The Catchball Team of the Marcus JCC didn’t win the national tournament in Las Vegas Feb. 28 to March 1. But they “left their heart on the court and grew closer as a team as well as an organization,” Coach Carissa Mindt, who represented two of the teams, said upon returning from the USA Catchball Games.
“Atlanta was well represented at the 5th Annual Catchball Games, bringing four teams to the tournament. Every team rose to the challenge in their pools, while facing tough competition from across the country,” said Mindt.
In the end, Valley Net2 from Silicon Valley, Calif., became the tournament champions. But that didn’t stop the MJCCA team from setting the next goal. “They are already back in the gym preparing for their next tournament appearance!” she said.
According to the MJCCA, catchball is a fun, women’s-only variant on volleyball. The rules are similar to volleyball, but the ball is caught and thrown, rather than hit. Catchball originated in Israel and is considered one of the most popular sports there played by female adults. Catchball is known to unify communities, empower women, and encourage them to participate in physical activity, the MJCCA stated in a press release.
The group that traveled from Atlanta to Las Vegas included 14 women and Mindt. While her team is named Peach Perfect, they split into two competitive teams of seven for the tournament, Peach United and S-peach-less.
“Our catchball team has been playing here since 2016,” wrote Valerie Chambers, MJCCA’s director of Athletic Development & Wellness. “We currently have four different teams practicing through the MJCCA – two teams that practice here and two teams that practice off site.
“Our program is set up to help improve catchball skills and techniques, providing women with everything needed to attack the court with enthusiasm and fun.”
The MJCCA’s catchball program is regularly touted by its participants as the perfect mix of athleticism, competition and socializing, according to the release. “Through sport, women come together and form bonds that last long past the last match is played.”