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Catching on in the West: wallyball.

Off-the-wall volleyball? Indeed, but the game is officially known as "wallyball," and it's played worldwide in some 2,200 racquetball clubs, colleges, gyms, and military installations. Popular in the East and Midwest, wallyball is now catching on in the West.

Played on a racquetball court (20 by 40 feet, walls 20 feet high) with a special net stretched across its width, wallyball combines the hitting, blocking, and jumping skills of volleyball with the quick handeye coordination of indoor court games.

Unlike racquetball, handball, or squash, wallyball is a team sport: two, three, or four people can play on a side.

The game was created five years ago by Joe Garcia, a Calabasas, California, racquetball club manager. He registered the name "wallyball," designed and manufactured nets and hardware, and arranged with AMF Voit to make a special blue ball. Made with a butyl-rubber skin that doesn't sting like leather, the wallyball is the same size and weight as a volleyball buy it's slightly softer. How to play

It's just like volleyball: you score only when you are serving, and each team gets three hits to move the ball over the net. Games go to 15 points. If you touch the net or land across its plane, the serve moves to the other team.

But unlike volleyball, you have walls to contend with. You serve behind a line 3 feet from your back wall. A serve or volley can hit either side wall, but it can't hit your opponents' bakc wall. You can, however, bounce the ball against your own back wall.

Offensively, players can angle slams to hit low against side walls, making them almost impossible to return; serves can also be caromed or placed grazingly close to the walls. Defensively, players can bounce the ball of the wall to teammates or to keep shots that go awry in play. Where to play

We list clubs north to south that have wallyball courts open to the public (many members-only clubs also have courts). Prices range up to $12 per hour for a court, or from $2 to $8 per person.

Northern California. Susanville, Laffen RAcquetball Club, (916) 257-6134; Chico, North Valley Athletic Club, (916) 891-4700; Woodland, Cross Court Athletic Club, (916) 666-1319; Colma, What-a-Racquet Club, (415) 994-9080; Pleasanton, Schoeber's Racquetball Club, (415) 846-0950; Fremont, Schoeber's RAcquetball Club, (415) 791-6350; Mountain View, 21st Point, (415) 969-1783; San Joe, Schoeber's Racquetball Club, (408) 629-3333; Royal courts, (408) 296-1676.

Southern California. Canoga Park, Racquetball World, (818) 884-5034; Van Nuys, Supreme Court, (818) 988-5500; Studio City, Racquet Center, (818) 760-2303; West Los Angeles, Center Courts, (213) 826-6648; El Cajon, Muehleisen Racquetball Courts, (619) 440-5828. A wallyball kit

You can buy a rule book ($1), a wallyball ($16), a net ($75), hardware ($25) and a storage bag ($8), or a complete kit (with all of the above plus accessories, $125) from GSC Athletic Equipment, Box 1710, San Pedro, Calif. 90733; (213) 831-0131. Add $2.50 for shipping, plus tax.
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Date:Nov 1, 1984
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