played second-team coed intramural volleyball

Discussion in 'English Only' started by JungKim, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. JungKim Senior Member

    In the movie 'Hotel Transylvania 3', this is what Johnny said before they played "monster ball," similar to water volleyball.
    Here, what does 'second-team' mean?
    Also, how is the order of 'second-team', 'coed', 'intramural' determined? Can they be switched around or are they fixed as is?
  2. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    "Second-team" means there was a first team, probably made up of the best players, and a second team made up of players who weren't that good. There may have also been a third team and perhaps even more. The quoted sentence doesn't tell us that.

    "Second-team" should come first in the order of adjectives, because it was the second team in this particular sport: coed intramural volleyball. The order of "coed" and "intramural" can change, though the order as given sounds most natural to me.
  3. kentix

    kentix Senior Member

    English - U.S.
    In case you couldn't tell, this is supposed to be funny.

    He's warning them he's a good player because of his past experience. But his past experience consists of very low level qualifications.

    Second team means second best of those players. The best players are on the first team.

    Intramural means a casual league among regular students in the school that just about anyone can join. It's not competitive in the same way the official school team is that plays other schools.

    Coed means a team with both men and women. Those have a reputation for being more relaxed than a team with one sex only, especially in intramurals. Sometimes there are special rules for one sex versus the other.

    At Santa Cruz means at the University of California branch in the city of Santa Cruz. It's not the top tier UC branch, it's a lesser one. (Not that it matters much with intramurals.)

    So, all in all, his qualifications aren't particularly impressive or likely to inspire fear in his opponents.
  4. JungKim Senior Member

    Are 'first team' and 'second team' common expressions in this context?
    Or are there some other more common expressions than those?
  5. dojibear

    dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    They are common expressions for more serious sports. Intramural (casual, friendly) sports don't usually have them.

    The "first team" is the main team, the official team. Often it is the only team. If there is a "second team", it may play against the first team in practice games (so the first team can practice together), or play against other "second teams".

    The other common expression is "second string". For example a basketball team may have 20 members, but only 5 can play at a time. There is some substitution (to let players rest), but even so, in any important game the top 10 players will be the only ones who play. The other 10 are "second string": they are part of the team, but recognized as being not as good, and don't get to play as much.
  6. JungKim Senior Member

    What about 'varsity' and 'junior varsity'?
  7. kentix

    kentix Senior Member

    English - U.S.
    Varsity is the normal word used in American high schools for the main team with the best players. They are equivalent to the first team. Junior varsity is for younger players. They will eventually move up to the varsity team if they are good, so in a way, they are the second team.
  8. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    Also, these terms are only used for teams that compete at the intercollegiate level - that is, between one university and another. They are never applied to teams in intramural competition - that is, as kentix posted earlier, among teams that of students at the same university. Many universities have rules that an intramural team may not have players who are on a varsity or junior varsity team in the same sport, because the players who represent the university against other universities are too good and would give their intramural team an unfair advantage.
  9. kentix

    kentix Senior Member

    English - U.S.
    Also, this point made by Dojibear is worth mentioning again. Intramural sports are for fun. They don't have first and second teams because it's not competitive like that. There is no varsity or junior varsity. It's basically friends and fellow students getting together to play. The games might have intense competition but it's all for fun in the end.

    So part of the joke in the OP is to say he was on a second team intramural team. It's hard to imagine such a thing existing. The whole point of intramural sports is that everyone can play (on a "first team"), no matter how good or bad they are.
  10. JungKim Senior Member

    Now it all becomes clear. Thank you!

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