It has been almost thirty years since professional sports have been played by humans. Now they are basically played by smart machines. Years ago, there were these scientists who had an idea of bringing AI Robots into sports. I guess they had the best intentions, as they were meant to help athletes improve and heal. However, through new advancements of technology, the idea of bringing “perfect” athletes into sports was considered a breakthrough. So that’s exactly what happened. Athletes were forced to retire and watch robots replace them. I hate it.
I used to watch games from the internet. I could see men and women play passionately. I would see them cry, get happy, angry, or even tired. I would be on the edge of my seat when they serve, especially when one of them would serve so low, that the net barely stops them from passing on to the opponent’s side. Now, those robots always give perfect serves, but it would never get an ace since the opponents also have perfect defense. There is no excitement, just repetition.
I want to be able to experience an intense game, with the crowd cheering. I want to play with someone professionally who looks like me, someone imperfect.
Earlier that week, I decided to get out of the house and go for a walk. But everything seemed…boring. Even though its Brooklyn and everything is at a walking distance, the sidewalks aren’t even made up of concrete, they’re just Autowalks. Every apartment is filled with face and fingerprint scanner instead of keys. Cars don’t even have wheels anymore, they float and drive by themselves, you can just use your phone to call one in as if it were a taxi. As I was walking, I heard a something that sounded like sneakers rubbing off a freshly waxed gym floor. I followed the noise to an old building. I peek my head in and I see a real net! I go in and see a couple of people around my age.
“My name is Violet, what is this place?”
“Well, this a volleyball club. We just started this like 2 months ago.”
That was it. Those words won me over.
I would go by the old gym and spend my time playing almost every day. I grew to be more comfortable around the atmosphere. After every practice, we would sit around a circle and talk about the most random things. However, the topic of AI robots taking over sports came about. Everyone started to get upset just by the thought of it. They would talk about how they wished humans would go back to playing. This made me realize that they have the same dreams, desires as me. It gave me an idea.
“Hey why don’t we challenge the system?” I blurted out.
“What?” Everyone said.
“I mean… why don’t we challenge them? We’ve been practicing.
“You do know that you’re thinking of the impossible right?”
“Think about it. This our chance to fulfill our dream of being able to play in an actual tournament. We can help the world realize that we should be the ones on the court, not some…machines.”
It took them awhile, but miraculously they were in on it. I guess the thought of them being on a professional court won them over. Now we have our team!
Oh wait. I forgot to mention who they are.
I’m the setter. I guess you could say that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I like to place the ball where I want it to be. Being able to throw a still ball just brings me great satisfaction. The twins, Amanda and Andy, are both our hitters. Andy is left-handed, so she will be our opposite hitter and Amanda will specialize as our outside hitter. Although they both have different personalities, they love the feeling of power every time they spike the ball down.
Sandy will be playing as our defensive specialist. Out of everyone, she has the most experience. Before she moved to Brooklyn, her uncle used to teach her every position. The moment she was able to walk, he taught her to never be afraid of the ball. After he passed, instead of losing her passion, she thought of him as motivation. She was in love with the sport, just like him.
We have our middle blocker. Her name is Audrey. She is about 5’11. She barely had to jump to get hands over the net, but she always put her best in the games because she did not want to be overconfident and mess up. Audrey accepted advice and criticism with great attitude. So, at every practice, she would give her all. There is Alexa, she also plays as outside hitter. However, the thing that Alexa and Amanda have in common is that the ball always seems to roll off their arms. So that’s where our libero comes in.
Ben is about 5’2… and a half. He says you always must add that half. He started to eat and sleep more so he can grow but, genetics beat him. Ever since he can remember he has always been teased by his height. Afraid that no one would understand him, he blew off steam through volleyball. He was always fast enough and never afraid to throw himself to reach the ball. He was very talented.
“Great! All we need is a coach.”
Everybody’s faces drops.
“We might as well quit now.”
“Nobody is going to want to coach us. The older gen would hate this idea.”
“That can’t be possible.” Right?
It is possible. I spent Three. Full. Days. Not one person wanted to coach us. They all thought we were ridiculous. Delusional. They all thought it was just a waste of time. I thought of getting someone our age to coach us, but it was useless. We were the only ones who knew the rules, drills, and plays of the game.
We went to the Sports Stadium. The first thing we saw was a woman behind the desk. She had the thinnest eyebrows with the highest arch. Dark-lined lips with a nude lipstick, and too much blush.
“I was wondering if we could see Mr. Williams. It’s about setting up a match.”
“A match?” She seemed curious.
“Yes. We would like to set up a match against the AI Robots.”
She gave a little snort and an obnoxious smirk. However, she dialed a number on her telephone pad.
“Mr. Williams. There is a… What’s your name?”
“There is a Ms. Violet wanting to have an urgent talk with you. It’s about a match.
We went all the way to the top floor. The moment those doors opened, there were like 10 to 15 men with black suits. However, Mr. Williams, the head of the Sports Stadium was the only one in a gray suit.
“I believe you must be Violet.”
“Yes sir. My teammates are also here. We are here is to discuss about going against your AI Robot Volleyball team.”
His mouth stayed open. Then he began to hysterically laugh, encouraging the others to do the same. I felt embarrassed.
