Wrapped up three nights of PA duties in the Jungle this week for IUPUI Jaguars volleyball. They went 1-2 this week, dropping a heartbreaking match to IPFW in five sets on Tuesday, followed by a three-set blowout vs. Oral freakin’ Roberts Friday night. But last night, the Jags rebounded and held off a spirited Southern Utah squad in three very evenly matched sets.
I’m hardly a natural at volleyball announcing, but I’d say my comfort level with the sport is miles ahead of where I was a year ago. Understanding the rules? Well, getting there. The one rule I really and truly do NOT understand is no one—and I mean NO ONE—is allowed to see the starting lineups until one minute before the match begins. Some officials are such schoolmarms about it they were actually blocking my view of the lineups as they were being submitted by the coaches. They tell me it’s a “point of emphasis” with the NCAA.
To the NCAA I say: This is one of the dumbest rules ever.
Given my role with the program, I’m not an official scorekeeper, but I’m part of the “table crew.” I’m not some blogger or some random fan or spy trying to get an edge. MY job, madam and monsieur officials, is to keep the trains running on time. Given my role in the mix, the sooner I get these lineups, the better so we can keep things on schedule. But if you want to be the most conscientious hall monitor ever, fine. Whatever. But then we start late. If you have a problem with that, take it up with yourself and your dumb, little rule. And yes, it is a dumb, little rule. Rules for the sake of being omnipotent are extraneous and wasteful.
And only in volleyball are we so austere. In soccer, the lineups are usually up to the press box about 10 – 15 minutes prior to kickoff. Basketball? Five minutes is the cutoff. In both cases, it gives stat crews and other personnel to get the information locked into the books so we can keep accurate stats and information. But volleyball? One minute.
I’d love for an NCAA official to explain to me the logic behind that rule.