Archive for the 2010 Girls 13U Red Category

Triple Ball Rant & Demonstrational Video

Posted in 2010 Boys 14U Black, 2010 Girls 13U Black, 2010 Girls 13U Red, General Team News on November 27, 2009 by DurhamAttack

I know there are mixed reactions to the introduction of Triple Ball in Ontario. As a member of the OVA committee responsible for 11-16U, that introduced Triple Ball, I have heard both sides of the coin from parents and coaches.  We are doing this to maximize the development of all of our younger athletes.  And I can tell you that some of my fellow committee members are amongst the most respected coaches in the country, with amazing track records at developing athletes.  I’m happy to provide just a Club and parent perspective on things.

Let’s face it – Canada is not yet a world volleyball power. And to change this we need, amongst other things, to improve our skills. As a parent who has gone through 14u seasons with two children, I’ve seen the development of our younger players hampered by their inability to do serve receive at a young age. It is a difficult skill that takes a few years to develop. Looking at statistics from scoresheets, much more than half of the potential rallies end when the serve is not passed well enough to allow a setter to set and a hitter to hit. Which impacts not only the team on offense, but also the team trying to develop its defense.

Case in point – at a 14U boys tournament this past weekend our opponents in the first two matches passed so poorly that they only got a handful of points. That match, the way it was structured, did them no good for player development and it did our team no good.  I don’t think anyone felt good about the outcome afterwards, from a development point of view.

Thus, following in the footsteps of many other countries who perform better internationally than us, we are modifying the structure of the game (but not the rules) to promote better development of our athletes. Some countries have coaches serve at this age, to promote rallies. Some let players serve but disallow overhand serves. Others use a game with fewer players.  Leveraging work done by Alberta Volleyball we are introducing Triple Ball this year in 13U Girls and 14U Boys to better promote the development of fundamental skills.

As a parent of a 14U athlete that will play Triple Ball, I realize that they may consider this ‘beneath them’. Believe me, I hear about it.  Yet when I watch them play I see a very low percentage of good enough passes to allow their setter to exercise their offense, and therefore teach the athletes the fundamental skills we want them to learn. Even the best 14U boys teams in the province this past weekend did not pass well enough to run most of their plays ‘in system’.  They just tried to get the ball up so someone could get it back across the net.

The current structure at that age level is not a scenario that maximizes our athletes’ development.  The intent of Triple Ball is that:

  • Players learn proper, fundamental passing skills.
  • The ball is passed well enough that teams can play “three-hit volleyball”, which requires a passer to pass sufficiently well, a setter to set, and a hitter to hit. Everyone learns.
  • Rallies are promoted, so everyone gets more touches on the ball.
  • The defense defending against this attack is developed as equally as the team that develops its offense.  If the attacking team cannot hit, the defending team cannot learn to defend.

If the initial ball is not passed well enough then everyone suffers – the setter cannot develop setting skills, the hitters cannot hit, and the defense cannot learn blocking, positioning and digging skills.  The Triple-Ball tournaments will benefit all teams, whether they feel they can pass or not.

To help players and parents understand the modified game, the OVA has produced a Triple-Ball video with the assistance of the Ryerson University womens team.

Larry Skelly

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