Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Volleyball Game #1 (here)

There was wildness and much drama surrounding last Friday's first home match of the season. As far as I can unravel the many details, here's what happened:

Last Friday, the girls hosted their first volleyball match at our home gym. Until about sixteen hours before the match, everything looked like it was going to be completely as usual, but then our scheduling secretary got an email from the opposing team's coach saying that:

1) they weren't going to bring their junior varsity team, just varsity

2) our junior varsity would have to play their varsity because they didn't want to forfeit the match


3) out of deference for their varsity players, who would be tired after playing so many games, the opposing team's coach proposed that the varisty and junior varsity games be played as best-two-out-of-three, instead of the regular five varsity games and three junior varsity, as was originally agreed upon.

Our team plays in a league of teams from homeschool groups and Christian schools that are governed by IHSAA (Indiana High School Athletics Association) rules. We pay an IHSAA official a goodly sum out of our meager bank account so that he/she can officiate and make sure all standards are being abided by. So you can imagine how worried the coaches, the president of the board of directors and the scheduling secretary were. Oh, yes...and they were mad, too. What if the IHSAA official came to our match and decided that he couldn't qualify our games? Then we'd have to pay him anyway and send him straight home with a flea in his ear.

(Currently, the board president is beginning to think that it would be a good idea to go with signed contracts for matches. That way, the opposing team, if they or any other team tried to pull a last minute bit of rudeness like this, they'd have to forfeit the game, instead of just arrogantly setting their own rules for somebody else's gym.)

I'm sure this is all terribly boring to anyone who isn't involved in this organization, but let me tell you, it was a powder keg in there on Friday night.

Unless our junior varsity wanted to forfeit the match, they'd be stuck playing the opposing team's varsity girls. Our junior varsity players range in age from just-turned-12 to around 14.5 years old. Our varsity girls, six of whom are high school seniors, are all 16, 17 and 18 years old. As were their varsity players. "Better a loss than a forfeit," the JV coach sighed philosophically, so our little tiny Davids went out to meet the great big Goliaths from the City That Shall Not Be Named. Because we are really, really mad at them. But it starts with an H and has both an ing and a ton on the end of the word with a u-n-t in the middle.

Yeah, you know who you are.

I'd like to say that things worked out for our JV just like things worked out for David in the Bible, but, well, not so much. Those varsity players looked like they were more than willing to cram the volleyball down our JV girls' little throats and then maybe eat their legs into the bargain. Our girls didn't stand a chance. They had some good moments when they valiantly defended their court, but the other team's players were bigger, stronger and much more experienced than our girls and it was pretty much a massacre.

My husband and I told the girls that we were proud of them -- they fought back instead of just knuckling under. They played well and it wasn't their fault that they were extremely mismatched with their opponents. If the opposing team had actually honored their committment and brought their junior varsity team to play ours (and the reason why they didn't is still extremely unclear to me), our girls would have stood a good chance of winning.

"The best comeuppance would be to go to their game in a few weeks and for both of our teams to whip the snot out of those girls," my husband said thoughtfully.

"From your lips to God's ear," I said solemnly.

"Yeah," said Meelyn, setter and server extraordinaire.

"Yeah," said Aisling, visions of digs and spikes dancing through her head.

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