Volleyball Refs....

Volleyball Refs....

Postby Carr » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:54 pm

One thing I must comment on, and get some other opinions from fans on, is the volleyball Reffing. Now- before I say what I want to say, I do appreciate all that the refs do. I know it is a thankless job and there will always be someone complaining about something they do. To anyone reading this who may be a ref, Please consider this my general thank you for your time and dediacation to the sport. I hope that no content in this tread becomes harsh or disrespectful in any way as we discuss this topic.

That being said- as I followed my team and others all the way through regionals I can't help but notice that the games really depended on your ref. *** This is typical in volleyball*** HOWEVER, There were games where lots of lifts were called and games where no lifts were called. Some sets where the wrong team was called in the net and some sets where they were always in the net but not called. (I hate the crossing the center line rule and it seems like certain teams are using it to their advantage, since it is never called anymore. I hope this rule is changed.) I seen lots of simple passing lifts not being called but good quick hands tagged as lifts??? Many times I seen players crossing the service line but never called for a foot foul. Also, one time, at regionals- I even seen a whistle blown for a serve and the opposing team ran in for a time out, which should be a point, not a re-whistle (the ref in this case was very generous in not awarding a point.) Also refs seem to sometimes be confused how to call hits outside, over or into the antenna.

I know that there is much quick decision being made and I appreciate that. However- it seems there sould be more consistancy throughout all games and less dependant on the ref that you get. I believe that part of the game is good clean contact with the ball, without errors and lifts. Sloppy games (or Volleys) annoy me, especially as we get up into districs and regionals. Just wondering if anyone else is seeing the same type of inconsistancy in reffing as I am. As stated before I do not like to harass the ref as they do have a very hard job, but at the same time I do wish they were more like minded and discuss the level they are reffing at ahead of time and agree to make calls accordinly -as a whole.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby Run4Fun2009 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:10 pm

My only addition at the moment in this thread is that I wish there was more consistency throughout the whole season.

Also as a note to all who may read and post on this thread...discuss the topic and keep it clean or it will get locked.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby gameplayer » Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:18 pm

I have always looked at volleyball reffing as probably one of the toughest sports to officiate. An official is relying on line judges, in some cases students, to call 50% of the game. After watching the region 4 tournament I was satisfied with the officiating. First time all year an up official overrulled a bad call by the line judge. I would like to see more of that. Lifts are such a judgement call you are sure to offend someone. I got a kick out of watching a parent from Carrington last Thursday night practically stand the whole game calling everything a lift. Good entertainment! I am thinking you are listening as much as watching when calling lifts. Overall I thought officiating was very good this year.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby wolves65 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:19 pm

agreed, with the overall direction you are going. I feel it has alot to do with the age of the ref. The older refs tend to call more lifts across the board compared to the younger refs. The younger refs let them play a it more and they let the hand tags go. Go to a college game, unless it is really bad they don't call lifts or hand passes. The in the net always seems to go against the defense because they are reaching over the net in the first place. The other thing seems to be from what part of the state they are from. In the west they call the lift more than they do in the east. You are always going to have issues because they call it the way they see it and that is the human factor. As long as they are consistant, good or bad, teams and coaches have to adjust to the style. I think volleyball is one of the hardest sports to call because of the pace of the game. You really need a good crew that covers all angles because you can't see everything and you need good eyes helping.
ONe thing that might help is they give the line judges flags in high school. I have seen a line judge try to make a call but go unnoticed and that never happens in college because the flag gets noticed. They are also the primary judge on the antenna call so you need ones that pay attention.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby Carr » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:52 pm

I agree with both of your comments. Lifts are difficut to call and can be called mosty by the sound they make upon contact. Also the ones that roll up the arm need to be called though... weather they call it a lift or a double contact would be up to them, but should be called in my opinion. You do not see alot of lift calls in college bacause they typically have very clean contact with the ball... that is why they are playing college ball. High School level is differnt, both teams should expect to be called on a lift a few times each game .... they are still learning. Your right, about the line judges as well. I like having an adult that is paying close attention and not some kid in that has ADHD in that spot. I seen lots of good line judges this year. Just to clarify, I don't think the reffing was "bad"..... just inconsistant from game to game. The younger (I'm assunming more inexperienced) refs are the ones that seem to be more hesitant on making the lift calls and stopping play for any reason. I thought they could have been tougher, thats all. :) Thanks for sharing your opinions.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby vballer » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:49 pm

