Thanks to Hans Brantz for this insight into the first volleyball teams to represent Queensland at a National Championships.
1971 was the first year Queensland was represented in the Australian Volleyball hampionships. We picked up enormous experience. A great handicap was that Janelle Wasley (one of our best players in the women’s team) sprained her ankle very early in the competition and we had to do without her. But most of all the interpretation of ball handling technique was different in Victoria (which at that time seemed to have a monopoly on the game) and Queensland was unduly penalised for “double hits”. This put both teams off balance, in particular the women’s team which had many newcomers to the game. It was to be noted that the teams were coached by very experienced people (Peter Monster and myself). Both of us had played representative volleyball in The Netherlands until only a few years before and were therefore well aware of the rules. It eased somewhat as the games progressed after Peter Monster and I strongly argued our case. The year after Victoria sported a very weird ball handling technique where the hands were turned sharply outward when playing the ball. This technique had been abandoned in The Netherlands in the mid fifties. However all this showed that to make progress, the refereeing was of utmost importance. We concentrated on this aspect. Through the year I qualified as Candidate International Referee and during the Sydney 1972 Championships I qualified and received my International Referees badge, the first in Queensland. Later we formed the Queensland Volleyball Referees Association. To become a member one had to sit for exams (theory and practical) to qualify and only qualified referees could umpire games at the fixtures which were played at Corinda High school at the time.
Footnote: Career pressure forced me to greatly reduce my active role but it is good to see how Queensland Volleyball has progressed over the years.
Back row left to right: Hans Brantz, Mack Skuja, Peter Monster, Bart Lommerse, Peter Marr, Chris Viner-Smith, John Lijffijt, Janelle Wasley
Front row l to r: Joyce Hooijmans, Agnes Derickx, Julie Ellis, Phlip Brantz, Carol Burton, Barbara Robson (mgr), Vicky Callaghan, Terese Dutournier