When it comes to volleyball, it’s the female beach & girls collegiate varieties that easily get my attention. But the guys also play the game, too, and little did I know, some high schools actually offer boys’ volleyball as a varsity sport.
Now some may not perceive it as being as “manly” as other high school varsity sports like football & basketball, but boys’ volleyball can be quite competitive. And just like football & basketball, boys’ volleyball is starting to deal with issues of poor sportsmanship - namely, taunting.
The ARIZONA REPUBLIC reports that chanting in boys’ volleyball matchups is becoming quite common. After each point, teams have been vocalizing in union such slogans as “Oh! 1, 2, 3! Got ‘em!” and “The roof! The roof! The roof is on fire!”
But some coaches are concerned about what such shouting is turning into:
Peoria Centennial coach Cari Bauer said some celebrations have gone too far, disrespecting the opposing players, opposing coaches and even officials and aiming to ridicule the opponent and officials instead of celebrating one’s own success.
“It’s not the direction the sport should be going,” said Bauer, who has 25 years of volleyball experience. “It creates a hostile environment. The change has to come from coaches, athletic directors, officials. We talk about ‘Victory with Honor’ in the captains’ meeting before the match, then two seconds later, we’re acting like idiots.”
And if you watch enough “24″, you know you don’t want to tick off anyone named Bauer.
Cari further explains that volleying up such braggadocio can lead to more direct verbal confrontations:
Bauer said the hostile environment those actions create has boiled over in games, during which players start shouting and cussing at the opposing team, coaches and game officials. She added that the Arizona Interscholastic Association has told game officials to maintain order in a match. But what would draw a technical foul in basketball or a taunting penalty in football generally is ignored in boys volleyball.
And before you know it, they’ll be brawling! And how shameful would that be? It’s not as if any such thing would ever happen in a more respectful high school sport like basketball.
On the other hand, the potential for punchouts might make the games worth watching.