Tonight was the first volleyball match of the season. Both boys and girls have volleyball teams. They played the Canadian International School (CIS). It's the only "varsity" sport during the fall season for our school.
It's a different world here. Some details...
There was no JV game with the other school, but they did have sort of an intermural game where they rotated a ton of kids into the game.
The varsity girls game was a slaughter. HIS was night and day better. The ladies from CIS wouldn't have been competitive against the Meridian girls 7th graders. The HIS girls might have given the Meridian JV girls a game. Maybe.
Nikola, the HIS girls coach has never played volleyball. She has some athletes that CIS doesn't have. However, she won the league title last year. She knows what she's doing. She also took the ball from her server after five straight points each time and let the other team have a chance. It was something we would NEVER see in the states, but I feel like it's common place here.
The boys game was a bit more competitive, but not that close. They swept two games to none just like the girls.
There is no "district" or "state" level competition, but they do have some bigger one and two day tournaments that some school attend. HIS will host a single day tournament on a Saturday.
The referee was an HIS employee. She wasn't paid to ref the game.
The crowd was into the game. That part felt like a game similar to a varsity game in the states. Lots of cheering and clapping.
Basketball is the only varsity sport in the winter. Soccer in the spring. There are other activities and sports, but they don't count as official varsity sports. I have some ideas on expanding golf. The school is interested, but it will take some partnership with a local golf course.
In the states we talk quite a bit about sportsmanship, fun, and other platitudes. I saw that in action here. My favorite part of the event? After the game all the kids gathered in front of the crowd and waved as the crowd cheered. Then they posed for a group photo. Both teams.