Developing volleyball skills at Barrhead Elementary

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For the uninitiated spectator at a mini-tournament at Barrhead Elementary School (BES) it might have looked like the sport the teams were playing was volleyball, but they would have been wrong.

What they were really watching was hybrid of volleyball called tripleball.

That is how BES teacher Brent Wierenga explained the sport that three Pembina Hills Public Schools (PHPS) were playing — Swan Hills, BES and Fort Assiniboine — at the first of three Grade 6 mini-tournaments hosted Oct. 31.

“At this age it’s all about skills development and to do that you really have a game and rules in place that encourage a rally. However, what often can happen is that there is one player on a team that is just amazing at serving and all that happens is their team just gets point after point and as a result the kids don’t get a chance to develop other skills,” he said, adding the opposite is also possible where players are not able to get the ball into play because they haven’t developed the proper serving technique.

To help alleviate this problem Volleyball Canada developed a three-prong protocol that starts with the server who attempts to put the ball into play. After the conclusion of the play from the resulting rally, a game official, coach or volunteer then tosses the ball over the net to the receiving team. This process is then repeated, but with the ball being tossed to the serving team. During this cycle players are not allowed to switch positions.

Due to the popularity of the sport, BES was able to create three separate boys and girls teams, with each playing in one mini-tournament. At the end of the tournaments Wierenga said the coaching staff would create a BES all-star team that will play in one final mini-tournament.

“It has been going really well so far,” he said, adding they had only been practicing for one week. “The kids are really having fun and they have really improved over the course of the week.”

And for those who were keeping score, BES also did well on the win-loss record with the boys winning four games and tying one. On the girls side, BES went three and one.

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