No one noticed the injury. Only after the point was scored did the collective audience see that one of the players did not get up.
It had been a wild volleyball game, in a tourney that had playoff implications. Many girls had made diving digs to keep the ball alive, so it was not immediately noticed that this one specific girl had injured herself on one such dive.
Play was stopped. The coach came out and spoke with her player. It was obvious the injured volleyballer was in pain. She was facing the crowd.
The problem was in her lower leg somewhere. Maybe it was a knee, an ankle, or even simply a bad muscle cramp.
After a discussion with the coach, who was leaned over her checking her leg, an unexpected thing happened.
The coach reached under her. One arm went behind her knees, the other around her back and the coach stood straight up with the player draped in her arms.
She calmly carried her player off the court and lay her down behind the bench area.
In an era, and within a society, overrun by litigation and consumed by the avoidance of personal responsibility there was something wholesome about what had just transpired.
Although we may never know the injury history behind this player, there was no doubt who was responsible for her. The coach, who collected her into her arms, had her.
Well done coach.
(Editor’s note: Monitor sports correspondent John Arbter doesn’t have much to cover these days, so he’s going into the archives and sharing some observations from his beat.)