After years of discussion, the Marcellus girls JV/Varsity volleyball teams will play in the fall athletic season beginning next year. The New York State Volleyball Tournament is held at the close of the fall season, and most schools in the area have moved to the fall season.
"This is good for the overall development of the sport," said coach Hy Bryant. "Volleyball will be on par with the other girls' sports."
Section III volleyball teams, over the past six years, have progressively moved to the fall season to allow teams the same opportunity to participate in post-season play as all other sports teams are eligible to do. The first teams to move in Section III were the large AA schools in 2006.
Most recently, several of the A and B size schools moved to the fall 2010 volleyball season as well. Among these schools were the usual "B" opponents of Marcellus such as Skaneateles and Cazenovia. The move was found to be a positive experience for the athletes involved and the school districts involved are reporting increased overall participation.
In the spring of 2010, a survey was conducted of all Marcellus girls in grades six through 10 in order to assess the impact the move would have on the other athletic programs. The survey found that very few female student athletes would be negatively affected if volleyball were moved to the fall season. Further, there would be little impact on the existing fall programs offered for girls.
Beyond the survey data, many schools in the state have found an overall positive impact for their girls' basketball programs. Participants found skills and physical readiness to be enhanced for both volleyball in the fall and basketball in the winter. Another positive aspect of this move is the increased use of gym space in the fall, which translates to available gym space in the winter.
But what does this mean for our Marcellus girls?
First, the modified volleyball season for seventh and eighth grade girls will stay in winter, from the end of October to Christmas break. Seventh and eighth grade participants will continue to be eligible to be involved in four different sports throughout the year. Second, beginning in August 2011, Marcellus girls in grades nine through 12 will have the opportunity to compete for a New York State volleyball title. Marcellus has a rich history of volleyball success, and this should offer an exciting experience for the team.