devo's volleyball – Australian volleyball: news and views

AJVC – a last look

Posted by devo on July 19, 2009

Over the last period we have had a good look at the Australian Junior Volleyball Championships. We’ve looked at:

  • net heights
  • referees
  • New Zealand’s participation

But what else do you want to see changed at the Junior Nationals?

  • An under 23 division – or is AVL the stage for these players?
  • Is the two yellow cards and you’re automatically out of the next match fair? If you get a yellow on Monday and another on Friday, you’re shot for the final. Is this fair for the individual and their team?
  • Is the expulsion regulation that the Vic team potentially faced for missing a match too heavy handed?

What do you, the coaches, refs and players think could be done to improve the tournament. Please keep the suggestions positive.

UPDATE: I think every one has had a chance to have a say – 63 comments. It’s been an interesting topic, but it’s time to close off the comments.

63 Responses to “AJVC – a last look”

  1. Volleyball Athlete said

    I do believe in an Under 23 division. Because since in most states, there is only one or two AVL teams a lot of the senior athletes tend to play. This leaves athletes after Under 21’s with purely club volleyball and I think an Under 23 would be even more inspirational to the younger players at AJVC.

    Also, I think that expulsion thing with the Vic team was pretty dodgy. Unfortunately teams do turn up late. Although it cannot be encouraged, to think that after 5 days of volleyball that all of their work could have been eliminated because they got stuck in traffic is not fair. If they were disqualified, the kids would have been devastated and would have wasted a week or their life (plus the $2000 and countless hours of training and driving to and form training).

  2. mickmurphy said

    The vic situation…I feel they should have been booted. My knowledge says that the final decision goes against the tournament regulations, which to me is problematic!

    I can’t really see the Under 23s getting off the ground, we have enough trouble as it is having Under 21s get to the champs, the under 23s will add another problem, in that these people will need to start taking time off work etc to get there, plus there will be almost no scope for their parents funding the trip. I know that getting $2000 together for people my age is not an easy task!

    I vote:

    All full net heights
    Referees rock and everyone should give reffing a red hot go at least once in their career as a volleyball participant
    The bridges with New Zealand has been burned now imo

  3. Ezra said

    yeah agree with Mick… 23’s will probably be too hard to get numbers… maybe the real question here is how do we make AVL more accessable and affordable to have more teams and therefore more spaces for talented 21yr old + players to continue playing.

    The only thing dodgy about the Vic thing was that they didn’t turn up. Missing a game that was already running later than the nominated time is unexcusable, with the amount of teams there from each state, surely a quick phone call to a coach at the venue could keep them up to date on the courts timing.

    I’d like to see the net heights raised :-) 17 womens height is insanely low.

    AND New Zealand should be given a chance to play through the entire tournament, if this means creating a second set of medals for them to have IF they win a medal then go for it. Yes, it’s the Australian Jnr volley champs, but it’d be great for the promotion of the sport and the kids love playing the kiwi’s.

    • Anon said

      The Vic u17 Blue team did show up, but they were 2 and a half hours late for their scheduled start time. By that stage the Qld team refused to play. I think the fact that the game was a dead rubber was their only saving grace, if the rules had been followed to the letter of the law they would have been disqualified from the tournament. If those are the rules, that’s the rules you have to play by, I think the Vic boys got pretty lucky.

      • devo said

        Should the rule be changed?

        • Anon said

          I think the rule, as I understand it, manages to be very black and white (any team which fails to meet it’s match requirements shall be disqualified from the tournament) and have a large amount of grey area at the same time (as shown by the latitude granted to the Vic boys). Without being able to quote the specifics of the rule, I can’t say for sure what process is in place to take unforseen and uncontrollable events into account; maybe this needs to be put into writing for future situations? But I stand by my statement that, the rules are in the book and should be followed. The thing that let this situation get out of hand was the lack of communication between the team on the road and the people at the stadium, there was no representative from VVI on hand to liase between the team (ie. Coach, assistant coach/manager) and the tournament staff, an early phone call may have saved a lot of consternation.

        • StevenB said

          I think the rule should be changed. It is way to harsh.
          In the end the kids should have been allowed to play and not pay for a coach’s incompetence. That said, someone should pay some sort of penalty. Perhaps the team’s President’s Cup points should have been erased, which would more properly punish the State involved.

      • A different 'Anon' said

        Allegedly that Vic team left their accomodation after the scheduled match starting time anyway … which, in my opinion, is very poor organising from their caoch/manager/whoever.

