Marianas Variety

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    Sunday, July 21, 2019-6:47:26A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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From ‘best practice lesson plan’ to an international sport

ROCBALL, Saipan’s own sport that originated on an open field at Hopwood Middle School in 1981 changed the rules of play for the international sport of volleyball in 1995.

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Teams “San Jose” (left) and “KMA”.  San Jose defeated KMA by “juicing out” in four sets under Rocball’s quarter/set system of play.  This was KMA’s first loss in two years.
Rocball teams “Fam Bam” and “Touchdown”.  The Rocball game between these two teams went into double overtime, with Fam Bam winning.  Contributed photos

And, in the last five years, Rocball has also become an international sport that includes the countries of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Saudi Arabia: These eight countries are members of the Asian Rocball Federation with its headquarters located in New Delhi, India.

And, the 36th annual league of Rocball games on Saipan is into its third round of play with ten teams at Marianas High School, “Home of the Dolphins”. The teams playing in this year’s games are last year’s champions, KMA, the MHS Teacher’s team, the Bumpers, Fam Bam, Laly Four, San Jose 1, San Jose 2, T.D., VAD, and WTA. This year, teams will be eliminated if they lose three games. But, up until the semi-play offs, players from eliminated teams can join other teams still competing for this year’s championship games.

The game of week and of Round Three was played between last year’s Rocball Champions and a team of players who have only been playing Rocball for the last few months. San Jose 1 “juiced-out” last year’s Rocball Champions, KMA, in four sets 38 to 37. San Jose 1 won the first and second set 11 to 10, and 12 to 5, KMA came back strong in the third set by winning it 12 to 1. KMA’s point difference coming out of the third set put them ahead 27 to 24 going into the fourth set.

In the fourth set, the lead changed between teams a couple of times with neither causing themselves any first serve penalty points up until the last few plays of the game: KMA gained the advantage of set point after scoring off a San Jose serve. The score was tied 10 to 10 with KMA serving. But, after KMA won possession of the serve and a chance to win the game, their player rotating into the servers position “shanked” the first causing the team to lose a point and the serve. After San Jose regained serve they finish off the set with enough points to win the game. San Jose was trailing KMA in total points scored 27 to 24. San Jose needed a four point spread in the fourth set to win the game and they finished it with a 38 to 37 victory.