Sorry I’m late. After landing in China, I have discovered that I have zero access to my blog due to the Chinese internet censorship laws. I’m not sure of the exact parameters of the censorship, but there are several websites that I know of that have been completely banned all across the country, including: Blogspot, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and I sure many others.
My e-mail address is still operational, however. So hopefully with a little help from my big sister, Milou, I’ll be able to get the word out there while I’m out here. Unfortunately, while I can’t connect to facebook or my blog, I can only see questions that are emailed to me directly. I apologize if that means I miss one this weekend or next. I only have one question in front of me at the moment, so let’s have at er.
What was your most successful experience in arguing an issue or point with a beach volleyball official? What would you recommend to other beach volleyball players about how to succeed in arguing points/issues with the officials?
Referees can be very stubborn. Whether they’re in the right or in the wrong, they will seldom give in to complaints. But it’s not just coincidence, refs are taught to be this way. If one were to give in every time a player contested a play, then the whole game would be spent arguing instead of actually playing.
I don’t think I have any successful experiences arguing with officials. I only have experiences that are slightly less unsuccessful than others. I’m not one of the most controversial players, I tend to try to settle bad calls by winning the next point. The most I remember discussing anything with an official in recent history happened in the Cayman Islands, but not until after the match had ended.
During the match, an opponent tried to play a shot just over my block down the line. He didn’t shoot it high enough, I saw it, and threw it back to the sand with one hand. I was promptly called for an open handed tip. Needless to say, I was rather unhappy. I let the ref know, and in his opinion, I was attacking so his call stood. I let it go and we finished the match. Afterwards, once the adrenaline had stopped pumping, he and I discussed it calmly. I was confident that since I was blocking an attack, my block couldn’t be an attack. He saw my point and we took it to the referee supervisor. Apparently both our points were valid, but had I protested it, I would likely have won since it was more of a reaction play than an actual attack. Oh well, too late to change it now.
I don’t recommend arguing with officials unless you’re absolutely sure you’re right. Read the rulebook inside and out, then you’ll know which calls are even allowed to be argued. If it’s any sort of judgement call, the ref wins. It doesn’t hurt, however, to remind an official to keep a high standard in terms of setting. Don’t yell and scream that you’re opponents hands are garbage, just calmly ask to take a closer look on the next play. More often than not, the next time it happens, the whistle will blow. It’s not necessarily turning a ref in your favour, just helping them to stay focused. In my personal opinion, if you’re spending all your time arguing, you aren’t spending enough time winning. It’s your call which you’d prefer.