        Aside from that, whatever the tournament rules are regarding the not-turning-up of a team, they should be followed. Yes it’s harsh on the team, but at the National Championships, it’s fair to assume that state teams would be competant enough to be able to do such simple things as be at a match on time.

    • Volleyball Athlete said

      From what I heard from players and coaches, the Victorian U/17 team did on many attempts make phone calls to the tournament organisers to advise them that they would be late.

      And in regards to your comment Devo, I do believe this rule should be changed. As much as team punctuality is neccassary for a big tournament like AJVC to happen, at the end of the day to tell a group of 16 year olds, that all there time and effort has been put to waste just because they came late to one match is a bit harsh. Plus this has got to be one of the only times this has ever happened.

      • Morbo said

        There is FAR more to this than ‘they were just late’!

        The fact that it is almost the only time that this has happened suggests that the rule was doing its job in stopping forfeits (slightly specious I know). I imagine that now we have a precedent that allows forfeit, it will become slightly more prevalent.

        At the end of the day, the U17 match between QLD and Vic was a dead rubber that was forfeited by Vic because they did not attend the stadium at the guaranteed earliest start time or at the first whistle of the match. The U17 match between ACT and SA was a dead rubber that was played out in good spirit some hours after the guaranteed earliest start time because everyone adhered to the rules and did the right thing. Traffic was the same for all 3 interstate teams, 2 of them chose to leave in time to arrive by the guaranteed earliest start time, 1 didn’t.

        • stan said

          Not leaving in time to make the earliest start time is irresponsible, no matter which age group the team is in. Yes games run late but if you are travelling to the game, you can never know what traffic will be like on your way back to the venue. Teams that don’t abide by the tournament rules should have to suffer the consequences. You don’t go making poor excuses and expect the rules to be bent just for you…just because you were late…. because you didn’t leave in time…..

          • Anon said

            I’m with you on this one Stan. In any volleyball tournament that plays no time limit games it is a rare occasion to have your game start on time (unless you’re in the first game of the day), that’s just a fact that we all have to live with. Despite this, it’s a given that you are there with time to be ready for the earliest possible start time; your court may be running behind but there may be an opportunity to play on another court that is running closer to time. I have experienced this several times at national schools cup (granted, that is a very different tournament to AJVC) and have always been grateful for the chance to make the day a little bit shorter for both myself and the kids I am coaching. As a relatively inexperienced coach, I know this lesson, how does a vastly experienced national junior coach not?

            • Steve said

              The team doesn’t make the game, it is a 25-0, 25-0, 25-0 loss for that game and we move on. If the team misses the finals because of that result then so be it. There shouldn’t be anything more to it though.

              • Secretidentity said

                Totally agree

              • mickmurphy said

                That leaves the tournament open to malice and sinister intentions though. Imagine a scenario where it was QLD vs WA in the last round match, with WA needing to win 3-0 to overtake Vic to play in the gold medal match. QLD fancies an easier match up with WA instead of Vic, rolls over for a 3-0 loss 25-0 25-0 25-0, with a $50 fine and a well rested, easier gold medal match.

                The rules were done in a way that stopped any kind of sinister behavior and should be kept that way imo.

                • Steve said

                  The same thing (allowing your final opponent in a pool game to win easily) can be achieved directly by playing players to dog it, or indirectly by playing the bench guys the entire game, putting a middle as libero … there are countless ways. If I was a coach trying to generate ths outcome I would definitely take the bench route rather than not showing at all, particularly at a junior tournament when I know my team has paid to come away and play. Disqualifying a team for not showing up, when the likelihood of a devious intent is minute at best, is overkill.

                  • agree with murph. They changed the points/set percentage rules because teams were tanking. it’s not in the spirit of the game. Dead rubber or not, it’s wrong to deny your opponent a game when they’ve come at great expense. that goes for the vic team that turned up late and the qld team that refused to play them late. they’re both not acting in the spirit of the game irrespective of the rules. This is completely bizarre. Is is really worth pointing the finger? Vics – turn up on time. QLD – play your opponent not their circumstances. Everyone else – let the two best teams play off for the gold medal on the last day. Can’t we do a bit better by our athletes than show them their adult coaches/administrators can’t solve REALLY pedestrian problems?

      • Troy M said

        I think if a team forfeits, give them -1 points and the winning team 2 points. Additionally that team’s result in finals should not contribute to presidents cup points. If teams have a big enough lead that they can afford to throw away 4 points and they are willing to incur a sizeable fine as well as cost their state points in the presidents cup, then so be it.

