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Having never covered volleyball before...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by huntsie, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    What do I look for as keys when watching it?
    I know the premise of the game. I know how points are scored, etc., but I've never actually covered a match. I cover one Sunday, a first place showdown.
    Do I just interview coaches or the player who scores the most points or the setter?
    Apologize for my ignorance. Advice please
  2. Eagleboy

    Eagleboy Guest

    Interviewing the coaches and the leading scorer are probably your safest bets, while the setter might be able to provide some insight into the game as well.

    I don't know how much you know, so forgive the background here. I'm also assuming you're probably going to get some numbers from the coach, so I won't go too deep into how to score unless you need more information.

    Points are scored off kills, with usually a double-figure kill mark probably the most impressive. If it's high school, which I assume given the time of the year, I wouldn't be surprised to see a kill number for the leading scorer to be between 18-25.

    For the setters, you'll probably look at an assist number between 40 and 50, although again, with high school, it might be a little higher. Assists come directly off the kill.

    Blocks are only counted when the blockers score. Hitting percentage, while a good indication of how one plays, can be tricky - a high number of errors (balls in the net, out of bounds, etc.) can lead to a negative percentage.

    I don't know, anything else, reply or PM me. I've played volleyball, and covered it, for a couple of years. Pretty much, just find the players with the most kills and the coaches and you should be all set.

    EDIT: Oh yeah, and the libero is the player in the off-colored jersey who comes in and out apparently as he/she pleases. That person's a defensive specialist and can't play in the front row, so they pretty much rack up a high number of digs (hitting attempts that are returned in play). Very skilled position, but probably not one of the players to speak to.
  3. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Don't bother trying to calculate hitting percentage at the high school level. You'll have to record all attempts, errors and kills, and you can't write that fast without the help of a spotter.

    An easy thing to keep track of is runs and droughts - you can see how far down a team was, or who rattled off 10 straight points, or who served for the most points. Just keep a running score line indicating who serves each point.

    Defensively, a dig can only be recorded off a legitimate attack. The player who plays the ball off a serve is not credited with a dig, nor is the player who plays the ball when the opponent hits it over just to get it over. You can also interview a player who made several digs in the game - that's your defensive standout.

    Good luck! The first game will be hell, but you'll get the hang of it quick.
  4. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    Thanks. Pretty good primer. It's university volleyball actually. Conference championship tournament is here later in March. Thanks for your help :)
  5. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    Don't get bogged down with the technical stuff. Focus more on the big picture, instead. Do either of these teams have a superstar? What does this game mean?
  6. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Are you in L.A.? Because L.A. high school volleyball is top notch.
  7. Jim Halpert

    Jim Halpert Member

    Of course, eventually the libero's mom will complain that her daughter isn't receiving enough coverage and you only write about the big hitters on the team.

    I finished up my first season of volleyball this fall and all I can say is you'll get better at it, and understand what to look for more as the season progresses. When I look at my game (match?) stories from the beginning of the season it's unbelievable how much I improved in just a few long, grueling months.

    To repeat what was already said, keep track of service runs and any big point runs in general, and then just get stats from the coaches afterwards (assuming they keep stats). Tracking everything that is going on during a match by hand and trying to keep the players names and numbers straight as you go will become impossible really fast.
  8. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    If it's college level, you'll be very lucky in that you'll get computer stats and PBP. With that, I echo the "focus on the big picture" angle.

    Also, familiarize yourself with the teams so you know when something abnormal happens. Does the leading hitter average 20 kills a game and only hits 10? Did someone new come off the bench and provide a spark? Stuff like that.
  9. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    New Mexico volleyball is pretty good, too. Goddard has a nice program. So does crosstown rival Roswell, which won 4A this year, I believe.
  10. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Ever since they changed how you fucking score and let some girl in a different-colored shirt run around, I have no use for volleyball.

    Interview the girl with the biggest visible camel toe and get the fuck out of there...
  11. Trey Beamon

    Trey Beamon Active Member

    That's some great advice.
  12. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member

    If you write a compelling enough "matcher" then you won't have to bog yourself down on stats or play-by-play info... keep it feature-y and you'll lack of VB knowledge won't show.
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