How do you score middle school volleyball games?
Quite different from your usual questions, Dave, but can you explain how to score a middle school volleyball match that's part of tournament play? I ask because I believe you have a daughter who plays volleyball, so I figure you might have had to figure this one out...
That's what comes of me Twittering about things, I guess. You're right, my middle school daughter is indeed on the school volleyball team and I have indeed been dragooned more than once to score a match, even as I continually puzzle over the complex scoring and score pages that are used.
On the other hand, I've got 90% of it down and why not share that here, so you can learn about this arcane stuff too?
Okay. Ready? Roll up your sleeves, this is pretty complicated.
Volleyball is scored with a special score book that's a complex grid with a bunch of specific areas and sections. Here's an overview:
That's the basic grid in which you are going to score the game. The left side is one team, the right side the other, and in the middle is a vertical score tracking table. Let's zoom in to each section so we know what's there.
This is the left side. Down the left you write the number of each of the starting players: it has to be in the same order as they're going to be on the court, so that the "I" slot is the first server, "II" is the second, and so on. In this case, you can see #10 is going to serve first, and the little "c" next to the 13? That indicates that they're the team captain.
In the middle of the grid is a place to track score: you simply cross off each number as the team scores, with the winner the first to get to 25 points and simultaneously 2-points ahead of the competition (in other words, 25 v 24 is not a win, but 26 v 24 is):
In middle school volleyball, each serve produces a point (in pro-level volleyball a team must have a successful serve before subsequent serves can score a point). Each point is written on the line of the particular player, and when there's a turnover, write a "--" for the player who lost the point and then write the sequential point value for the other team on their side of the score grid.
Here's a full and complete grid after a game:
The team scored on the left won the match, with 25 points. The team on the right scored 15 points. Why are some scores written in gray while others are written in red? Standard convention: the second time through the positions you switch pencils, then the third time you go back to a regular pencil. Just a notational convention, not a huge big deal.
Let me show a close-up of one side of the score pad, since there's more to notice:
Look along the bottom. See "Subs" and 1, 2, and 3 crossed out? That's how you keep track of the number of substitutions each team has during a match. They are allowed a max of 18 total, though in my experience 4-6 is more typical!
Each time there's a player substitution, the number of the player departing the court is crossed out and the number of the new player is noted. In "I" you can see that player #40 substituted for player #44. As is typical for middle school games, there are a ton of turn-overs, so it's quite common to see a point, turnover, point for the other team, turnover, back and forth.
Note that player #33 was the star of the match: they scored points 20-25, winning the match entirely.
One more thing to note: when there's a time-out, you write the score at that point in the match on the small box near the top. For this team, there was only one time-out and the score was 10-16. There's a diagonal line written across a score box that shows where in the match we were when the time-out happened, but my impression is that's optional.
So that's the basics of scoring middle school volleyball. You keep track of players, timeouts, substitutions, who scored and what they scored. Tricky, eh?
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