GorT normally covers kids playing sportsand trust your Czar on this one, but he has a cannon ready to fire on thatbut the Czar quite by chance found himself attending a regional volleyball tournament over the weekend. No, the Czar was not participating as this tournament was basically all teenage girls playing; he was there purely in the capacity of a dirty old man.
Look, when the Czar was younger we played volleyball with the head of a goat, and the rules were quite different. Only the serving team could score a point. A botched play by the serving team resulted in the ball being turned over to the other team, and they became the serving team. Today, every play results in a point for either team. If the serving team causes the far side to make a mistake, point for the serving team. If the serving team blows a serve by hitting it into the head of a girl in the front of the net, point for the receiving team.
The Czar was told that this makes the games go much faster. Yeah, we can see that: the score goes up to 25 points for the first two rounds, so if the final score was 25-22, the Czar can assure you the ball was served exactly 47 times that game. Everything results in a point for somebody.And we have complained about this before on this site numerous times, but everything also results in the girls going Yaaayyyy! cartoonishly and racing toward the center of their side of the net to group hug. Score a point? Yaaayyy-hug. Other team knocks the ball into the crowd? Yaaayyy-hug. Team calls a time out? Yaaayyy-hug. Judge falls off his step ladder? Yaaayyy-hug. No kidding.
After the 400th-or-so eyeroll from the Czar, one of the team moms turned and apologized, admitting it gets to be a little much, especially during a tournament when the girls play something like 37 games in a row. But it has a purpose, she whispered.
Evidentlyand this will be of little surpriseteenage girls basically all hate each other. And years ago, the coaches realized that if Lanie had a bad dream that Lexi was drawing hearts around Toms name, and everyone knows that Tom is going out with Amanda, although Lanie would totally take Tom away from Amanda if Amanda moved away tomorrow, that over-biting b-word, Lanie would deliberately not back up Lexi on the next eight games. Which of course would force Delaney to serve the ball into the back of Lanie’s head because Caitlin sighed at Lexi because Amanda isn’t that nice. And so the team loses.
But if you force the girls to Yaaayyy-hug after every single freaking thing that happens, roughly once every twenty seconds, something magical happens. Eventually, the entire team pretends to like each other and support each other, and soon everyone is playing like clockwork because they don’t want to be excluded from the Yaaayyy-hug, no matter how badly they screwed it up. It’s a lot like how the Obama administration functions.So they do this a lot. The Czar means a lot. And the tournament had forty courts of volleyball playing, so all you can hear is Yaaayyys and whistles blowing, like some insanely self-indulgent Carnivale minus steel drums.
And if the serving team scored right off the serve (an ace), the girls on the serving team all get together and do this foot-stompy dance like some bubblegum haka dance while the receiving team yaaayyy-hugs the girl who totally screwed up. This is very surreal.
Also, the concession stand served really good chicken-fried rice.
In between the yaaayyy-hugs and the ka mate aces, the entire event is like some bizarre-world television show that you cannot stop watching. Yaaayyys, hugs, haka dances, whistles blowing, and shoving spoonfuls of fried rice into your mouth. The team mom leaned in and said “:You get used to it, with no sense of irony.
The Czar, who did not know her, asked how and when this happens. Sensing our disbelief, she explained that other sports do it, too. Like football.Really? So when Roethlisberger hands the ball off to Blount, and Blount gets creamed running right up the middle for a gain of two yards, the Steelers rush together, say Yaaayyy and jump into a group hug, and the Ravens get a point for stopping them? And then, after a field goal, the Steelers clap hands thrice, stomp their feet twice, and point their fingers skyward and say Ace! We seem to have missed that.
The Czar knows when volleyball got this nuts. And GorT will have a more detailed explanation in the days to follow about how girls volleyball has become a cut-throat, political pressure cooker, but this all happened right around the same time that the Girl Scouts started giving out patches for having a birthday. So you know, the girls don’t all start hating each other.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.