        On the flip side, if there is a legitimate reason for the teams lateness then some discretion can be shown (if moderate excuse, maybe 0 points for game instead of -1 and half presidents cup points)?

        The fine should be increased from $50 to say $200 and at least half of that should go to the team which trecked out to the stadium and warmed up for nothing.

    • mickmurphy said

      As much as we shouldn’t Ez, the “how to make AVL cheaper” debate should be the main one here…Maybe we should think about taking out the U21s all together and feeding those players into the AVL. There were a LOT of U21 players out there at the AJVC who would walk onto a number of AVL teams as it is. I would imagine that AJVC is a lot of time and effort for them for what amounts to not many matches and an experience that is wholly not as good as it could be.

  4. Jase said

    What if, rather than a seperate U21 and U23 comp, as pople seem to be suggesting, make the U21 competition an U23 competition, this is what happens at the National Beach Champs and I think is quite successful. Would make the comp stronger, and get more participants without having to find a whole comp of U23 athletes who can take time off work/uni and can afford the trip etc.

    • mickmurphy said

      I don’t hate that idea…

      Especially as it would mean I could make my AJVC debut in 2010.

    • StevenB said

      The problem with this idea is that there would be 4 years of athletes to pick from and already kids look at the 2 year range as a bit daunting when they are in the younger year.

      • mickmurphy said

        From an SA perspective, I think that 4 year group is quite similar on a developmental level. They have all left school and are all only as good as their dedication to SASI/AIS/Club volleyball, I think our best 10 from that 4 year block would be better than the 2 year block, but no deserving player would have lost their spot this year, especially in the Women’s. They are all full height too…

      • Troy M said

        I know some AVL teams had players from the U17 division playing AVL in womens and U19 division playing AVL in mens. If these guys can play in an open age comp, im sure 19/20 yr olds can handle a game agains 21/22 yr olds.

    • U23s is a bad idea. I had a lot of fun playing U21s but it’s prob not in the best interests of our sport. By the time i played, i really wasn’t good enough to play but they needed numbers. If you haven’t made it by U19 stage, there’s not much chance you will. there are outliers of course. But in this day and age we’re getting better at identifying athletes earlier.

      The AFL doesn’t have U21s or U23s. and SANFL scrapped U19s in favour of U18s. Cos they know if you’re about that age and not making the seniors, you’re not going to make it.

  5. Anon said

    I heard through the bush telegraph, Was that the same Victoria team that argued the All-star 7 selection?

    • Des said

      The same Victorian team that failed to have a coach at the scheduled all star meeting directly after the under 17 grand final. After waiting for 40 minutes the meeting was held without said coach and players voted into all All Star… Only for meeting to be recalled an hour or so later when the coach was ready to go. A secret vote was then held without any discussion allowed between the different state coaches. This goes against the stated criteria for All Star selection. Yet another decision against the stated policy by the AVF. But great if you have more than one state team in an age group where you then get a multiple say.

      • Secretidentity said

        There’s probably a couple of points to be made in this thread as it is obvious that there is some feeling in this debate. Firstly, in response to Des. Your point is a valid one in regards to the coach missing the meeting, but you have not yet mentioned that there was an agreed upon system in place whereby there were a certain number of allocated spots based on where you finish in the tournament. For example if you finished first you should have 3 spots etc etc. So the initial all star 7 that I actually heard from the same bush telegraph was appropriately questioned by several coaches who were not Victorian, and thus the rules were not bent due to Victorian influence as is perhaps being suggested. Any notion to the counter I’m afraid is incorrect. The bigger point here is that the AJVC in general has the All star 7 system wrong in the first place, as the players should be judged each game by impartial observers on the ref’s table, akin to something you would see in all other junior sports around the country.

        Secondly, the arrival debacle is obviously a very sad occurrence. It is obvious to see that this debate cannot be black and white as has been previously suggested, as the officials were not even able to decide when both teams were eventually present. So while arriving late is never excusable, there is also grey area in the ruling which allowed for common sense to prevail. Having the two best teams battle it out the next day was a clear victory for common sense. And while traffic is scarcely an excuse, several teams were caught in the same dilemma as those boys, and so to hang one team out to dry based on spotlight is perhaps a little unfair. To strip those kids of an opportunity to play for the medal chance that they earned would obviously be silly (they don’t control the transport), and so the tournament officials should be congratulated on making the correct decision.

