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A look at volleyball in 1972
October 7, 2013Huntington North High School
A look at volleyball in 1972
Gib Young | Sunday, October 6, 2013
Earlier this high school volleyball season a match occurred that makes an interesting footnote in the history of Huntington North volleyball.
The earliest records of volleyball as a competitive team sport that I have found are from 1972. That year (1972) the Huntington North volleyball team won its match against Fort Wayne Snider by an 11-15, 15-10, 15-11 score. Until the 2013 match between the two schools, 1972 was the last time a Huntington squad won a match against Snider.
True, the schools have only played 10 matches over the intervening years but Snider had won them all — until 2013. The schools started playing annually again in 2007. In 2008 and 2009 Coach Jamie Craft’s team took Snider to the edge before losing in five games.
High school volleyball has come a long way since 1972 and the game has changed. In the 1970s and early 1980s it was a game of disciplined “pass, set and bump” where touches on the ball did not allow for any margin of error. Today’s game is one of a wide open offense and hectic covering defense with more “generous” officiating.
One of the more interesting aspects of the earlier matches that will bring back memories to the “veterans” of those days and seem totally confusing to those who have played the game in the last 25 years is that for a number of years volleyball was a game that had a time limit. Into the mid-’80s state high school associations could have games played to “15, win by two” or have the winner being the team that was two or more points ahead at the end of eight minutes of timed play.
The scorekeeper was also the timer and at the moment of contact of the serve the clock would be turned on. It would be turned off at the referee’s whistle stopping play. Even in those days of only allowing a point to be scored by the serving team, normally all games (sets now) could be won on the 15th point within the eight minutes. It sure made some exciting moments when a long rally with the clock ticking down could mean a sudden victory or a second chance lost. Huntington North seldom played in games that went the eight-minute limit. However, the 1978 squad of Coach Kim Ryan Schmidt had four such games. In fact, Wabash took the sectional that year by a 15-6, 16-18, 10-13 score.
Now matches are to 25 points and a point is awarded to the serving or receiving team. It would be interesting to see how a timed game would affect today’s style and matchups. The differences of such games would probably be noticed more to the fans than the players first because it is still volleyball and the basics of the game have changed little.
Gib Young is a member of the Huntington County Historical Society.