Friday, June 04, 2004
I'll discuss my volleyball league. Tuesday nights a group of us (company sponsored) play volleyball over at Wash Park. It is "beer drinking, non-serious, D-league" volleyball. At least that is the way we see it, and the way we've played it for at least 4 years now. That seems to be changing. A lot of the teams are getting more serious. Most are showing up with a higher level of talent, but most of them are still out to have a good time. It's the teams that show up wanting to play all serious. And that is fine, our team can step it up and put up a fight when we need to, but it's going overboard. It is the lowest level in the league, so in theory it is a good place for newbies to learn the game and get used to playing. Which in my mind means some leniency in making calls on illegal hits. Otherwise, how is anyone going to learn the game (and maybe have some fun at the same time?)?
Each night is a 2 hour affair-one hour per team, 3 games per team so 6 games a night. It's 4 on 4, rally score to 25.
We really didn't have any major problems all season. There were some overly serious players that were a little too strict in making calls on our new recruit (who has never really played the game before), but we dealt with it (and made them mad when we would win). A couple weeks ago, however, things blew up.
Some more background-every week one team member is designated as beer wench. They are responsible for getting some bevs and a cooler so that we can enjoy a couple of cold ones during the game. No big deal, we've done it for years, other teams do it, and usually people try and hit us up for some freebies (of course we oblige). We end up with a bunch of empties by the end of the night but we never leave them behind.
Back to the story. This particular night the second team we played was over the top. I expected some tension when I walked up and heard the pep talk they were giving each other (they had just lost 3 straight to a team that is not very good-we always beat them). I knew then that they were going to be playing serious. I warned the team and then took my turn on the sideline to await the next game and my turn to rotate in. It was bad from the get-go. Instead of asking us to make better calls (on ourselves for bad hits), the girls on the team (on in particular) started making sarcastic and nasty comments at our newbie about her illegal hits. They were just plain mean about it, so obviously we all started getting annoyed and mad. It's a game! There is no reason to be nasty to someone, just because you are not winning (the comments got a little lighter when they got the lead. Go figure). This kept up on EVERY point! Eventually, our friend left the court CRYING out of anger, frustration, and embarrassment. The rest of us were almost livid at how ridiculous it got, so we left. After the first game ended we grabbed our stuff and left.
The next day, our captain got a call from the league director asking what happened. It seems this other team decided to spew a lot of filth about us. What did they have to say? Here is their laundry list:
1. They weren't playing by the rules (we started calling our bad hits after a couple points, and even gave them retroactive points for the first few.)
2. They were drunk and obnoxious. (Those of us who had had the most were on our 2nd beer during this game. We are obnoxious w/o beer).
3. They leave trash all over the park (This one may have made me the maddest, because it is total crap. We have never left any garbage behind).
4. They weren't playing by the rules (Get over it. You were a shitty team, and if you hadn't pissed us off so badly we would have played the next 2 games and whomped you. And ps-you were making illegal hits as well and not calling them).
It was ridiculous. I think there were more complaints, but those were the major ones. They (the one girl anyway) were a type of team that I hate playing. If they are losing, they get nasty and bitter and nit picky (against the other team, not on themselves) until they start winning then all is fine.
Ok, I am done now. The guys were fine as far as I could tell. They really didn't say anything. It was just the one beeacth.
It's a game. In the lowest level of the league. You are in a nice park on a beautiful night. Is winning really that important? If so, you need some damn perspective on life. It's a game. It don't mean shit.
And I'm spent