        • Des said

          Just a quick point that there is actually no agreed upon system on how many players come from the gold medal winning team and so on down the line. This is generally personal coaching opinion. We only need to look at the make up for all of the other age groups to see how spread some of these groups are. The All Star concept has always been more about coaches pushing their own players. I am in total agreement that the All Stars should be chosen by independent observers such as the refs or even the delegates who observe each game.

          • Secretidentity said

            Totally agree Des, and I should have worded that a little better. The 3,2,1 type format is not officially stated, but was rather a suggested format that popped up from several coaches. I hope that in future tournaments they revise the system to help make the process even better.

            • Anon said

              Also to take into consideration is who is convening the meeting, there are several different approaches and, by and large, it is up to the convenor to offer the differing methods. Of course then there is the debate as to whether the All Star 7 should be the best 7 players regardless of position or what would be the best team made up of players from the tournament. Having sat in on these meetings, there are too many people pulling in different directions, a simplified system such as 3-2-1 per match would definitely take some of the secrecy out of it.

              • Steve said

                Back in my day you knew AIS guys were going to be in the team irrespective of whether they were the best players or not … often they weren’t because they were 7 foot projects who were new to the game. At least in my time the all star teams were viewed as politically correct teams rather than the a deserving team, and that was by the participants!

    • U17M Fact File said

      Fact No. 1. No U17M Vic Blue coaching staff attended the “Technical Meeting” on Sunday night where it was stated by the tournament director “that all teams must be at the venue for the earliest scheduled start time….according to the draw”. (In the Rules and Regulations this should have been a $50/official fine)

      Fact No. 2. Queensland had their players there at 2pm for a scheduled 3pm start time.

      Fact No. 3. The Referees had officially started the match and Queensland wnet through the game protocol. After which the Top Referee started the first set. No team was there so the first set was automatically forfeited. Subsequently the other sets every 10 minutes after that. The Queensland players all stayed ready to play until the whole forfeit protocol was completed. After that time the Queensland players warmed down.

      Fact No. 4. The parents of the Vic Blue team stated that the team didn’t even leave the hotel until after the scheduled start time (3pm).

      Fact No. 5. The Vic Blue team did eventually turn up. By this time the only option given to the Queensland team was to reschedule the match after the last game was played that evening. Queensland argued the point that the match was already completed and that they had done the right thing and shouldn’t be disadvantaged by having to play a late game and then have to front up for a Gold Medal game the next morning (especially seeing that it was a dead rubber anyway). Queensland also stated that rule 8.1 in the rules and regulations was broken and therefore Vic Blue should have been held responsible. However, they then stated that it wouldn’t have been in the best interest for the sport and therefore agreed that Vic Blue just be reprimanded.

      Fact No. 6. Queensland U17M won the Gold Medal.

      Fact No. 7. Vic Blue did not only fail to make 1 final All Star meeting. It was rescheduled twice on the final day for them and they failed to show for both. It wasn’t until someone protested that they did not get a vote. Unfortunately a player from SA who was originally voted in was left out because Vic Blue wanted another player in the All Star 7. (It always helps when one state has 3 votes compared to another state who gets 1 vote, it obviously pays to have more teams in the comp)

      Fact No. 8. There is no where in the tournament outlines where it states that 3 players must come from the 1st team…..2 from the 2nd team and so on. It states that they are to be the best players during the tournament. It says you must pick the “best” passer/hitter, setter, middle, and libero; and then the next 3 best players. There are NO quotas mentioned.

      I hope this sheds some light on this debate!!!!

      • Secretidentity said

        Fact no. 7 demonstrates the flaw in the system straight away, as it merely highlights how agenda is involved in the all star 7 process. It is unfortunate to see any deserving player miss out, irrespective of the state, and hopefully with a new system these incidents are ironed out. The only part I would question there is the suggestion that the three states all conspire to ensure a representation; as the weight of numbers argument then casts a light over any state that has more than one team present. Really it’s all just further evidence that the system needs to be adjusted.

        Good to see the QLD team was involved in helping make the right decision regarding the dead rubber match too. That is probably a fact that has been lost in this debate. As I said earlier, I think the powers that be faced a difficult dilemma (which included communication problems, and looking carefully through rules and interpretations) and did a good job in the end.

