Around the Net Shots
I attended a high spirited clash of regional high school volleyball powers this past week. To be sure about two things, not all net sports are the same, and I prefer tennis to volleyball by a wide margin. Having said that, the games were fun and the student sections were animated. One thing that bothered me as a tennis player was the volleyball rule about not hitting certain angles to get over the net. A volleyball net has antennae sticking up that the ball cannot touch. In volleyball, the ball cannot go around the net, but the ball cannot even go over the portion of the net that lies outside of the court’s lines. There must be reasons for this, but I have to think that volleyball is missing out on a lot of imaginative and exciting plays by stifling how one team can get the ball into the court being defended by the other. Consider these shots:
Why would a sport not want to add those type of options to one’s defense or attack?
Adapting the Backhand Overhead
If solely from the point of view of surprise, I think employing some version of the backhand overhead to either defend against shots that seemingly make it past a player or as an unexpected offensive attack would be good for volleyball. As a sport, virtually every volleyball team tries to execute the same game plan and strategy. It just comes down to who has taller or higher jumping players. Has conventional wisdom won out to such a point in volleyball that potentially effective avenues of attack are ignored or shunned? Volleyball could stand to add a little heterodox variety.
Incorporating a backhanded spike or backhanded defensive layout into volleyball could not hurt anything could it? At a minimum, it would give the defensive players one more thing to try to anticipate.