Saturday, October 31, 2009

Volleyball: "Oh my aching feet......."

It's late so this will be a brief post. I was back in action with three youth volleyball games tonight. I had three games: 4th grade, 3rd grade and 6th grade. The 3rd and 4th grade games went by uneventfully. However, the 6th grade game was interesting for a couple of reasons.

One, the game was extremely competitive. In a 3 set game that went over an hour, the home team prevailed 33-31, 17-24, 15-9. Though both teams were not highly skilled, they were very evenly matched.

I had a feeling the game was going to last a while during the first set. Neither team could pull away from the other as there were multiple ties and lead changes in the early going. When the home team made a brief run to take a 4 point lead, I thought that would decide the set. However, the visiting team rallied and the game remained close. Both team had chances to win but mistakes hurt both sides. The home team finally did enough to pull out the first set victory. Though the home team had the momentum entering the second set, the visiting team rallied to take the second set and set up the third set.

It was during the third set that the second interesting thing occurred. The home team dominated early and led 12-5. However, the visiting team rallied and got to 12-9. The home team managed to stop the bleeding and the score was 13-9 when both teams engaged in a rally.

The visiting team returned a ball that was high but it seemed like it wasn't hit hard enough to clear the net. As I watched the ball drop toward the net, players from both teams converged toward the net. The visiting player was trying to position herself in case her teammates bump was short. The home player was trying to position herself in case the ball cleared the net.

My lack of experience hurt me a bit here. I didn't know what I should focus on (each of the players, the ball or the net) so I ended up not focusing on anything at all. The next thing I knew, the ball had been hit into the home team's court. Since I was standing on the stand, it APPEARED to me that the ball had cleared the net BUT the visiting player had gone underneath the net to hit the ball. If that was the case, that was a violation and it should have been a point for the home team.

Fortunately, my common sense and quick thinking saved me. I realized I didn't get a good look at the play. Fortunately, for volleyball, there is an option to call for a replay. I blew the whistle, thought for a second and yelled: "I didn't see the play clearly, let's replay the point".

There were some murmurs in the crowd but overall no one complained too much. I asked a couple of the people who worked at the gym and the referee who was working the games after me about the play. All of them said calling for a replay was a good decision.

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