Personal Musings

The Deflated Volleyball

While at Play It Again Sports yesterday, my daughter picked up a new volleyball. She’s been showing interest in the sport and would like to try out for her school’s team next year. Considering her height, which has now surpassed six feet tall,1 volleyball seems a fitting sport.

Unfortunately, the damn thing already has a hole in it somewhere.

My Google searches for the day:

  • volleyball leaking how to find hole
  • find hole in volleyball easy fix
  • can’t find hole in volleyball solution
  • volleyball leaking air how to find hole and patch

And about five other variations of those words and searches.

My first assumption was the air was escaping by way of the valve, so I plugged the valve with a small piece of duct tape. As a boy growing up in the 1980s, I learned from MacGyver that a piece of duct tape can fix anything and everything.

But apparently not a volleyball leaking air. Thanks for the lies MacGyver. The ball is deflating all the same. I’ve pumped the thing up about ten times since we returned home from Play It Again Sports yesterday. Before the evening fades to black, I may develop tendonitis in my wrist.

Since the valve isn’t the issue, I’m guessing there’s a pinhole in it. Where? Your guess is as good as mine. As someone who has owned about a million inflatable balls of some sort over his lifetime, I know there’s a soap and water trick.

That’s probably what I’m doing right now as you read this: I’m twirling a Nike Elite volleyball around in my hands looking for a tiny air bubble popping up somewhere. Will I find the bubble?

And if I do find the bubble, will MacGyvering it work this time or do I also need a Swiss Army knife and a chewing gum wrapper to seal the deal? What about paperclips? How about chocolate which has been known to plug a sulfuric acid leak because it contains sucrose and glucose (see Episode 1.1: Pilot)? I guess I’ll find out.

The ball itself didn’t cost a fortune and I know I could:

  1. Return it to the store and get a replacement
  2. Consider it a sunk cost and buy a new volleyball

But I like troubleshooting. So I’ve been wasting my life away troubleshooting a pinhole unseen to the naked eye in between the time we’ve been practicing out in the front yard before the ball goes flat on us again. I knew we should have purchased a Wilson. What a durable companion that guy was for Tom Hanks in Castaway.

I feel like my dad right now: I have to solve the problem. I must solve the problem. Even if solving the problem takes more brain power and hours out of my day than is necessary. It really does feel like the most dad s—t I could do on a Saturday.

Now to try the soap and water trick.


  1. I took a photo recently of my daughter standing next to her mom, who is between 5’8″ and 5’9″ so not on the short side herself, and it’s hilarious. I’m not going to say it’s laughable when my wife gets upset with our daughter about something now. But when she does, she has to look up at her, so, I mean, it’s kind of funny. There, I said it.