“There’s no better angle, for sure, than the one from behind.”
Chris ‘Geeter’ McGee, The Net Live podcast.
The angle ‘Geeter’ is referring to here is the best angle for watching a volleyball match. As all volleyball ‘experts’ know, the best position from which to view a volleyball match is from behind the court. When I go to a match, I will always head to the back of the court. During training, I will always wander in that direction. That is the view I, and ‘Geeter’, feel gives us the best view of what is really happening and therefore provides us with the greatest understanding.
However, this view is not complete. It provides the whole width of the court, but does not show the subtleties of depth, especially watching on video. It is essentially a two dimensional view of a three dimensional game. It is the best of all possible two dimensional views, but still not complete. From time to time it is very valuable for a coach to check out a different view to improve his understanding of the game. Despite these weaknesses, we all agree that it is the best view.
But is it really the best? The market says no. When actually buying tickets for the biggest events, the tickets at floor level, behind the court are the cheapest and slowest selling. The most expensive, fastest selling tickets are those along the sidelines, closest to the middle, in the first level. So while volleyball ‘experts’ agree that the best place to understand the game is in one place, volleyball ‘fans’ understand that the best place to enjoy volleyball is a completely different place. The view from the side definitely gives a much better impression of the dynamism and athleticism of the game.
So when hear that the TV coverage of volleyball is bad because of the camera angles, specifically the lack of a camera behind the court, I am not so sure. I personally miss the level of understanding that I might normally have, but maybe I am in the minority, and maybe TV producers shouldn’t cater to my needs anyway.
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