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Dayon-dayon: The indigenized volleyball in Ormoc, Leyte

Text and photos by Edgar Allan M. Sembrano, Contributor

Volleyball, a team game invented by William Morgan in Massachusetts in 1895, has long been a popular sport in the country. Recently, however, it became more popular due to collegiate athletic events and professional leagues bannered mostly by women players.

In its current setting, the sport is played by two teams composed of six players each in a court separated by a net. A team scores a point on a mistake committed by the opposing team such as not successfully landing the ball inside the other team’s area and a net touch.
Also, a team is allowed to hit the ball up to three times before sending it back to the other side.
The game is played at 25 rally points with a margin of at least two points per set. The team that wins three sets is the winner of the game.
In the case of a tie of two sets each, a fifth set is played where 15 points (with a margin of two) is needed to win the game.
Volleyball was first played in the United States in 1896 and debuted in the world stage in the volleyball tournament of the inaugural Far East Games in Manila in 1913.

Tweaking a classic
In Ormoc City, Leyte, a tweaked version of this game is normally played by tricycle drivers and other aficionados every afternoon at the volleyball courts located at the back of Ormoc’s old city hall building.
Named “dayon-dayon” in Cebuano language, which literally translates to “tuloy-tuloy” in Tagalog because the ball would “dayon” or transfer immediately to the other side since it is only a one-hit (not a three-hit) affair, the game is not only a pastime among the players, but also involves money as bets are placed by the players themselves just like ubiquitous kanto-style (street-style) basketball games.
Unlike the traditional volleyball, this game is played either by a person to a person, two on two, or three on three players only in a standard volleyball court.
To win the match, a team or a person must reach 12 points with an option for a “rebansa” or repeat game if the losing party requests for it.
The service also starts at the back line as with the traditional game, but done either with a single or clasped hands depending on the server’s preference.
Volleys between players are normally done with clasped hands, with players hitting the ball using either the front of back sides of their clasped hands.
The goal inside the court is to land the ball, which is smaller than the usual, inside enemy lines and avoid hitting the net to secure a point.
A Dayon-dayon game has a referee and at least a maciador or masyador who facilitates the betting of spectators on which team will win.
In Ormoc, players would normally start playing around 1 p.m. every day until the sun sets.
This sport actually replaced an earlier version of volleyball called kubhayang, which allowed the holding or double touch violation, but was changed in the current dayon-dayon because the “legal” maneuver in kubhayang was a source of tension and trouble among players during games.

Strong strikes
Ball strikes are normally strong, but controlled so that sometimes, only the two players of each team exchange hits until a point is made.
The struck ball usually flirs in the direction of the back row, sometimes high and looping due to the way players hit it.
There are also no drop and kill shots, and volley exchanges most often occur in the back row.

Note: This article is based on field observations in Ormoc as “dayon-dayon” is also played in other parts of Leyte and Cebu. Other places might have different rules and characteristics. Also, the author would like to extend gratitude to Ormoc residents Ringo Lumantad, Neptali Barrientos and Dondon Laure for the information they shared on the sport.

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