“You want to go against my team? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! Tell you what, I’ll let you go against my team. I think it’ll be fun way to promote my games. I’ll give you one month to train. Since my robots are genderless, I’ll allow your team to have both genders. Do you have a coach?”
“How are you going to play without a coach?”
“We’ll worry about that.”
“Very well. See you in a month.” He began to laugh harder when we turned away.
“Well since we don’t have a coach, we’ll just train through “**Tube.”
That’s exactly what we did. Every day there were intense drills, exercises and plays. Ben would receive strong spikes from the Twins and Alexa. Sandy would play for 15 minutes in every position. Audrey would keep practice on her blocking. And I would set towards the wall until my arms felt numb. Then one month passed by…
We arrived at the Sports Stadium. Everything looked so shiny. Surprisingly, through all the marketing, Mr. Williams was able to sell out through this match. We were finally able to set up. I look at the net and I noticed that it’s lasers. We would have a huge disadvantage if we played with that. Through a debate, we were able to get a real net set up.
Our receives were okay but they would block our every move.
We were able to get a point through Sandy’s serve. However, this time it was their blocks and kills.
We regrouped before the third round. The problem was they expected the expected. We plan what are strategies are going to be next.
We won. The crowd gasped at the results. Everything was so quiet, but a second later, it became the loudest place in the whole world. They pitied us so we got first serve. I was up. I wanted people to go on the edge of their seats when they saw me serve. After the ball left my hand, the rolled off the net, then it touched the ground. Nobody expected that. The thing is the AI Robots were programmed to defend themselves against ‘perfection’. Perfect serves, kills, and blocks. Through this simple ‘imperfect serve’, I was able to advance 15 points.
We kept if going with our serves and tricks. Everybody was cheering. Every time the ball was an inch away from touching the ground, Ben’s hand would always appear. Sandy would pretend to spike the ball, but last minute she would set to Amanda. The Twins and Alexa were able to spike the ball so hard, that it ended up giving a malfunction to one of the robots. At this point our bodies were exhausted, but none of us realized because we were too focused on the game. Our arms were red, and we were almost blinded by the sweat dripping from our foreheads, but we never stopped.
This win showed people around the world that robots should have never replaced us in sports. Mr. Williams went out of business. We were all able to join a professional Volleyball team. I guess dreams do come true.
Ai in sports: Are you ready for artificial intelligence in games? Day One: AI Development
Services, App Development Company. (2021, June 11). Retrieved March 16, 2022, from https://www.day1tech.com/ai-in-sports-are-you-game-for-artificial-intelligence/#:~:text=Predictive%20analysis%20by%20AI%20can,strategies%2C%20and%20weaknesses%20during%20games
The Day One Administration were able to successfully explain how AI Technology has impacted the world of sports today. For example, they explain that the use of Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics have improved the strategies of plays, health of players, and their techniques. This helps athletes by using data to give them “Personalized training programs” to overall improve their health and conditioning. This also helps the coaches. Artificial Intelligence collects relevant data from previous games or during a game. This allows them to predict the next moves of the opponent team, creating a defense strategy for the coaches to apply on their team. They also explain that through AI technology, streaming, marketing, recruiting, etc. have all become easier and more efficient. Through this source, I use the benefits of AI technology in my story. For example, the robots in my story use AI technology to create a defense strategy against the opponent, making them the ‘perfect’ team.
Dodge, A. (2018, September 4). Bots on the field: The Future of Sports and Robotics. Ozobot. Retrieved March 16, 2022, from
The author Amanda Dodge writes an article of Humanoid Robots going against/for humans in the Soccer Sport. She explains that the goal is having Humanoid Robots beat humans during the World Cup Champions game in Soccer by 2050. She also explains the benefits and potential of these robots. These robots can improve the game itself or heal and protect athletes from getting seriously injured. However, one thing that caught my attention from this article is the words of a Science Writer, Nick Thieme. He says that these robots “lack what makes the game beautiful.” I agree with this statement. I used this idea and applied it to my story by stating that the idea of having a ‘perfect’ game is boring. When the ball rolls off the net through a serve or when Ben barely saves the ball when it is near the ground, I use these images to emphasize the beauty of a volleyball game. I also use the idea of scientists using humanoid robots in the beginning of my story to explain the backstory of how robots took over the sports world.
Carli Lloyd | Dealing with Mistakes. Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive, Accessed March 17, 2002.
Through this video, Carli Lloyd shows her determination in improving. She also gives her best and challenges herself to be better. Although she was captain, she admits that there is still room for improvement. Lloyd serves as a great athlete model for future generations. I tried to demonstrate these qualities in Violet and her team. I want readers to see how hard each of them worked to get the results they wanted.
Woetzel, J., Remes, J., Boland, B., Lv, K., Sinha, S., Strube, G., Means, J., Law, J., Cadena, A., & Tann, V. von der. (2022, March 11). Smart cities: Digital Solutions for a more Livable Future. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved March 20, 2022, from https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/smart-cities-digital-solutions-for-a-more-livable-future
Johnathan Woetzel et. al. explains what technological features cities have to make it a “Smart City”. This would include technology that takes in information and uses that to solve/ make life easier for people. They also claim that “Smart City technologies can make daily commutes faster and less frustrating.” I tried to shape this claim into my idea. I wanted to give. A background on how Brooklyn would like thirty years from now. I used this by stating that cars could drive by themselves and float, just like a Maglev train.