Ecuavoley, Ecuador's version of volleyball sport

A Lojano team playing boly - the nickname for ecuavoley

Whether you're looking for a friendly game to get some exercise or a serious competition, ecuavoley may be your "deporte" (sport) of choice in Loja. It might not be quite as popular as futbol but you'll find fields in almost every neighborhood and games played long into the evening.

The size of the field is the same as in the United States (9 x 18 meters) but the top of the net is about 16 inches higher at 2.85 meters (9-1/3 feet). The net is also only 2 feet "wide" instead of the USA 3' standard. The ball used for official games is a Mikasa FT-5 (size 5 soccer ball).

As to the players, a team is made up of only three on a side. You might hear the Spanish names so here they are: the setter (colocador), the flyer (volador), and the server (servidor). The flyer plays the back area (behind the setter and server) and acts as the defender of the team by running from side to side and recovering the ball for the server. The server then pops the ball up into the air so the setter can come in and spike it over. Ecuavoley is played by both men and women and sometimes it's a boys vs. girls game that really gets spectators excited.

Many rules are similar to USA volleyball:
  • no touching the net while the ball is in play
  • no going over the centerline directly under the net
  • must use only one hand to serve
  • maximum of three hits per side
  • a player may not hit the ball twice in succession
  • a point is scored when the ball touches the ground in your opposing team’s side of the court
Yet there are some rule differences:
  • no kicking the ball
  • only hands, fists or forearms may contact the ball
  • the ball may be held in the hands for no more than one second
  • serving can be done from anywhere, as long as both of the server’s feet are on the server line
  • games are made up of two sets each of 15 points
  • referees are called judges and usually stand directly under the net
Those are the basics to give you a foundation for understanding the way boly is played. Why not check out a local game sometime to see the action?


  1. Excellent article. If you want to watch more games, there are many youtube channels dedicated to ecuavoley like this

  2. This is 'extreme' v-ball. Very exciting sport!


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