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Madison Area Volleyball Network Message Board › A Few Words About "Intermediate" Level Volleyball

A Few Words About "Intermediate" Level Volleyball

Bob M.
user 46589842
Group Organizer
Madison, WI
One of our newer members yesterday posted this Group Review of our Meetup:

A nice group of people...but don't show up as a friendly soul with anything less than solid volleyball skills...even if you are a competitive soul. The group founder let me know I was not good enough for Sunday intermediate league.

So I thought I should respond, because I don't want anyone to feel intimidated about coming to our groups. Being a volleyball Nazi is by far the least appealing part of running a group like this, but I do feel obliged to protect the intermediate-level of play for our intermediate-level groups, because most intermediate players strongly prefer playing with teammates and opponents of comparable skills. For the "intermediate" level, this means you should be sufficiently skilled to be able to pass and set successfully more often than not, and should play a team-oriented "three hits" game rather than habitually thumping it over on first or second hit.

I know several of our Meetup members who modestly list themselves as rec-level or rec/intermediate, who are actually well on the intermediate side of that line, and are more than welcome at our intermediate-level groups. If someone isn't quite there yet, I approach him/her privately, respectfully, and suggest that he/she might consider attending our separate group for rec/intermediate-level play, which is intended for people who just want to have some fun and/or who would like to develop their skills to a higher level. If I appear to be condescending or patronizing, I apologize and assure you that I am neither. I'm just trying to protect the group.

If you don't know where you might fit in, then just come to some of our groups, and most people get a pretty good sense of where they stand relative to others on the court.  If you're not sure, just ask.

I know this is a sore subject for many players, and I've actually seen groups blow up over this very thing, so if anyone has different/better ideas for how to handle this, please do let me know.  You can email me privately, or post a public reply on our Meetup Message Board.  The one thing I will insist on in our group is that we all treat one another respectfully.
Bob M.
user 46589842
Group Organizer
Madison, WI
Post #: 13
Rick asks: "how does someone become better and reach the intermediate level, if they dont get an opportunity to learn and practice? I believe there has been a recent effort to schedule some "rec level" meetups here, but have any actually taken place with any significant turnout?"

To answer the first question: People get better and develop skills by playing, and we do now have a rec-level group to serve that purpose (in addition to just having fun). To answer the second question: The Sunday-afternoon rec-level group is new, and it does take a little while for groups like these to get a little traction. If I remember correctly, they had two successful weeks ("successful" meaning "enough bodies to play, and people enjoyed it"), and then one week of bad attendance probably due to bad weather. This week it was cancelled due to the holiday. But if this rec group evolves anything like our main Sunday and Thurs groups did last year, the numbers will improve as the weather improves, and as more people learn about it and stop in to try it out.

I see dozens of members of this Meetup who list their skills as rec-level or beginner, and all it takes is about 10 bodies to get a group running, and then just attract a couple more each week. So I look on this as sort of a self-solving problem: If there are enough people at the rec level for our group to have a significant issue discouraging them from attending the intermediate groups, then there are enough to form separate rec-level groups. This new Sunday afternoon group is just the beginning. If numbers support other new rec-level groups, and if people step up to organize them (takes about 5 mins of your time each week), then we will have more opportunities for rec-level v-ballers to play and work on their game.
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