This study describes the instructional ecology of a high school sport setting involving 4 players from a 10-player team and their coach. Systematic observation strategies were used to detail 44 practices. Post-season focus group interviews were conducted with the team and, individually, with the coach. The managerial, instructional, and student social systems in this volleyball setting interacted intimately. The quiet practice expectations, the posting of fast-paced practice tasks, and the coach clearly “in charge” all speak to orderly management. This system supports the explicitness and specificity of tasks and the clear, differentiated expectations of players by role and responsibility within the instructional task system. Both systems were interwoven and operated jointly to increase player cooperation and practice involvement. Complex levels of the accountability system related to a player’s position and role on the team. Practice effort and quality of match play time produced a secondary accountability system related to competition.
L.L. Griffin is with the PETE Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003. D. Siedentop is with the Department of Education Administration at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210. D. Tannehill is with the School of Physical Activity and Educational Services at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.