The Forearm Pass

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I once heard a story about a famous Italian volleyball coach named Carmelo Pittera.  He was known as a great theoretician and technician (and was a finallist at the World Championships in 1978, so not a bad practician either).  He was apparently an expert in the ‘bagher’, as the forearm pass is known throughout the non English speaking world, an invented an elaborate contraception connecting the arms and legs that forced the wearer to perform the technique ‘correctly’.  As I heard the story Pittera’s greatest student was Damiano Pippi, who was a great receiver with ‘perfect’ technique and won multiple titles throughout his career, including a silver medal at the Athens Olympics.

I’ve imagined a few times what this contraption might have looked like.  I guess it looked something like, but not exactly, this.

I don’t know if these kinds of things work well, but in the right circumstances I’m sure I’d be willing to test it out.


  1. Interesting. None of these kids seem to have their elbows as close together as I like to see them. Looks like the apperatis might be restricting… (I know not everyone can do it, but there is usually a few kids in every class who can touch their elbows together.)

    The great Andres Lomp lost his rag a few times and used strapping tape to fix antennas to the arms of one of our less technically sound players… not sure that worked either…

    This thing would be good to test with the kids I am coaching at the moment.


    1. The part of reception I was never able to master was keeping the platfrom intact as body moved. I could never get the feeling of it. This gadget seems like it could help bring that idea across, ie maintaining the platform in a variety of body positions.


    2. I once heard a story from a guy who was part of VTAM in leading up to the Sydney Olympics. He said there wa sa coach who did the same things with Antennas to a “less technically sound player” and the said player was known as the “stick-man”. Some of the guys who went on the USA coaching tour mentioned Karch Kiraly bringing some sort of rods with velcro straps into US women’s practices.


  2. Mikasa make something like this too.

    I personally don’t like them, I find that movement with them is weird and that habit of keeping hands held together of new players is reinforced a little.


    1. Is it just me, or does the boy in the red T-shirt have his elbows bent when he passes using the Mikasa board?


      1. It seems that you are allowed to make a lot of technique mistake by using that board. The hands are not put into each other, bent elbows….


      2. i think it’s meant to let kids under the age of 10 or so with weak and small arms to start getting a feel of volleyball. Any opportunity for kids under 10 play some kind of truncated volleyball instead of some truncated form of another (shit Australian) sport is fine by me. The other option is a lighter ball. some mini volleyball experts suggest ball shaped balloons.


  3. does anyone have any idea where to get one of the passing contraceptions? im interested in giving it a go. not so much the mikasa board but the other one.


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