Decisive rally scoring gets spiked for season Rule Howard teams used wasn't approved by state

September 25, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Rally scoring, which awards a point on every serve in the fifth game, has been used twice this season in matches in Howard County. It should not have been.

Volleyball officials were told before the school year that rally scoring would be used this season in Maryland. Most high schools in the nation, as well as colleges and USA Volleyball, use rally scoring.

However, the state volleyball committee never approved the new procedure, and most coaches in the state were not informed about it.

"All the officials were told, but schools were never informed, and it was never changed," said Ned Sparks, executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association. "Obviously, there was a [communication] breakdown."

Added Sparks: "The national federation publishes the rules, and the rules allow states to adopt rally scoring. Unfortunately, the officials got word that this was a rule change. It was a possibility, but the state committee never made the change."

Sparks said yesterday he received calls from coaches in Montgomery and Cecil counties that were first told about the change right before a fifth game. Those coaches objected to using rally scoring, because they had never been told about it.

Some coaches, however, were told about the change. When coaches in Howard County met earlier this season, they were told about the new rule. Third-ranked River Hill has been involved in two five-game matches, and lost to both No. 1 Centennial last Friday and No. 8 Glenelg Tuesday. Sparks said the results from those matches will still count.

The state volleyball committee is to meet Oct. 5, and Sparks said whether or not to use rally scoring next season will be discussed.

Pub Date: 9/25/98

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