Tag Archives: volleyball

Peppering

Context: The informant is a current junior at Cal Poly SLO. She plays volleyball at the intramural level and has been playing volleyball since middle school.  The following is an interview between me (DM) and the informant (EM)

EM: Peppering is a warm up drill between two to three players as a warmup drill where the people pass the ball to each other in different variations of bump, set, and spike.

DM: What version are you most experienced with?

EM: The version I’m used to includes two players. It starts when one member passes the ball to the other. That second person sets it to the first and the first spikes it to the second. Once spiked, the roles are interchanged and the cycle starts again.

DM: What other versions are there?

EM: Although the way I explained is the most common version, as long as you maintain the order of bump, set, and spike, you could call it peppering. It could be with a net in between or just in a circle, you can pepper almost anywhere.

DM: Why is it called peppering and where did you first learn about it?

I’m not too sure why this drill is called peppering though, it was just something I was taught. I learned about it in my freshman year of high school on my varsity volleyball team from my coach.

Thoughts: I’m curious about why the drill is called peppering. It shows the resourcefulness of volleyball players since volleyball nets aren’t as common and since volleyball normally requires many people to play normally. Since they aren’t able to always have a court, the concept of peppering adapts to where and how many people are available.

Spirit Day

My informant graduated in 2011 from Notre Dame Academy Girl’s High School in West Los Angeles, California. She currently attends UCLA in Westwood, California. Notre Dame Academy, often called NDA, is a Catholic, all girls school with many traditions the students participate in annually. My informant told me about the one she considers most exciting and memorable: NDA Day.

“So, NDA day is basically, like, our spirit day, um, except maybe a bit more involved than at some other schools. Um and, okay so, it starts off with a mass, because it’s a celebration of our Lady, ‘Notre Dame.’ Um, and at this mass all the girls are required to wear full dress uniform, um which just basically means you have to wear your red plaid skirt rather than the khaki one, um, a white blouse, your blazer, and nice shoes. Like, no tennis shoes. Um, and sometimes girls will put a bit more effort into the way they look, than they would on a normal day. Um so some girls will like wear make-up or straighten their hair or whatever. Um but then there’s a mass. Um, a Catholic mass. And afterwards, while we’re still in the gym. Oh, uh, we do mass in the gym because our chapel isn’t big enough for the whole school. Um, but anyway, after the mass, the spirit stuff starts. Um, so basically the freshmen get up first, and they’re all sitting in the same area and they have some girls who were appointed, like, cheerleaders who go to the podium, and they scream and spell out their grade level, so F-R-E-S-H-M-E-N, uh and then they bang on the chairs and scream really loudly and stuff. Um, but then the sophomores go, and the freshmen realize that the spell out doesn’t just have to be a chant, because all the other grade levels also have like a rhyme or a song to go with their theme. Oh, and each grade has a theme for the day and it’s usually supposed to be an alliteration with their grade level, like FBI Freshmen, Supernova Seniors, you know, things like that. Um so after that, each grade is dismissed back to their classrooms and all the girls change into costumes or crazy outfits or whatever—oh and also, each class has a color that they have all four years, um, so you’re either red, green, blue, or purple. And the grades incorporate their color into what they’re wearing on NDA day. So, once everyone’s dressed, um, you go out into the parking lot to take a picture with your class and the poster someone in your grade designed, or something. Uh, and once everyone’s taken a picture, there’s a sort of parade. Um, where we walk around the perimeter of our school and go to the little school, um, the elementary school, and the elementary kids are outside and you, like, high-five and stuff. And that whole time you’re basically, like, cheering the cheers your class made up to go with your theme or just your graduation year or something. Um, and you’re taking lots of pictures, like lots and lots of pictures, like not just during the parade but during the entire day. It’s a pretty memorable event. So then after the parade, we all go back into our gym and play volleyball. Um, each grade level has a team and the rule is that no varsity, uh actually, no school players can play on the NDA day volleyball team. Um, you can be a coach, but you can’t play. So it’s not really all that competitive. But the matches are that you play your sister class, so juniors play freshmen and seniors play sophomores and then the two winners play each other and then the winner of that match plays the faculty. So that’s pretty fun. If you’re not playing, you just stand on the side and scream and stuff. And do cheers. There’s a lot of cheering. Um, and after the volleyball game they provide us with lunch. Um, and then after that, it’s time for the skits. Uh, so each class has to do a skit and a dance. Usually they try to incorporate the dance into the skit. So it’s, like, in the middle or something. And the faculty do a skit also, which is usually pretty hilarious. Um and each class gets 5 minutes, I think, maybe 10, I can’t remember. But the seniors definitely get more. Probably like 20 minutes. And that’s because seniors also get to make a video, which usually comes out pretty good. And it’s all just supposed to be, like, silly and funny. So then whatever time is left in the day they’ll just put, like, music on in the gym and turn it into a dance party, basically. But there’s usually not much time so you just go back to class. And that’s it. Oh and then, uh, you get the day after off of school, which is nice. Because NDA day is exhausting.”

My informant enjoyed this spirit day quite a bit and cites it as one of the things she misses about high school. Spirit days are a common occurrence in many high schools, but every school does it differently.

Pinky’s Up

Pinky’s Up

Type: Athletic Tradition

 

My informant said his school’s volleyball team had a tradition each time the team was about to start the winning point. As a team, they say “Pinky’s up!” Raising, their little fingers, they begin the point. Tyler explained that the players do this so the team “wins with Class.” My informant claims it is not connected with any school lore, and is unsure when or why it started , but that the volleyball team has done this as a tradition for years, and he thinks it is funny because it belittles the other team.

 

Associating the pinky with high-society, the players mock sportsmanship. This also suggests that they predict they will win the point, their confidence illustrating that they find the other team unthreatening. Undermining the seriousness of the game, the players illustrate their dominance over the other team.

Sports Ritual

Volleyball Ritual

Ritual: Pretending to Strap on Rockets to our shoes

Collector’s Analysis: All the middle blockers would be the last to stretch and after stretching, Noah and his teammates would make a gesture as if we were “strapping on rockets” to our shoes so they would be able to jump higher during the match. They hoped that it would bring us good luck.

Again, pre-game rituals are seen as a token of good luck. Ironically, when Noah’s team was not doing as well, they adjusted their pre-game ritual to ensure it followed the “original” variation, if there even was one.