The Role of the Libero in Volleyball as a Paradoxical Influence on the Game: Logical Debate and the Proposal for a Rule Change

Submitted by Serge ÉLOI (1), Vincent LANGLOIS (1), Kendall JARRETT* (2)

(1) Université Paris-Est Créteil (France)

(2) Deakin University (Australia) & University of Canterbury (NZ)

*Corresponding author – Kendall JARRETT, Deakin University, Locked Bag 20000, Geelong Victoria

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper is to bring into focus philosophical and logical concerns relating to specific rules that govern the role of the libero in volleyball. The authors contest that the introduction of the position of the libero in volleyball may have actually undermined the continuing logic of the rules of the game. In addressing these questions the authors offer theoretically based rule-change proposals for the sport of volleyball that could be used to inform future training methods or development programmes at both the participatory and elite levels. Discussion may also inform the development of new tools of analysis (e.g. computer software) or the creation of a new breadth of match simulation resources to enhance athlete performance. These tools and devices could then be presented to volleyball coaches in an effort to resolve the issues that have come to light and further inform the philosophical and logical debates about the role of the libero in volleyball.

Key words: Volleyball, rule-change, laws, coaches

Continue reading

Johnson, Albritton, and Thurber’s Patriotic and Defiant Bellamy Salute in Response to Hitler’s Snub at Berlin in 1936

Submitted by Raymond T Stefani, Ph. D.*

Dr. Raymond Stefani is an emeritus professor of Engineering at the California State University, Long Beach, USA. His more than 120 sports publications are evenly divided between individual and team sports. He seeks a fundamental understanding of the physics, physiology, causes of gender differential performance, rates of improvement, effect of historical events and effects of performance enhancing drugs related to Olympic gold medal performances in athletics (track and field), swimming, rowing and speed skating. He has analyzed Olympic home nation medal advantage He developed a least squared team rating system applied to predicting the outcome of more than 20,000 games of American football, basketball, European soccer, Australian Rules football, and Super Rugby. Home advantage has been studied in those contexts. He has contributed to the understanding of the types and application of 100 international sport rating systems (both for individuals and teams) and their ability to predict the outcome of world and Olympic championship events. He contributed to the millennium edition of the New York Times. He has presented his work to eleven organizations conducting conferences in ten nations on three continents. Dr. Stefani invites collaboration with colleagues from around the world.

Abstract

Stepping to the podium for the last medal ceremony on August 2, 1936, day one of athletics competition at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, were the three Americans that swept the men’s long jump: Cornelius Johnson (gold), David Albritton (silver) and Delos Thurber (bronze). Johnson and Albritton were black. That ceremony formed a watershed for those Games: Hitler had personally congratulated all of the earlier winners on August 2, 1936; but, he left before that medal ceremony and ceased to congratulate winners starting on day two, rather than congratulate all future winners. Hitler was told to congratulate all winners or no winners by the IOC President after his non-attendance at the men’s long jump medal ceremony.  It was on day two that Jesse Owens won the 100-meter run and was not congratulated. Public attention then shifted to Owens, removing attention from the actual snub of Johnson, Albritton, and Thurber that had led to action by the IOC President. This paper interprets two photos of the three Americans saluting in unison, but with two different postures:  an American military salute and a straight-armed salute with palms turned upward. To understand their salute, three contexts were studied: salutes performed at the Games, activities leading up to that moment on August 2, 1936 and the American flag-saluting practice of that era. Johnson, Albritton, and Thurber were arguably making an elegant yet forceful statement of solidarity and defiance in performing the Bellamy or Flag Salute, a unique-at-those-Games act of patriotism little known in the present but, none-the-less an act deserving of recognition.

Key words: 1936 Olympics, Hitler’s snub, Bellamy Salute, Cornelius Johnson, David Albrittion, Delos Thurber, Jesse Owens. Continue reading

Sports Department vs. News Department: Editorial Control in Television Newsrooms

Submitted by Dr. John McGuire1*, Mr. Ray Murray1*, and Dr. Stan Ketterer1*.

1* Associate Professor, School of Media and Strategic Communications, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla.

Abstract

This exploratory research study examined the attitudes of television sports directors (n=108) concerning editorial judgments made in covering local sports and how such judgments are supported by or come into conflict with other newsroom personnel. Findings included sports directors (a) believed their editorial judgments on stories were frequently questioned, and  (b) had sports stories regularly reassigned to news personnel.

Keywords: Editorial judgment, newsroom practices, sports  Continue reading

Pre-Competition Anxiety and Self-Confidence in Collegiate Track and Field Athletes: A Comparison between African American and non-Hispanic Caucasian Men and Women

Submitted by Ms. Vasiliki Anagnostopoulos 1*, Michele M. Carter Ph.D 2*, and Carol Weissbrod Ph.D 3*

1*MA, Department of Psychology, American University, Washington, DC.

2* Professor, Department of Psychology, American University, Washington DC

3*Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, American University, Washington DC

Vasiliki received her BA from Princeton university where she was a varsity soccer athlete.  Since then she has earned her MA in Psychology from American University.  She is currently working on completing her dissertation under the direction of Dr. Carter.  She works primarily in the area of anxiety and related disorders and sport performance.

Abstract                                                    

This study examined ethnic differences in the intensity and direction of pre-competition cognitive and somatic anxiety and self-confidence among Division I collegiate track and field men and women athletes.  At a regular season track meet participants from seven Division I schools were approached and agreed to complete survey questions addressing competitive anxiety and win orientation.  Study measures within three days of the event.  Results were first analyzed by gender.  It was found that the only difference between African American men and non-Hispanic Caucasian men athletes was that African American men reported lower cognitive direction scores than non-Hispanic Caucasian men. Among women, results indicated that African American women athletes reported less cognitive anxiety intensity and higher self-confidence than non-Hispanic Caucasian women.  Interestingly, results also indicated few differences between African American women athletes as compared to either group of men athletes.  Cultural factors are discussed that explain why African American women athletes are different from other groups.

Keywords: ethnicity, gender, competitiveness

Continue reading

Modernizing the Navy’s Physical Readiness Test: Introducing the Navy General Fitness Test and Navy Operational Fitness Test

Submitted by CDR D. D. Peterson1* MSC USN, E.d.D, CSCS*D

Abstract

The lessons learned from recent combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown operational commanders that the military fitness tests currently used by the different services are inadequate in terms of assessing the physical fitness required for combat.  Currently, only the U.S. Marine Corps employs a combat specific fitness test; although the U.S. Army and Air Force have recognized the need and rationale for one as well. Unfortunately, the U.S. Navy continues to lag behind the other services in terms of modernizing its physical fitness training and testing programs.  The purpose of this article is four-fold:  1) justify the need for service-specific combat fitness tests, 2) discuss past and current examples service-specific combat fitness tests, 3) introduce a revised general fitness test intended to replace the current Navy Physical Readiness Test (PRT), and 4) propose an operational fitness test that could be adopted and employed by the U.S. Navy.

Commander David Peterson currently serves as the Executive Officer, Physical Education Department at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He also serves as the Director, Human Performance Laboratory at the Naval Academy.

Keywords:  physical fitness; fitness tests; fitness assessments; combat readiness; operational readiness; Combat Fitness Test; Physical Readiness Test

Continue reading