Serving Up a Conflict

Raucous volleyball games pit new immigrants against old neighbors in a New England town

The staid townspeople of Danbury, Conn., have diagnosed a cancer on their city's body politic. Formerly upstanding houses have degenerated, residents say, into raucous dens of illegal alcohol sales, gambling, even prostitution. "This used to be a nice place to live," laments schoolteacher Corlis Ward, who has been on the same quiet street for 30 years. "It's sad, but now I'm thinking about moving."

What's to blame for the moral rot? It's not drug dealing or gang wars. In Danbury the vice, according to local officials and longtime residents, is volleyball. Specifically, "ecuavolley," a form of the game so beloved in...

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