I am mostly satisfied with most of the reffing I have seen this year. However the biggest inconsistency that I see is that more lifts are called in the west than in the east. The eastern schools head out west for the cross over the first weekend, then the Bismarck tournament mid season. Many lifts are called, most are lifts and are correctly called. However we get back home to the east and the rest of the season very few lifts are called unless they are really blatant. In the past with state VB in Minot this was a huge issue for east schools. Do eastern refs go to different "reffing in-services" than their counterparts in the west? I would prefer this be more consistent and call them the same statewide.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby Hinsa » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:34 pm

What I see in the east is that very few lifts are called early in the season and then come tournament time lifts are called with much more regularity. I don't know if that is because there are better officials calling the game at tournaments or if it is a conscious effort to clean up the play at tournament time.

By the way, I have to take exception with the statement that volleyball is one of the toughest sports to officiate. I just can't buy that one. Volleyball officials do not have to be in shape, the pace of the game is just as fast or faster in other sports, you don't have to watch 10 players, or 18 players, or 22 players all at the same time. I just had to respectfully disagree with that statement.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby Run4Fun2009 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:00 pm

[quote="Hinsa"]What I see in the east is that very few lifts are called early in the season and then come tournament time lifts are called with much more regularity. I don't know if that is because there are better officials calling the game at tournaments or if it is a conscious effort to clean up the play at tournament time. [quote]

I will definitely agree with this statement...I don't like that this occurs because with the lifts not being called as often in the season it gives the girls bad habits that come tournament time get exposed. Officials should call it the same way at all times so that this does not occur (also service line calls).
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby VOTCC » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:19 pm

gameplayer wrote:I have always looked at volleyball reffing as probably one of the toughest sports to officiate. An official is relying on line judges, in some cases students, to call 50% of the game. After watching the region 4 tournament I was satisfied with the officiating. First time all year an up official overrulled a bad call by the line judge. I would like to see more of that. Lifts are such a judgement call you are sure to offend someone. I got a kick out of watching a parent from Carrington last Thursday night practically stand the whole game calling everything a lift. Good entertainment! I am thinking you are listening as much as watching when calling lifts. Overall I thought officiating was very good this year.


You must not have seen all the matches at the region 4 tourney because the line judges(doesn't need to be plural),were over ruled at least 6 times & should have been a few more times. Ultimately, I can't say it affected the outcome of any of the matches ( which is a good thing). Hard time buying a tough sport to officiate compared to others (basketball & hockey both a bit tougher, or umping behind the plate).
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby VOTCC » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:27 pm

Also wanted to say, agree with most of the posts, inconsistency is always an issue when it comes to officiating, & always will be (everybody has a different way of looking at or registering events). I honestly can say that I haven't witnessed a VB match, when I left the building & said wow, the officials caused this team or that team the match. Have only been going to VB matches for about the past 7 years, but have seen a lot of matches over this period. Congrats to Midkota, best of luck at the state tourney.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby 1205 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:58 pm

In Class A there is definitely a difference between the East and West relative to what gets called a lift. From what I've seen, the West has been much tighter in what is called. The fact that Western officials call way more double contacts on setters is good, but some of the lift calls on serve receive in the West IMO are just too tight. I wish high schools would follow what the college officials call. The first contact is usually allowed unless it is really bad, but they make the setters play the ball properly. IMO, this allows the college game to have more rallies as well as rallies that last longer. Longer rallies are way more fun to watch than serve and whistle, serve and whistle.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby kramer85 » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:29 am

You should watch college VB. They are throwing the ball all over the place. Spikes over a person's head being set without a lift being called. It appears to me at the college level they are letting it go. Will that trickle down to the high school level?
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby senser » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:37 pm

