The Problem with Indoor Volleyball

I’ve been somewhat quiet lately, because I’ve been gorging on the Olympics. But the coverage of indoor volleyball continues to bug me.

For some reason, TV coverage consistently shoots volleyball action this way:

True, the horizontal court is visible on your horizontal TV screen, but if you want to see the interesting stuff, you’re out of luck. From this shot all we can see who’s hitting, and how far the ball is away from the net.

Now check two views from different angles:

An end or angle view let’s you see where the hitter is relative to the block, what the block looks like, how high the hitter is hitting, and where the hitter is hitting (around the block? over it? through it?).

The most interesting part of indoor volleyball is what’s happening at the net, not the back court. But it’s shot at the worst possible angle to see it!

When you shoot video from either angle, the set moves laterally, the block moves laterally, and the defense re-forms behind the block. You get to see the block form, the hitter hitting around the block … it’s much, much better.

Maybe after the Olympics I’ll apply to be a director for NBC Sports. Anyone have a contact there?

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5 thoughts on “The Problem with Indoor Volleyball

  1. No kidding! The thing that really bugs me is that they do have cameras at the right angles, because they use them for some replays. >.<

    The same is true for the beach coverage. Walsh-May are crushing the competition, but the coverage is almost all from the sides.

    Interestingly, I have been attending college football games all my life while viewing from the endzone. THis makes it difficult to see whether or not a first down was made, but oh boy can you see the wholes in the line during runs, etc.

  2. I’m wondering if all court sports would be better filmed from the ends: tennis (already is), badminton (ditto), table tennis … dunno.

    As for football: I want helmet-cam, so I can see just how hard those ball carriers get hit!!

  3. I just saw some last night (THANK GOD FOR DVR!!), and it was from the end, above the shoulders of one of the competitors. Worked pretty well, though coulda been closer.

  4. Spoken like a couple of middle blockers. The real action is in the backcourt and in the hands of the setter. Volleyball needs special high-speed camera to follow the dynamic action of the passers and defensive specialists (I can’t use the new name) and the all-important moves of the setter (ie, quarterback of the team). All of that high-testosterone hitting and blocking isn’t all that big a deal. Those guys are just tall.

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