  6. WiG said

    The idea of a combined U21 and U23 comp has been floating around for a while. Personally i believe that a combined comp would have its positives and its negatives. I do agree that it may provide a solution for states that struggle to field a team in the U21 division, and that it may also create a higher level experience for the participating athletes and for the junior athletes to aspire to. However in saying that the case of selection of these teams needs to be analyzed. If you were an U23 coach which athletes would you look to select? (the best ones obviously), a good 19 year old or a good 21 year old? The answer is pretty obvious in that the coach would select the older athlete. This then could potentially create a 2 year vacuum where athletes are not selected for junior nationals after they finish the U19 age group. Now as an athlete would you wait potentially for 2 years to make it back into the state team or would you focus your attentions else where perhaps in another sport?

  7. StevenB said

    My pet hate in the Tournament Regulations is the 2 yellows and you’re out of the next match rule. Having attended the nationals for longer than some of the kids have been alive I have never received a card. That said I feel that getting a yellow is relatively easy and the potential to be disqualified from a following match if you get a second during the week is extremely heavy handed.

    I haven’t seen any poor behaviour by players or coaches which would warrant such a rule, so I don’t see it as solving any particular problem.

    I do recall one player copping a 2nd yellow a few years ago and even then the player was permitted to watch the match which technically isn’t allowed.

    So I’d vote to get rid of the “regulation”.

    Especially as the regulations seem to be broken/overridden by the AVF anyway.

  8. stan said

    Getting a match suspension is fair after two yellow cards. If you haven’t learnt to curb your behaviour after the first card and you are silly enough to get another one, then you’re obviously a slow learner and need some time to sit outside and think about your actions. This is a junior tournament and one would expect behaviour and sportsmanship to reflect that. Surely it’s not too much to expect that everyone behaves sportingly at a junior tournament.

    • Steve said

      It is crazy that two yellows would get someone kicked out for a game. Get kicked out of a game and then miss the next one, ok, but yellows… come on!

      • Murph said

        Tell that to FIFA…

        • Steve said

          mildly different, wouldn’t you say?

          • Murph said

            Not really to be honest…It is common place that an accumulation of cards yields a suspension. At tournaments, I feel that 2 cards is fair. It worked a treat too, the people I reffed who were on cards were VERY quiet in their subsequent games; however, were curiously louder on the last day…

            • Steve said

              Fair enough … I know Sepp Blatter came out at one point and said he thought three cards was fairer than two. It makes more sense to me given how easy it is to get a yellow card. I can just imagine a scenario where a kid gets a bit too excited on day one and gets a card, and then a misunderstanding happens that causes the kid to miss finals.

              A fair system to me would be that there is a re-set of cards at the time finals commence.

              • Steve said

                i.e. a card in a semi final does not get you kicked out of the final. A second card received in the last pool round would disqualify you from the semi though.

                • mickmurphy said

                  Yeah I’ll pay that…It’s how it works in the FIFA examples. 2 Cards in the round robin pools, 2 cards in the championship pool. Or something along those lines would work ok I think.

                  • stan said

                    I’m sorry. I must have missed the forum where it was decided that behaving badly was ok…. Let’s remember that a card is for bad behaviour and it should not have to be tolerated by game participants who are trying to play fairly. Two yellow cards and a suspension is more than fair. Everyone knows the consequences from the start of the tournament so there are no surprises.

                    • Rusty said

                      Agree with Stan. I played 15 years of high level volleyball, many of these years as a state league club captain, and only received 2 yellow cards. Additionally I think the combined team total of cards would have been only 5 or 6.

                      When will players/coaches learn that refs will not usually change their mind on a call, no matter how wrong. We all make mistakes so we just need to learn to get on with it and win the next point.

                    • Steve said

                      Some light reading for you Stan …

                    • Steve said

                      How many titles did you win Rusty?

                    • Kris said

                      Steve, wouldn’t something related to sports law be more relevant to your arguement.
                      OR are you saying in a roundabout way that coaches and players are criminals??!!

                    • Steve said

                      Lol, no. What I am saying is that this mandatory suspension that could be for a grand final on the back of what can be two relatively minor and “in the heat of the moment” incidents is pretty rough, particularly when we are talking about juniors who have paid to be there. The end game could be that a promising junior is disillusioned by this heavy handed treatment and leave the sport altogether. And without wanting to insult anyone (although when you start a sentence that way it is under the expectation that you will), if you play the game without sometimes walking that fine line between getting a card and not getting one then honestly you aren’t giving it everything and are unlikely to be performing at your best. Give me six players walking that line and who occasionally (not consistently) step over it before a team of “accept everything the referee says” types any day. I guarantee you I will get the better results.