It is very true that they have loosened up the ball handling calls considerably on the International, and collegiate level. They have attempted to make the game more spectator friendly, and loosening the ball handling calls means more rallies and less whistles. It has trickled down to USVBA volleyball (JO Volleyball), and slowly getting into high schools. The West calls much tighter than the East does, which is why you see the West complain about East refs at State tournament and East teams complain about the West refs in the State tournament.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby vballer » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:24 pm

from the few games I saw last night in the dome, I was impressed with the up and down refs. Not so sure about the line judges? There seemed to be more controversial calls with them. There were a few lifts that went un-called that would have been called in the west, but in general so far so good.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby senser » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:30 pm

I felt the same. I honestly believe that the best thing a ref can do is dictate how they are going to call the match in the first set. If they call a tight first set, then just keep it tight for the rest of the match. If they are calling loose, keep if loose. Just keep it consistent. I thought they did a good job last night of keeping it consistent throughout the match.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby Flip » Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:41 pm

Just the read the OP and as far as the center line goes do you know that the entire foot has to cross the line? I don't see this missed often. What do you want changed with this rule? As far as being in the net called on the wrong team I have found that it often looks like it was called on the wrong team, but when I don't see the coaches or players react negatively to this I think the officials made the right call. I have line judged for the last 6 years and I have never seen a foot foul on the serve, and I watch every serve. My first 5 years line judging I didn't see one over rule by the up ref and this year I saw 4. Only one was my call and I swear the I was right.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby Carr » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:17 pm

I am aware of the center line rule. My comment about the rule was a bit off topic, but since you ask, i will tell you what I meant by it.

I tried to look for some information on exactly when the rule was changed, however I could not find the exact type of verbiage I was looking for. Back when I played ball, the rule was- no body part could cross the center line. We were told to envision a brick wall from the floor to the top of the antenna. If the plain was crossed it was a violation and play was stopped. The current rule allows players to cross the line as long as it is not their entire body part. There are teams who are using this to their advantage, because their hitters are comming screaming into the ball so close to the net that they consistently land on or over that center line for a brief second. The entire thing is so quick- I would assume it is almost impossible for the refs to notice exactly where their feet are landing, since they are trying to watch the play itself. I think that the current rule is dangerous and will maybe start being abused as I discribed. In college, they aslo have the persuit rule now, which I find even more intrusive. I was just saying, I liked the old way and the brick wall analogy I was tought.

As far as net calls- I can noramlly tell who is in the net unless there is a bounce from the hit. The refs are quite good at calling this correctly- but every once and awhile, it is clearly a mistake. (I know they are only human.) You do not see a reaction because a reation does no good. A reaction only looks unsportsman like. Once a call is made there is no reason to argue it. Maybe coaches should have a 2 challange flags per set like they have in pro football or something?!?!!? LOL. It would be nice to have the opportunity to review some of these plays and calls!!! (Like in the class B semi-finals match)

Foot fouls.... I see them all the time!!! You would be surprised if the refs started to crack down on them how many could be called. Unless it is very obvious, they are rarely called.... prolly cause it is something that should never have to be watched at highschool level volleyball right.

Just wondering how do schools pick their line judges? How many hours of training do they sit through? It seems like they have a rather important job.... are the line judges getting enough education????
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby witherspoon » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:54 pm

Carr wrote:I am aware of the center line rule. My comment about the rule was a bit off topic, but since you ask, i will tell you what I meant by it.

I tried to look for some information on exactly when the rule was changed, however I could not find the exact type of verbiage I was looking for. Back when I played ball, the rule was- no body part could cross the center line. We were told to envision a brick wall from the floor to the top of the antenna. If the plain was crossed it was a violation and play was stopped. The current rule allows players to cross the line as long as it is not their entire body part. There are teams who are using this to their advantage, because their hitters are comming screaming into the ball so close to the net that they consistently land on or over that center line for a brief second. The entire thing is so quick- I would assume it is almost impossible for the refs to notice exactly where their feet are landing, since they are trying to watch the play itself. I think that the current rule is dangerous and will maybe start being abused as I discribed. In college, they aslo have the persuit rule now, which I find even more intrusive. I was just saying, I liked the old way and the brick wall analogy I was tought.

