After exploring Santa Cruz Island during the day, many of our guests walk into town before dinner. It is just a couple of minutes on foot or a taxi will get you there even quicker. While there is lots to do (including the fish market and shopping) one of the highlights for visitors to Puerto Ayora is the volleyball game. It is often referred to as the “Fisherman’s Volleyball Game” but men from many professions play. On a typical day you can expect to see fisherman, construction workers, park rangers and cooks playing their favorite game.
Around 4:30 pm every day, the locals gather around the Ecuavoley court by the pier. What is Ecuavoley? It is a variation of beach volleyball that originated here in Ecuador. Here are the basics: It is similar to beach volleyball but played on a cement or dirt court. A heavy soccer ball is used in place of the typical, lighter-weight volleyball. See the rules below the images.
There are two courts at the park by the pier in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island. The players and spectators bet on the game with the stakes getting quite high. Rumors have them as high as $500 per game.
See a map of Puerto Ayora
They play until the daylight runs out. It is a great game – and is so fun to watch due to the many Island nicknames: Cara Iguana, Perro, Tuquito, Poncho and many others. Sometimes you will see what appears to be a big argument between teammates or adversaries – but no worries: after the game everyone hugs and are friends once again.
Ecuavoley in Puerto Ayora
The Rules of Ecuavoley: Ecuadorian Volleyball
The following rules are translated from the Spanish Wikipedia entry Ecuavóley.
Rules of the Game: Ecuavóley
The structure of the game is basically the same as traditional volleyball.
- Each team consists of three players: setter, attacker and server
- The volleyball net is higher and narrower. Is placed at a height of 2.80 meters and a width of about 60 cm
- The field has the same dimensions of 18 meters long and 9 meters wide
- It is played with a soccer ball Mikasa FT-5. See image at right
- They play games to two sets of 15 points or also can be 12 points and a third option tiebreaker, provided it confirmed by both teams in the rules
Have you played ecuavóley? Or have you seen it played? Please share your experience in the comment section below.