                    • Kris said

                      Steve, what you have highlighted is the relative ignorance most volleyball players, coaches and yes even referees, have…the knowledge (and use) of the minor misconduct warning. Its part of the Sanctioning scale. So if someone already got a yellow, then they probably already got a warning before it. So I would say that a line would have been clearly drawn out by the referee before a card came into play. Most referees would know the difference between a normal emotional response (frustration, disappointment) compared to bad behaviour. Most people know what is socially acceptable. As for the example of cards relating to giving it all and performing your best?
                      Giving it all and playing your best, especially from the heart does not excuse poor or bad behaviour. From your own document that you supplied earlier, it sounds like “your player(s)” have intent. That’s criminal.

                    • Steve said

                      starting a fresh blokck below …

  9. edbinnie said

    you can’t compare to beach, because in beach states can enter as many teams as they want.
    U23s and U21s, good luck. expanding the current AJVC beyond its current capacity will have serious issues – venues, volume of refs, and other support staff etc
    U23s instead of U21s? You aren’t really going to be adding too much by doing this. If the athletes are looking for elite competition, and are good enough, then they are in AVL. If they aren’t, then state leagues across australia already at a high enough bar that they get good competition there.
    As an U21s coach, one of the greater issues was with players that now had to pay for things themselves, and were only prepared to go if they were going to get court time. You expand the problem if you go out to U23s, so while you potentially have a larger pool, you may end up losing your U21 contingent from the U23s.
    Should they expand AVL – definitely.
    Expulsion seems pretty rough, but I believe that a forfeit should carry some penalty – especially greater than just losing 3:0 – either take off a win, or use a points system. If unscrupulous coaches get too crazy, you may see dead rubbers go the way of the Beach World Champs – where heaps of teams were “injured” so didn’t have to play, and got a rest. If a team was that dominant, they could even affect results to allow a weaker team into the final over a stronger opponent.
    Yellow Cards. Players are most excited (excitable) at 2 times – monday morning and friday. Referees are most excited (excitable) at 2 times – monday and friday. A player receiving a card is not just about the player’s actions, but also about the referee’s interpretation. In 2007, I was scoring an U21s match, and the 1st referee gave a coach a yellow card for asking for a time out after the service authorisation. Completely wrong call, completely unjustified card. They can and do happen. Same tournament, at 10pm on Friday, 27 all in the 4th Set, a player tried to dive over a chair to retrieve a ball, didn’t get there, and swore and hit the floor. I chose not to give a card, given that this was very much a “reasonable” emotional expression in my opinion. It also would have ended the match at 29:27. Turns out the player had received a card earlier in the week for something similar. They still lost, but they did qualify for bronze match (the team that won the game would play for Gold medal). Does that guy deserve to sit out the Bronze or Gold game? And did my spare of the moment decision affect the finals results – quite possibly! But I’d make the same call in a heartbeat.
    2 yellows is just too easy to pick up in a tournament with a lot of energy, emotion, and varying referee attitudes. If you do something bad enough to get a red, then definitely sit out (even if it were two yellows in the 1 match – the player should pull their head in).

    Unfortunately, 21s tend not to have playoffs, so I’d say that for U17s and U19s, I do like steve’s idea.

    All Star 7 – 1 representative per state entered in the comp. If you have multiple teams, only players from the top team should be eligible, and only the coach from that team should be involved in the discussion.
    Let me throw out this idea – Should NZ players be eligible?
    Should AIS players be excluded?

  10. Michael said

    Isnt the all star 7 supposed to be the best 7 players in the tournament in that age group? Yes the coach should have been there thats inexcusable but you cant tell me that there was not one vic blue member deserving of that honour. I say why not do the right thing in the first place and identify the top 7 players from any team and make the process about the kids and the tournament. And if it is was true there was not a blue team member deserving then I disagree with putting one on. I know as a coach in under 19’s the players from each team were nominated a day before the actual meeting and every coach had the list of all the players. the next day we met and decided on the kids. Not sure if the same process was done with under 17 boys and if not maybe next year it should.

    • Is it just me, or are most of these problems a product of the sheer scale of AJVC has become? did we have these problems 10, 20 yrs ago when the spot was smaller?

      When things are smaller you tend to work together to get to a better result and not squabble over things that really don’t have that much to do with volleyball at all. Incidentally, you also limit the experience to the best quality people in terms of players, coaches, officials administrators etc.

      Make the things smaller or split it up into individual age group events hosted at different times in different places and i reckon a lot of these problems would go away.