As far as net calls- I can noramlly tell who is in the net unless there is a bounce from the hit. The refs are quite good at calling this correctly- but every once and awhile, it is clearly a mistake. (I know they are only human.) You do not see a reaction because a reation does no good. A reaction only looks unsportsman like. Once a call is made there is no reason to argue it. Maybe coaches should have a 2 challange flags per set like they have in pro football or something?!?!!? LOL. It would be nice to have the opportunity to review some of these plays and calls!!! (Like in the class B semi-finals match)

Foot fouls.... I see them all the time!!! You would be surprised if the refs started to crack down on them how many could be called. Unless it is very obvious, they are rarely called.... prolly cause it is something that should never have to be watched at highschool level volleyball right.

Just wondering how do schools pick their line judges? How many hours of training do they sit through? It seems like they have a rather important job.... are the line judges getting enough education????


Have you personally ever line judged? Best seat in the house and not much need for education, line calls, tips at the net, side line pole faults, foot faults. I have line judged 11 years now and watch every serve and have had to call maybe 3 in all the matches judged. I beleive the key would be "don't become emotionally involved and stay awake". Somebody mentioned it before about carries, sound is as important as actual sight when calling them. I thought the whole tourament was very well done, both A and B.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby Carr » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:30 pm

As a matter of fact I have line judged... alot, when I was younger. However- I have also played and knew the rules. Sometimes it would seem they throw high school boys up to line judge telling them only "this is in and this is out." If you can remember playing volleyball in gym class with "the boys" you know what I am getting at. I am Just asking what kind of thought and eduacation goes into our line judges? I know of no requirements....

Commented and agreed on hearing lifts earlier.

The matches that I got to watch (on TV) at state seemed to be very well done. I started this thread after regionals.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby witherspoon » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:39 pm

Carr wrote:As a matter of fact I have line judged... alot, when I was younger. However- I have also played and knew the rules. Sometimes it would seem they throw high school boys up to line judge telling them only "this is in and this is out." If you can remember playing volleyball in gym class with "the boys" you know what I am getting at. I am Just asking what kind of thought and eduacation goes into our line judges? I know of no requirements....

Commented and agreed on hearing lifts earlier.

The matches that I got to watch (on TV) at state seemed to be very well done. I started this thread after regionals.


Are you of the wrestling Carr's of Carrington? Just curious, if so good luck to your boys, grandson's or nephews!!!
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby Carr » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:55 pm

Indeed! My name is Hope and my husband Travis is a former ND state champ ;) This year we will be cheering on little Walker & Bryce who are nephews. My son (only 5) will attempt his first season of pit crew this year. Thanks!
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby Flip » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:08 pm

I see reaction from girls all the time when the refs make an incorrect call and it rarely comes off as unsportsmanlike. Sometimes after they are called in the net and they don't think they were they will just look at their teammates with a confused look. It is pretty easy to have a reaction without risking a yellow card.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby badRef2 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:46 am

Lots of interesting topics brought up in the thread. I'm guessing I've reffed more than most so I'll take a shot a couple of the comments.

1) Lack of consistency is a problem, from ref to ref and even for the same ref from day to day. Nets calls and foot faults should be black and white. Regarding the judgement calls the best any of us can hope for is consistency throughout the match.

2) The center line has what is called the "shadow rule." If any part of the foot is on OR over the line the player is fine. The knee crossing into the other teams court is a fault. I don't think this is missed much; however, angles are everything and players are frequently very close. Barely legal is legal.

3) Sloppy play is legal, I don't have a signal for sloppy contact. I have one for prolonged contact, and as a former coach I sometimes cringe at the level of play, but if it isn't carried (for example, sits in one hand or on the forearm too long), it's good by me. Lifts should NEVER be called by sound or player position or footwork or where the ball goes after the contact, just the visual I get of the contact. Remember, doubles are legal on the first contact. It may be a line line between a double and one long contact, and personally I lean towards let them play, but that's me. And don't bring in college matches. Completely different philosophy on the calls (same rules). Good-or-bad, the coaches want more of the let-them-play mentality on the first ball. It's not called because they don't want much of it called. College is MUCH tighter on the second and third contact.

