Challenges for the most frequently reviewed calls in women’s volleyball will get a little simpler starting next fall.
The NCAA Women’s Volleyball Rules Committee on Friday recommended a change to combine challenges to in/out and touch calls under the video review system. If approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, the rule will go into effect for the 2018 season. The panel will discuss all women’s volleyball rules proposals in late February.
Currently, the coach’s challenges for in/out and touch are separate, leaving open the possibility that some calls could not be overturned due to the challenge having to be so specific.
The challenge review system has been in effect for two seasons, and the two calls that are the most reviewed are in/out calls and touch calls. The average review time for challenges was 1 minute and 30 seconds in 2017.
“Every sport with a review system goes through growth and changes,” said Danny Miller, the chair of the rules committee and the volleyball coach at Averett. “The nature of our game is there are multiple things that can happen, and this is one situation where we can begin to grow and improve getting the call right. The committee believes this is a step in the right direction to make the review process better.”
The committee also recommended allowing coaches to challenge 3-meter line attacks for next season.
Committee members feel with the evolving athleticism of the players in the sport, those plays can be difficult for the officials to call.
Another committee recommendation will allow coaches to have an additional challenge when a match goes to a fifth set. Any unused challenges will carry over into the fifth set, as well.
“We look at the fifth set as overtime, which means you have three challenges for the first four sets, and you can use them however you want,” Miller said. “Now, if you go to a deciding fifth set where things are shorter and faster, you have at least one more challenge in the match.”
The committee made a recommendation to simplify rules regarding libero jerseys. The proposal now states that the defensive specialist jersey must be immediately recognized from all angles as clearly contrasting the jerseys of other members of the team.
With the rationale of keeping the pace of play in women’s volleyball matches more continuous, the committee recommended reducing the maximum time for intermission between the second and third sets to five minutes.
Currently, the maximum length for intermission is 10 minutes.