What Just Happened? – How Conflicts Really Start

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For more explanations of what is really happening in the game click What Just Happened Part 1-9 and for explanations of great play click Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

In international volleyball there are (mercifully) few moments of real conflict on the court. The availability of video review through the challenge system defuses most of the events that heighten emotions, but there are still a few moments when things get a tiny bit out of hand. For example, in this scene from a VNL match.

It is fairly straightforward. The player on the far side gets the block, glares through the net provoking the opponent and it progresses rapidly from there. The referee does a great job giving two straight red cards and that is the end of it. Not really, it keeps going for a bit longer but I cut that out. As I said pretty straightforward.

To learn more about teaching Middle Blockers good reading habits, click here.

Now take a look at the rally before.

Nothing much happens here, except the spiker who scores has a longer look under the net (and says something under his breath, but we can’t see that here). The blocker is clearly riled up but has no outlet available for his heightened emotion.

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Now go back to the first clip. I’ll wait. Ready? Ok… You will notice that the blocker is not glaring at the spiker he just blocked, but at the player who provoked him in the previous rally. Even as he is receiving his red card, he is pointing to the original player who incidentally wisely stays at the back of court pretending to help the floor wiper.

When we do see conflict during the match, what we see is rarely that moment that it starts. It has normally been rumbling for a while.

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