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Old Thu Jan 23, 2003, 04:45pm
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I have been coaching High school volleyball for 10 years. Over the years I have had my share of setters that were good and also some that were not so good. I, as a coach, do not mind if a ref calls my setter for bad sets, whether it be a double contact of a lift. If my setter sets 5 bad sets in a row, i expect the ref to call 5 bad sets.

My opinion is that since its a Varsity match, it should be officiated quite strictly. If it was a Junior Varsity match, i understand that lots of sets will be 'overlooked'.

I have no problem with this.

I do have a problem when some officials give a team certain chances simply because the setter is not as good. What i mean is that, some refs will let a setter with lower setting skills get away with his sets. Lifts and double contacts will not be called.

In my opinion, i see this to very unfair to the team with a good setter. An example i used compared this situation to a baseball pithcer. Not calling sets, even if its on every set, is just like giving a pitcher a bigger strike zone to throw to compared to the other teams pitcher.

Any opinions?

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Old Thu Jan 23, 2003, 08:31pm
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This is a complaint I here often from coaches. I happen to officiate girls in the fall and coach boys in the spring so I see it from both sides. Here is what I do.

Imagine rating sets on scale of 0 to 100, 100 being the sweetest set you ever saw and zero meaning the player caught the ball at her/his waist and threw it up in the air.

If the sets from both teams are consistently between 96 - 100, anything below 96 gets called. That is an easy match!

If the sets from both teams are consistently between 88 and 96, anything below 88 is called. Still pretty easy but probably kind of sloppy.

Now, if you have one setting 96 - 100 and one setting 88 - 96 it gets tricky. I will usually lower my standards for the better setter and not call an illegal contact until she sets a 93 or 94. Conversely, I will call a little tighter on the other setter and maybe call anything below a 90.

While the coach of the better setter may not agree, I think this is fair for the teams. If an official holds every setter to the highest standard of the best setters in the league or district, that official might be run out of town! Remember, the best games for an official are the ones where no one even remembers who they were.

I know what you are thinking! If officials hold every setter to the highest standard the setters will adjust and raise their skills. Not so! That WOULD happen in a perfect world but we don't live in a perfect world!

You know as well as I it takes a lot of time and practice to develop a good setter. Some kids can play volleyball most of the year and can hone their skills quicker. Other kids play multiple sports and don't get the reps and experience to develop their setting skills as fast. Let's not forget about officials either. Many volleyball officials have a difficult time learning the difference between a clean set and a so-so set. It is hard to develop young setters when officiating can be so wildly inconsistent.

I think I'll get off my soapbox now. I hope I answered your question. If not, I can jump back on later....
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Old Fri Jan 24, 2003, 04:39pm
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..

Quote:
Now, if you have one setting 96 - 100 and one setting 88 - 96 it gets tricky. I will usually lower my standards for the better setter and not call an illegal contact until she sets a 93 or 94. Conversely, I will call a little tighter on the other setter and maybe call anything below a 90.

This is kinda what im referring to. Regardless of the skills of the setter, there is still that line between good sets and bad sets There are no questionable sets. Its either good or bad. Now with your decription, it still hurts the team with a the setter who sets well because the sets that he/she will get called on (93 or 94) would be considered a good set if the other setter was the one setting.

Its kinda like giving a test. 100 questions. Just because one kid is dumber than the other doesnt mean you lower the scale for him. The scale is set and its either pass or fail. With the # scale you given as guidlines to maintain equity with the set calling acctually makes it much more clear that the team with the less skilled setter gets an advantage.

Im not trying to rip on you at all. Dont get me wrong. Its just that its still is not fair with that reasoning.
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Old Fri Jan 24, 2003, 06:32pm
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I kinda fall in the middle.

I do think that when you've got one or both teams with less than optimal ball handling skills, you've gotta move the standards down a little bit - just to let the kids play ball if nothing else. I'm not talking about allowing the truly ugly stuff but about the borderline stuff. No one, not even the winning team, wants stand around and watch some old guy blow a whistle every other time the ball goes to the weaker team's side of the net. 15-0, 15-2, 15-3 isn't even fun for the winning team, especially when half the points are awarded on ball handling faults.

OTOH, if you move the line down a bit in the interests of letting the kids play, you've got to move it down for both teams and make an effort to call it the same on both sides of the net. Anything else is just not fair competition and is a recipe for getting in trouble. You'll never call it -extactly- the same on both sides of the net (even when you haven't "moved the line") because no two "iffy" sets are "iffy" in exactly the same way. But you should strive to apply identical standards to both teams.

Moving the line seldom has any significant effect on the outcome - skill disparities between teams are seldom limited to the setter only. Moving the line down almost always only turns a 15-0, 15-2, 15-3 match into one where its 15-5, 15-6, 15-4. But the kids do get a chance to work up a sweat and feel like they actually got to play a volleyball match. As opposed to watching the old guy toot his whistle.
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Old Mon Feb 03, 2003, 02:35pm
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Talking

Interesting discussion. As a parent, I want every ball called the same way. As an official, I know that's almost impossible. (BTW, there are borderline sets. They are not all clear cut...another topic for another day). That imaginary rating of 88-100 is real hard to do without a whole lot of experience. What I TRY to do when reffing is set my standard around the 95 in this case. The better setter gets away with some by her standard, but the poorer setter has to work hard. Hopefully in the end, the standard was the same for the entire match.
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Old Mon Feb 03, 2003, 06:15pm
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Quote:
No one, not even the winning team, wants stand around and watch some old guy blow a whistle every other time the ball goes to the weaker team's side of the net. 15-0, 15-2, 15-3 isn't even fun for the winning team, especially when half the points are awarded on ball handling faults.
I see what you are sayin but on the other hand, i doubt if a team would think its fun if the other teams setter is allowed to throw up some garbage to his hitters who end up smashing them. Just because the setter isnt good doesnt mean that the rest of his team isnt. Those bad sets not being called can be the determining factor for another team losing. In baseball, its like saying, "we will give the other team a bigger strike zone to throw to so it game will be more even."
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Old Wed Feb 05, 2003, 01:23am
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[i]Originally posted by South Bay HHVBC

I see what you are sayin but on the other hand, i doubt if a team would think its fun if the other teams setter is allowed to throw up some garbage to his hitters who end up smashing them. Just because the setter isnt good doesnt mean that the rest of his team isnt. Those bad sets not being called can be the determining factor for another team losing. In baseball, its like saying, "we will give the other team a bigger strike zone to throw to so it game will be more even." [/B]
Well, I'm not talking about "throwing up garbage" on the sets but whether you call it "strict" or "loose". Garbage is garbage and ugly is ugly under either a strict or loose standard. I'm talkin' about the "iffy" stuff. And, I'm not talking about a bigger strike zone for -one- team - if the strike zone is widened for one team, it's gotta be widened for both. You gotta try and call it the same way on both sides of the net.

But, quite frankly, I've never seen a match where one team couldn't set worth a damn but could pound those ugly sets down on the ten foot line. Usually, if the setters can't set, the outside hitters can't hit. Maybe if I run across a team with an really bad setter but three absolute HAMMERS at the hitter positions, I might have to reassess my views on this. But mostly the setters seem to set with about the same skills as the hitters seem to hit.

And, you've gotta let the kids play the game. After all, the kids are what the whole thing is about.
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