      • KJ said

        Yes we did have these, and more, problems when the tournament was smaller 10, 20, 30 years ago. Keep it big, make it bigger! It is definitely supported by the majority of players, who like to play in big events eg AVJC & Schools Cup. If these weren’t good and popular events they wouldn’t have grown over the years, they would have shrunk.

        Some states that were once very good at Juniors have chosen the wrong path and decreased their numbers of teams, therefore decreased their numbers of developing athletes at the best Junior tournament in Australia. Unfortunately it means they will continue to move backwards.

        Sure there are things to fix with the tournament but let’s not get carried away with problems and throw the baby out with the bathwater. Focus on the great attributes of these fantastic tournaments and continue to build and improve. There is no doubt that the standard of playing, coaching and even refereeing has continued to improve over the years. Keep these tournaments big, strong and healthy.

  11. Kris said

    Agree with Ed’s comments about the U23/U21 age groups in an AJVC.
    Also in the long term I think it will contract the “larger” pool of players that are interested or want to play highly competitive volleyball. Another downside is that with the increased lack of interest associated with the contracting player pool, a similar lack of interest by players will be paralleled in AVL.

    I agree with Ezra’s comments on net heights…all should be at 2.24 and 2.43 at this level of competition. If there is a need for players to “understand and feel” the way a volleyball should be hit down into the court then use lower net heights in your training, working your way up, or just get some of those insanely tall kids to jump! I don’t think the low net hieghts does them any justice.

    As for the yellow cards, StevenB must have had blinkers on during the last AJVC:
    “I haven’t seen any poor behaviour by players or coaches which would warrant such a rule, so I don’t see it as solving any particular problem.”
    I saw four yellow cards go out in the last AJVC and three were definitely warranted, particularly the one given to the Qld U21 coach. I think if your actions warrant a card then you get a card, and as Stan said, if “you are silly enough to get another one, then you’re obviously a slow learner and need some time to sit outside and think about your actions”.

    Though I am not so sure about the fact that we should receive a card for protesting a referee’s decision and having our protest rejected. I think we should have the chance to protest without penalty.

    And as for the Vic U17 team issue, leaving your accomodation after the scheduled start time demonstrates a high level of incompetence and negligence by the teams coaching and management, even if there were issues with traffic! The fact that the match was ready to start after the official protocol and the Vic team had still failed to show up, should mean that the Qld team should win by forfiet (3 sets to 0)as played by the FIVB rules. There is no “10 minute” waiting period to forfiet a set and then another one after another “10 minutes”. And I don’t think there should be in this tournament. So I don’t agree with U17M Fact File’s point 3 above.

    In some major events overseas, they may wait a short period of time if they know a team is running late or there are mitigating circumstances that prevent them from arriving at the scheduled start time. But that happens if the organisers are contacted before the scheduled start time and who can say for sure that the Vic Coach or manager even did that? There are so many rumours…

    And after reading the tournament regulation 8.1 (yes they are still up on the web), it’s not very clear or definitive about what to do for “forfieting” teams. It starts out talking about the minimum number of players in a team and injuries w.r.t playing commitment in the first paragraph. The second paragraph then follows on with expelling a team for failing to meet its playing commitment. Is this regulation targeting team numbers for a tournament or on a game by game situation??
    Reading the second paragraph alone would get Vic expelled from the tournament but the first paragraph tells me that the whole regulation is more about minimum team numbers rather than just targeting forfieting teams.

    I think the tournament regulations need to be reviewed and 8.1 reworded or a new regulation added to reflect penalties suitable for the situation like the Vic U17 example this year. And as for a fine of $50…..too little! thats’ the same as a uniform violation

    • StevenB said

      Regarding having blinkers, not quite, I didn’t see all the matches at the Nationals. If those cards were deserved then good but I’m not sure all yellow cards given are always deserved. Just ask the Vic. Captain in the U19 final.

      Scenario for you, two teams are getting too excited through the net, both captains are warned to tell the teams to settle down. A while later a player is over excited after a winning rally, bang he gets a yellow card, possibly wasn’t even involved in the first incident. No rude gestures or offensive language used, just a bit of in your face take that shouting. (No animals were harmed either) This scenario did actually happen.

      As a coach I don’t want a player missing a match because of a second yellow in the tournament.

      We hope the referees know how to avoid giving out cards. What if the referee knew the player already had a card in a previous match, would he want that knowledge hanging over his decision making? A second yellow becomes more like a red and yellow. Hardly a fair sentence for being overly excited about a kill.