4) The West is probably too tight on first ball, or the East is too loose, depending upon your perspective. Some coaches like one or the other (not as divided by geography as you might think), but I think all would rather have consistency than anything else. (see #1)

5) Lines judges (two judges, two lines each) can make or break a close match. You don't appreciate your lines judges until you have bad ones.I'm there because I've passed the rules test, worked my way through the ranks over the years, and if it's post-season, because the coaches selected me. It's frustrating when the LJ's are whomever was stuck doing it tonight. If you get a chance, be a lines judge. I love listening to coaches working with their players and you get to see the game from a whole different perspective. And you'll get a new appreciation for players that have to deal with a really tough float serve. :-)

6) Net calls are a challenge. The net can be pushed into the blocker and it's not a fault. Some systems are set up such that the R1 shifting their weight causes the net to shake (seriously, it's common). I've seen clear net violations by one of the two blockers without clearly knowing which player, so it's possible the wrong number gets reported while still getting the call right. I've also seen players literally get stuck in the net and still profess innocence regarding the net call, so you can't always go by the players reaction.

Just my $0.02 (probably more like $0.04, way longer than it should be).

Just a (hopefully not) badRef
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby vballer » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:47 am

great comments badref. I can tell you are one of the good ones. I generally do not comment on the reffing. Refs are human and if you have ever had the chance to ref in any sport you know that it is very difficult and you can't see everything. I agree with you about bad line judges, they can really hurt you. I don't like when students are used (sometimes in tournaments). Students don't pay attention very well, watch other games, talk to their friends and check their cell phones. I understand that with many courts of a tournament it is difficult to get qualified line judges. Kids that play JO go all have to go through reffing classes because they have to help ref in many of the tournaments they play in. I have found that they complain less, because they have been "in their shoes" before. The worst really is parents that do not know the rules, especially on the first ball, so they complain "lift, lift, lift" and scream at the refs.
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Re: Volleyball Refs....

Postby Carr » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:43 am

badRef2 wrote:Lots of interesting topics brought up in the thread. I'm guessing I've reffed more than most so I'll take a shot a couple of the comments.

1) Lack of consistency is a problem, from ref to ref and even for the same ref from day to day. Nets calls and foot faults should be black and white. Regarding the judgement calls the best any of us can hope for is consistency throughout the match.

2) The center line has what is called the "shadow rule." If any part of the foot is on OR over the line the player is fine. The knee crossing into the other teams court is a fault. I don't think this is missed much; however, angles are everything and players are frequently very close. Barely legal is legal.

3) Sloppy play is legal, I don't have a signal for sloppy contact. I have one for prolonged contact, and as a former coach I sometimes cringe at the level of play, but if it isn't carried (for example, sits in one hand or on the forearm too long), it's good by me. Lifts should NEVER be called by sound or player position or footwork or where the ball goes after the contact, just the visual I get of the contact. Remember, doubles are legal on the first contact. It may be a line line between a double and one long contact, and personally I lean towards let them play, but that's me. And don't bring in college matches. Completely different philosophy on the calls (same rules). Good-or-bad, the coaches want more of the let-them-play mentality on the first ball. It's not called because they don't want much of it called. College is MUCH tighter on the second and third contact.

4) The West is probably too tight on first ball, or the East is too loose, depending upon your perspective. Some coaches like one or the other (not as divided by geography as you might think), but I think all would rather have consistency than anything else. (see #1)

5) Lines judges (two judges, two lines each) can make or break a close match. You don't appreciate your lines judges until you have bad ones.I'm there because I've passed the rules test, worked my way through the ranks over the years, and if it's post-season, because the coaches selected me. It's frustrating when the LJ's are whomever was stuck doing it tonight. If you get a chance, be a lines judge. I love listening to coaches working with their players and you get to see the game from a whole different perspective. And you'll get a new appreciation for players that have to deal with a really tough float serve. :-)

6) Net calls are a challenge. The net can be pushed into the blocker and it's not a fault. Some systems are set up such that the R1 shifting their weight causes the net to shake (seriously, it's common). I've seen clear net violations by one of the two blockers without clearly knowing which player, so it's possible the wrong number gets reported while still getting the call right. I've also seen players literally get stuck in the net and still profess innocence regarding the net call, so you can't always go by the players reaction.

Just my $0.02 (probably more like $0.04, way longer than it should be).

Just a (hopefully not) badRef




Thank you for your $0.04!

The only thing I have to ask you about is why you say you can't make lift calls by the sound??? You can hear a lift before you can see it. (Example: A pass or serve revieve taken in the inside elbows or upper arm chest area.)
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