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Prep Volleyball

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by fourcorners, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. fourcorners

    fourcorners New Member

    Any tips for covering high school volleyball? Some things carry over from other sports, but just curious what little things you guys might do during the game or after the game specific to the sport. Thanks in advance!
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Kills are the top stat to use during a game story. Most matches can be summed up by each game is close until midway through until the other team makes a run.

    Most player quotes end up with some version of "We had a lot of heart out there." (Even if the opponent couldn't beat a junior high team.)
  3. the_lorax

    the_lorax Member

    I've always felt like volleyball was the one sport where I trusted the coaches' stats over my own, just because there's so much going on in a single play. There could be four or five digs, an assist and a block, kill and/or attack error on the same play. So I'll usually keep track, but I go to the coaches afterwards and ask for their stats (they've usually got three or four people on the bench keeping track). Would never do that in football or basketball, but in volleyball it's the best way to go.

    Coaches love to talk about defense. And momentum.
  4. Keystone

    Keystone Member

    I'm covering prep volleyball for the first time in 10 years (state tourney pool play starts tomorrow) and I will second Lorax's post that the coach's stats are better.
  5. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    I was in a similar situation these past couple of seasons, Keystone, and what struck me the most was how different the game is due to "rally" scoring.

    Besides the obvious difference of a point being awarded after every serve, the dynamics of the game are a lot different.

    In particular, the serving is a lot less aggressive -- almost no one jump serves, especially if you get to the shorter, everything-on-the-line game 5. A ball served "out" now means a point for the other team, not just a side out.

    Also, be warned that serves that hit the net and trickle over are now in play. I'd swear there was a girl trying to do this on purpose in a playoff game I covered a few weeks ago.
  6. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    Except when the coaches have ridiculous stats like digs. I covered volleyball in an area of the state that had the best teams and one coach was the subject of complete ridicule for the stats he'd give us. We didn't ridicule him, the other coaches did. They said there was no way in hell some of his girls had the number of digs he said. And he'd use those stats to complain when they didn't make the all-area team. "But she had 1,989 digs!"

    Yes, volleyball controversies. Exciting stuff.

    At my high school, our softball coach counted pass balls as stolen bases and would announce a "record number of steals" over the loudspeaker during the morning announcements.
  7. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    Are you doing story only or story with pictures?
    In general, I try to keep tabs on kills and aces. I also take note of big runs. That can lead to easy questions like, "You guys had a slow start in game 1 but then had the 9-0 run. What was the key to that turnaround?"
    Also, don't feel like you have to go heavy on volleyball-specific terminology. Similar to that, if there is terminology you don't quite understand, write around it as much as possible.
    Last advice: seek out the coach before the match and let him/her know you're a bit of a novice at this. That way he/she can remember to break things down a bit more for you.
  8. the_lorax

    the_lorax Member

    I hear you. Digs and blocks are the biggest offenders. Shouldn't be a block if the girl just touches it. Has to end the play. And you can't have a kill and a block on the same play.
    I'm getting fired up about this.
  9. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    First of all, there should be burnt offerings given daily to the people who pushed through the switch to rally scoring, especially in high school. With side-out scoring, matches went so long they made a Yankees-Red Sox game look like it was on fast-forward.

    Coaches in my area are pretty reliable on stats, but there's just too much going on to keep your own like you would in basketball or baseball/softball. But the players to pay attention to are the setter and the hitters. As you watch more, you'll notice substitution patterns, or they may be serving to a particular area of the court.
  10. bydesign77

    bydesign77 Active Member

    And that girl in a different colored shirt? She's a libero, and is a GODDAMN DEDICATED DEFENSIVE PLAYER!

    Sorry, worked with a guy that would get really fired up about this. I still chuckle.
  11. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    And it's only a block if you go straight up. If your wrists break as it makes contact with the ball, it would be a kill, not a block.

    Volleyball can be a good sport to follow championship runs with. Just don't get into the minutiae and intricacies of the sport.

    Watch for long scoring runs and if one player is dominating. If you find a player that can make some good comments, it makes it that much easier to write the story.
  12. Turtle Wexler

    Turtle Wexler Member

    Keep an eye on substitutions ... if a coach is always rotating the same players in-out together, like a hockey line, ask what it is about that combination that works well together.
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