Play, Ref, Play…A Volleyball Story
Volleyball is the only sport I can think of that involves players being officials and scorekeepers during a tournament. In my opinion, this is a great way for today’s youth to understand the game better, but also to improve their decision-making skills, appreciate the difficulty of officiating as well as learn from other teams to help improve their own skills. Thankfully, there is an adult who has the ability to help out should something go awry. Overwhelmingly, the referee’s go with the calls on the floor made by the youth player. Yes, they do make mistakes from time to time, but what sports official doesn’t? One might think having players officiate might help to cut down the tournament costs, but I’m here to tell you, that’s not happening. However, it’d be difficult to imagine how much a tournament would cost if they had to bring in officials to do the job the players perform. So, from that perspective, the costs could be more if the players didn’t assist.
Can you imagine this occurring in any other sport? Baseball, Softball, Basketball, etc? There is a component of self-policing in golf and I believe you can tell a lot about an individual by the integrity and honesty displayed while keeping their own score. But, from a team sport perspective, volleyball I believe is the only one that leverages multiple players to officiate an event. Knock on wood, I’ve never seen a player/ref be chastised by an irate parent and I hope it stays that way. Parents understand, for the most part, they are kids doing the best they can.
Youth volleyball is a phenomenal sport and officiating is a contributor to the positivity surrounding it. Keep up the great work youth volleyball players, you’re doing a fantastic job!