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Panel approves modification to net-contact rule in women’s volleyball

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Thursday approved a new rule regarding net contact in women’s volleyball.

Beginning in the 2014 season, a player will not be called for a violation if she touches the net, ropes or post outside of the antennae as long as it doesn’t interfere with play or is used as a means of support while playing the ball.

PROP, which met via conference call, agreed with the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Rules Committee’s proposal to allow play to continue despite a player touching the net outside of the antennae because it helps put NCAA women’s volleyball in line with how the game is called at the sport’s other levels around the world.

The panel also approved a proposal that allows a coach one substitution if a rally has to be stopped and replayed due to an injury to the libero. This change allows the coach the option to substitute for the libero replacement even though there was not a completed rally.

Previously, if a rally was not completed, a coach was only allowed to put the player the libero replaced back in for one completed rally.

Additionally, PROP approved an increase to the penalty for any coach or player who is ejected from a set. In this scenario, the coach or player will not be allowed to re-enter the match. Previously, any coach or player expelled for a set was allowed to return at the start of the next set.

The new protocol leading up to a disqualification will be as follows:

  • Warning
  • Yellow card
  • Red card (one point is added to the opposition’s score)
  • Disqualification

With player safety in mind, the Women’s Volleyball Rules Committee also passed a proposal requiring that any facilities built after 2016 have a minimum of 3 meters of free space around the court. Currently, the requirement is to have 2 meters of free space available.