Volleyball Drills using Golf Scoring

From a Coach:

I’m looking over the drills and I was wondering what it means by golf scoring? I’m looking at the OWD Wash Table drill.

Our Reply:

The golf scoring we refer to here specifically is “Match Play” scoring. In match play, rather than keep track of the total number of strokes you take during 18 holes (stroke play), you play against an opponent for each hole. So I could have taken 10 strokes on a hole and my opponent could have taken 4 strokes, and I’d only be down 1 hole (rather than 6 strokes if we were playing normally). There is a complete explanation on Match Play Scoring here.

The way we apply Match Play scoring to volleyball is that we play by rotation. In lots of the 6 vs 6 drills that we play, we play through a series of six rotations (3-6-4-1-5-2 vs 2-5-1-4-6-3). In each of those rounds (e.g. Team A in row 3 and Team B in row 2), there are a certain number of points to be scored (in the OWD drill, the typical number is 10 offensive points). If Team A scores 8 points and Team B scores 2 points, then Team B loses that rotation. They are down 1 rotation with 5 rotations to play (rather than being down 6 points if we were scoring by points).

In all of the drills that we play, we like to have something “bet” on the drill – this can be anything from a set of 6 lines to a pancake ladder, or some other little physical activity. The team that loses the drill has to do whatever is bet on that drill. So in a 6 rotation drill, I am trying to win at least 4 of those rotations. If I do that, I win the drill and get to watch the other team run (or dive or whatever).

In the Match Play scoring scenario, you can be ahead more rotations then there are remaining to play (say you go up 4 with 2 to play). Typically this would close out the match since the other team can’t come back. Rather than quit right there however, we like to invoke a “press”. The press is essentially another concurrent bet for the last two rotations, with the same value as the original bet. There is a nice explanation of “pressing the bet” here. I like the “Automatic Press” option in my drills so that the trailing team doesn’t have a choice to press or not if they go down 4 with 2 to play.

Finally, the other scoring twist I like to apply is that if the teams tie a particular rotation, the value of that hole “pushes” to the next hole (this is like skins in golf). So if we tie the first rotation, the next rotation is worth two.

If nothing else, I hope this inspires you to get out and play some golf when you aren’t coaching!