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Re: Rule question on attacking the serve

Paul Bradford <> writes:

> What I'm asking is this: does a receiving team have to allow
> some part of the served ball to fall below the top of the net?

No, unless the ball is attacked directly off the serve (a single team

> USAV rules.  The rule says you can't attack the serve until
> some part of the ball drops below the top of the net.
> What I'm wonder about is indirect attacks where multiple players
> on the receiving team touch the ball, but the ball always
> remains above the plane of the net.  It seems like this probably
> happens with tall players taking the ball over their heads
> with their hands.
> Example 1: a ball is served, player takes ball with hands (ball
> is above the net), setter jump sets (still above the net),
> hitter attacks.  The ball never got below the plane of the net.
> Or an even simpler case: on the first contact, the receiving
> teams' setter jump sets the serve directly to a hitter.
> Is this legal?

Yes.  The serve is received legally by the setter.  Since the setter
did not attack the ball, there is no violation of the rule you cite
[R18.4.4]. The attacker's legal hit is the team's second contact.  As
such, R18.4.4 does not apply.  

> Example 2: If Example 1 is legal, Here is a tougher case:
> player goes up to attack serve, but one of his teammates touches
> the ball before it goes over to the other side.  The effect is
> the same as directly attacking the serve, but there were multiple
> contacts, so it is like the first example.

I'm not sure I understand your scenario enough to answer, but I
strongly suspect that it's legal too.  R18.4.4 applies only to the
first contact of the receiving team.

Best Regards,
                  Todd H.
USAV Regional Referee, Great Lakes Region, Palatine, IL
Todd's Volleyball Referee Page
"So you're a Ref and an engineer? Oh that explains it...."

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