After staying up a bit too late on Friday night, I dragged my butt out of bed Saturday morning to take Allie to her volley ball game. She had to be there at 8:30, but her game did not start until 10am, so I dropped her off and went home to take a shower before returning. Coffee was my best friend.
As I was driving home, Allie called my cell phone.
"Mom, can you be a line judge for the game?"
"ME?? Are you serious? Can't they find someone who is more awake than me?"
"No, they can't find anyone else, and if we don't find someone we'll have to forfeit the game."
Sigh. "Yes, I'll do it - but see if they can't find someone between now and then.."
Well, no they did not. So, I drank more coffee, showered, and went back to the school to perform my line judging duties.
I walked in and the referee had one other mother there as well. He took us both aside.
"Have either of you ever been a line judge before?"
"Uh.. no." (This from both of us.)
He sighed. Really. He did. "OK, if the ball hits any part of the line, it is considered 'in'. If it is outside the line, it is 'out'." Really? I would've never thunk it. :) lol
BUT! That is not all there is to it! There are hand signals. He proceeded to demonstrate the hand signals we would need to use. If it was in-bounds, we were to just point both hands straight down in front of us, palms facing the floor. If it were out of bounds, then we had to raise our hands to our faces, palms facing our face, fingers straight up. If it was touched before it went out of bounds, we were to raise our hands in the same fashion as out of bounds, but we were to put our hands together and "swipe" one hand.
We were to also watch the ball as it passes over the net - there are sticks sticking up on each side of the net that indicated the "play" area - the ball had to go over inside of the sticks or it was considered out of bounds as well.
Another responsibility was to watch the feet of the person serving. If her feet touched the line, we were to point at the line with one hand and wave our other hand over our head until the ref saw us. He said he might not see us right away, but to just keep doing it until he noticed. Yep. Really. Thank goodness none of the girls did this while on my side of the court. Or.. if they did I didn't see it. (Probably the more likely thing.)
Ummmm.. yeah, I remember the "touch" out signal, but I forget when I'm supposed to use it. But I didn't ask. I didn't want to look like a complete moron. :) I did eventually remember.
"During "time outs" walk over to where I am and keep me company." (He was really a very nice guy and very patient with us.)
The girls were still warming up, so the other line judge and I were huddled and talking. We decided on which one of us would be where.. and assumed our positions. There were several times that I caught myself just watching the game and forgetting that I was supposed to be watching the line. But then I would remember and start paying attention again.
I did do the signals wrong a couple of times, but it was forgiven. It was a case where the palms of my hands were facing the wrong direction, but I had the signal right except for that.
There were times when I started to clap and cheer for Allie's team, then I would stop thinking that I'm supposed to be impartial... wasn't I? Were there rules against the line judges cheering for one team or the other?
During one of the time outs, while we were hanging out with the ref, he asked if either of us had ever played volley ball before. Yeah, me.. but just for fun. And the rules seem to have changed.
At one of the prior volley ball games, my mom and I were there and she asked me some questions about the scores and what they play to.. and I answered. Based upon my prior knowledge. The teams only get a point if they serve the ball and it is missed by the other team. The game is played until one of the teams gets 15 points, but they have to win by 2 points, so if they have 15 and the other team has 14, they have to score one more point before they are the winners. This is how I was taught to play. Aren't those the rules?
Well, now.. any time a ball is missed, the opposing team gets a point. Huh? Weird. Our team serves, the ball hit the net, and the other team got a point. Bogus, in my opinion. They did nothing to earn that point. So, then the score went to 16 - 4 (or something like that) and they were still playing. Hmmm. Guess they play to a higher score. The game was over when one team reached 25 points, so that's the new "winning" score.
So, I expressed my lack of knowledge about the current rules of the games and he told me that, "Yeah, they decided the games were taking too long to play, so they made it where you get a point every time the opposing team misses. You do not have to be serving to get the point. They felt this made for faster games."
Yet.. they play best out of 3 games. So, my thought on the matter is why not play ONE game to determine the winner instead of 3 "fast" games? Oh, well, they didn't ask me. :)
I did manage to stop a few balls that were flying in my direction - pretty quick reflexes, if I do say so myself. Heh. That's right. I'm good. heehee. I also managed not to make any huge mistakes despite my wandering mind.
So, my duty as a line judge has been fulfilled. I am sure that I did such an excellent job that they will ask me again. :)