Rally-point scoring a good change for spikers | VailDaily.com

Rally-point scoring a good change for spikers

I’ll be the first to admit it.

I don’t know anything about volleyball. I don’t really like volleyball very much.

Having covered Battle Mountain and the Vail Mountain School for six years, the only two times I’ve really enjoyed the sports were the 1998 Huskies and the Gore Rangers of the last two years. Of course, covering teams, which went to state, makes all the difference.

But for the most part, I just don’t get it. Why does a substitute, coming off the bench, get high-fives from all her teammates? All she did was stand up, for cripes sakes.

That all changed Saturday when I saw the new, rally-scoring system in its full glory in Battle Mountain’s five-game thriller against Palisade. (Eagle Valley fans put down your phones. Yes, that was a thriller, too. Congratulations and, “Go Devils.”)

Now, this rally-point system is fun stuff, enough to turn a bored reporter into a fan sitting on the edge of his seat.

First, stating the obvious, every play counts. None of this sideout, sideout, sideout and we’re-going-to-be-here-until-next-Friday. Now, volleyball has a tempo, keeping the fans and players involved more deeply.

Then, there’s the serve. Under the old system, when you hit the net or went long, it wasn’t the end of the world. You just go out, get a sideout and get the ball back. Under rally play, there is a whole new dimension of strategy when it comes to the serve. A missed serve is just a gift-wrapped point to the other team and just demoralizing to your team and your fans. You could literally hear the agony Saturday when either team flubbed a serve. This makes for good theater.

Rally point also determines the better team. Had Saturday’s Battle Mountain-Palisade game been played by the old rules, given the way the Huskies started so sluggishly, the Bulldogs would have won in a yawner 15-3, 15-5. Instead, it was a thriller and the Huskies were the better team in the end.

And, with regard to rally-point scoring, it’s about time. It’s how the game is played internationally, at college and on the club level. For players with college aspirations, you might as well get used to it now.

If that weren’t enough, it seems all four local teams seemed to like it Saturday. All four teams won on the same day, the first time that has ever happened. Way to go Saints, Gore Rangers, Devils and Huskies.

Battle Mountain Invitational

Today’s the Battle Mountain Invitational, the first home meet in the Huskies’ cross-country program’s history.

“I think everybody’s excited about it,” Huskies coach Mark Parish said. “The athletes are into it. The parents are into it and the community is behind it.”

In the dual with Rifle, the runners will start near the soccer field, make their way into the hills and then onto the Willow Creek Par-3. Two loops makes a 5K race.

The girls start at 4:30 p.m., followed by the boys at 5:15 p.m. At 6 p.m., there’s an open 5K, which is a fund-raiser for the program. It costs just $15, so come on out and show your stuff.

Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at cfreud@vaildaily.com.

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