’ theme "Full participation and Equal opportunity" come true.

Regardless of whether or not a person has a disability, "We all have the right to live one’s own life!"

We all want to live our own lives to the fullest.
However, currently, it is often difficult for people with disabilities to do so. We need to inform more people about the lives people with disabilities live and to consider how we must change our society so that the theme can become a reality.

What can we do?
Having thought about what we could do, we came up with the idea of "Fusen (balloon) Volleyball." Fusen Volleyball is a sport that both people with disabilities and those without can enjoy together.
Our dream is to promote this wonderful sport, which can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of a person’s abilities.
Disabilities should not limit anyone’s ability to participate in sports. Through sport, we wish to help create a world where we can all live together.
By introducing this sport to our society, we'd like to help people with disabilities become more integrated with mainstream society. This can be achieved by the sport’s ability to encourage interaction between those with disabilities and those without.
We would also like to help the community of people living with disabilities grow and strengthen by creating links with local societies, institutions, and organizations throughout Japan.
We hope our sport will help our dream come true…

We are now looking for the people who will:
l participate in the game as players, judges, or staff
l provide financial support/aid
l help us promote our sport

First and foremost, join us and enjoy “Fusen Volleyball!”
It will be fun!

How it came about

* How and why "Fusen (balloon) Volleyball" was born?
One winter day in 1989, a person living in Kitakyushu said to himself "how nice it would be if there was a sport that people with severe disabilities can enjoy with those without." This was when the dream for the sport was born.
Most of the existing sports for people with disabilities are limited to only those with disabilities. There have not been many sports for those with severe disabilities.
The idea of using balloons comes from the use of them for physical exercises, which has been common practice for rehabilitation or recreation, events in hospitals, institutions, and organizations for people with disabilities evolved to become "Fusen Volleyball." It is a sport for anyone who wants to join.

* The next step
The sport was so fun and successful, that in the spring of 1990, "The Fusen Volleyball Promotive Committee" was established for the purpose of promoting this sport to the public in Japan, promoting participation of people with disabilities in society, and building networks in every community.
It took half a year for us to make rules. We went to make videos, and surveys for different communities. Additionally, we composed a theme song, "風に想いを(Our hope will fly high and away with the wind, or hopes with the wind)".
With our song, we started the Tournament of Fusen Volleyball that autumn.

* Up to today
In autumn of 1990, the 26th National sports contest for athletes with disabilities took place in Fukuoka. Parts of this contest took place in Kitakyushu. Taking full advantage of this opportunity, we held the first National tournament of Fusen Volleyball around the same time. 14 teams in total came from Kitakyushu, Tagawa city, and Yamaguchi prefecture.
The second tournament took place in the following year. Teams from Kagoshima prefecture participated in the 2nd tournament, resulting in 18 teams who joined us. On the 3rd tournament, 24 teams joined. There were teams from Oita and Nagasaki prefectures. And at the 4th tournament, 28 teams participated. These days our sport is played in various communities for events, sport meetings, or recreation.

* The future of Fusen VolleyballThrough this sport, we would like to promote the interaction between people with disabilities and people without disabilities, as well as to have more opportunity to participate in social activities. We also hope to promote this sport internationally.

Do you think Fusen volleyball has future in the Olympics?
Some day in near future, yes. Why not?