    • StevenB said

      I agree the Yellow Card for lodging a protest is excessively harsh. Maybe a Time Delay Yellow is fair to deter frivolous protests. The time delay yellow is at least a team penalty and wont see a coach expelled from a subsequent match.

  12. Sally B said

    What if you were allowed to select two U23 players to play in your U21 State Team. Similar to Olympic Football where they have a U23 age group and two senior players are selected to play to boost the team.

    Alot of the time the U21 teams struggle to find a good 9th and 10th player to boost a team. This would also boost this age group as well.

    Just another spin on the age group debate.

    I believe that net heights for U17’s should be set at 2.24 and 2.43 at this level of competition.

    As for the team arriving late – Luckily the Championships didnt start on the Saturday 4 July as what should have been a 30 minute ride from the airport for us took 2.5 hours due to an accident on the Gateway Bridge. Juggling two venues did not always guarantee that you knew where any team was on any particular day either. It is a lesson learnt by many – and from the responses it seems that noone has ever been late for a national junior champs game…ever!!!

  13. Steve said

    “the relative ignorance most volleyball players, coaches and yes even referees”

    Much has been said in here about the relative inexperience of many referees at the tournament. If you are aware of the fact that some referees are ignorant of the non-card warning available to them or may get flustered and jump to the card sanction in error then you must also recognise the possibility that a player would be given a yellow card when it was not warranted. Thus it follows that someone who has paid thousands of dollars to attend the tournament may miss a game and potentially a final because of that same card.

    “Giving it all and playing your best, especially from the heart does not excuse poor or bad behaviour.”

    I agree with this, inappropriate behaviour on the court should be appropriately punished. However the penalty should fit the crime, and missing a final is a far greater penalty than is warranted for a couple of cards. Someone gets kicked out of a game for repeated offenses in one game, i have no qualms with them missing the next one, but two cards over the course of an intense week … it is too much.

    “From your own document that you supplied earlier, it sounds like “your player(s)” have intent. That’s criminal.”

    That’s mildly dramatic, no? The document served to illustrate that mandatory punishments are not an effective deterrent, which was the hypothesis presented in another post.

    The system I would like put in place is as follows:

    1. If a yellow is given in a match then it stands (obviously).
    2. After the match is completed for the purposes of the match suspension the coach of the team can request adjudication from the courtside official as to whether that card should count towards the two card count or not. This is similar to the video review undertaken at most major sporting events.
    3. All players have their account set back to zero after the rounds, effectively meaning a yellow card in a semi final won’t cost a player a spot in the final.

    • Peter said

      I don’t think the referees attending the champs are as inexperienced as you all are suggesting. As one of those referees, I can say that there were internationals supporting state referees and a good mix of National A & AA referees mixed in as well. With such a broad wealth of match experience supported by experienced delegates (all this years were AAA’s and Internationals)means that maybe people were still getting their moneies worth. many were like murph who prepared for the champs. Some of us brought in a large amount of life experience as well (me being over 40 helps)that helps referee in a manner that acknowledges peoples emotional responses to a game situation. We know when to give a yellow card and when to ignore an “emotional response”.

      Most referees are VERY relunctant to give out a card, to anyone, and its not because they don’t know how but because they see the same behaviour in their own home competitions and its accepted there. Its the experienced referees that hand them out and know very well the consequences (after the match) of their actions. they know the expectations in the sport. After talking to a couple of these experienced referees, many feel that they are forced to hand out the cards, not by delegates but by the players or the coaches’ themselves.

      You talk about something being mildly dramatic, both you and Kris have been mildly dramatic. I don’t see the issuing of cards as being equal to mandatory sentences, and I don’t see where this circular arguement is going.

      Everyone has been going on about receiving two cards. So what?!! As you said above, if a card is given in a match then it stands. That’s the way its written down on the scoresheet as well.
      But what about a red card? In AJVC a player or a coach is then gone for 2 games. Not one! But a red card is for offensive conduct and a yellow is for rude or unsportsmanlike behaviour.

      And as a delegate explained to me, there are two things that are non-protestable in Volleyball, the issuing of cards and ball handling. That negates the potential for adjudication from outside sources, and one thing I remember from Sydney a couple of years ago was that there was a very strong push not to have outside interference when it came to issuing cards. I was part of a game where that was an issue.

      Though its a nice idea for the round games to only be subject to the card rule, I think that that indiviuals have to accept the consequences of their actions.

  14. devo said

    I think every one has had a chance to have a say. It’s been an interesting topic, but it’s time to close off the comments.

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