Archive for Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Chinstraps and Mouthpieces: Volleyball rule book takes page from soccer world

October 16, 2002

Volleyball seems to be a sport in which I pretty much know what every call and signal means, but at the Tonganoxie Invitational a few weeks ago, I was perplexed.

While watching the Tonganoxie match on the north court, I noticed the main official on the south court raise her arm.

She had a yellow card of some sort in her hand.

Hmmm, maybe it was a Post-it note and she was observing a great play or an interesting call to refer to later.


Instead, she was warning the Olathe East coach with a yellow card. What? This isn't soccer with its unsporting behavior calls and such.

The warning is somewhat like a technical foul in basketball, although nothing really happens on the first infraction.

Tonganoxie High coach Tiffany Parker said she thought additional calls involved red cards being held in different positions one might be in the air, another resting on the official's arm.

Parker's unfamiliarity with the rules indicates that the violations don't happen very often.

Actually, the guidelines are outlined in this year's National Federation of State High School Associations.

During the first minor offense, the yellow card is held in the hand closest to the offender. If a second minor offense occurs, the referee breaks out the red card and the opposing team is awarded a sideout or point, whichever applies at that time. A serious offense right off the bat would also bring a red card.

The rulebook emphasized that anyone using tobacco products during the match would receive such a card. That's certainly good to know.

If a coach or player gets even more riled up and they receive either another red card or a third minor yellow card, they also get a ticket out of the event.

Much more mainstream rules came a calling a few days later when Kaw Valley League schools experimented with rally scoring. Instead of games to 15 points with sideouts, a point was awarded on every serve. Games went to 21, except for the fifth match, which was played to 15. Serves that hit the net but bounce over are also live balls.

If the Kansas State High School Activities Association decides on the rally scoring permanently, it should use a best-of-three format rather than the best-of-five that the local teams used. The triangular started at 5:30 p.m., but didn't wrap up until 9:30 p.m.

Rally scoring is supposed to be more uniform in time and faster, but the best-of-five idea is too much at the high school level. It works in college, but other sports have some sort of time change when graduating to that next plateau. High school basketball has a playing time of 32 minutes; college is 40. Prep football has an overall time of 48 minutes on the clock; college is a full hour.

It makes sense that high school sticks with the best-of-three format. Tonganoxie's match with Immaculata went to five games and certainly was exciting that night, but getting to school around 8 a.m. and getting home around 10 p.m. on a match day really isn't ideal at the high school level.

Parker surveyed other coaches and the consensus was evident best-of-fives are too long. Rally scoring might work, but it should stay with a best-of-three scheme.

If not, a few coaches might get slapped with some red cards.


Actions at a recent Basehor-Linwood football game proved troublesome for that school district. A father and grandfather in a freshman game were upset with how a coach was treating their son/grandson.

Apparently the son/grandson was seen being shaken by a coach. The coach said he grabbed the jersey; the father and grandfather said others informed them he shook the player. After the game, an altercation broke out.

Most accounts say the father and grandfather attacked the coach, while the father/son duo said the coach started the melee. Some witnesses said father threw a punch and the grandfather put the coach in a headlock. Whatever actually happened, parents and coaches have limits. Some people crossed their boundaries that evening.

Although its not all that funny, all I could do was picture my father, approaching his mid-60s, putting a coach in a headlock. He's certainly not a fossil, but it brought a chuckle. It just seems ridiculous when people get out of hand at sporting events.

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