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Women’s volleyball rules committee recommends experimental instant replay rule

The Big 12 Conference requested the use of video reviews for league games in 2015; committee to survey membership on pursuit rule

The NCAA Women’s Volleyball Rules Committee on Thursday recommended an experimental instant replay challenge rule be implemented for use in the Big 12 Conference for the 2015 season.

The committee, which met this week in Indianapolis, received a request from the Big 12 to use instant replay in conference games at schools that are able to provide the necessary equipment and personnel.

Before a rules proposal becomes official, it must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss women’s volleyball rules recommendations via conference call on Feb. 18.

If approved, the experimental rule would allow coaches two instant replay challenges per set. The challenge must be made before the referee extends his or her arm to start the next point.

How coaches would formally make the request to challenge will be decided at a later date, although some committee members believe some sort of visual aid should be used.

The players would have to remain on the court while the instant replay review takes place.

Coaches could request instant replay challenges in only these instances:

  • Review whether a ball landed in or out, or if a ball hit the court before being played.
  • Review whether the ball or a player touched the antenna.
  • Review whether a foot fault occurred on a serve.
  • Review net faults.
  • Review whether a ball is touched by a player.
  • Review whether a four-hit violation occurred.

The referee will decide whether the replay evidence confirms or overturns the original call. If the replay is inconclusive, the original call will stand.

 “With the increased availability of technology, this gives officials another avenue to make a correct call,” said Todd Dagenais, chair of the committee and the women’s volleyball coach at the University of Central Florida. “If it is available, we want to clear the way for use of that technology.”

Pursuit rule

The committee revisited the pursuit rule and again had a thorough debate about modifying or abolishing the rule altogether.

Committee members have decided to survey the membership for additional thoughts on the rule.

Safety concerns for players, coaches and officials were the driving force behind the discussion. The pursuit rule, which was amended in 2010, allows players to cross under the net or net cable to retrieve the ball into the opponent’s free zone (out of bounds but past the net). The ball must be played to the outside of the antenna to a teammate for play to continue.

Some committee members are concerned about collisions and near-collisions that have occurred and want to consider removing or modifying the rule by allowing players to pursue the ball only around the posts.

Since no statistical data exists to track the injury rate on these types of plays, the committee asked that the incidents be tracked in injury surveillance data so an informed decision can be made. That data is now being collected.