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FAQ Rules addition: Deflecting ball with hands behind net
- Subject: FAQ Rules addition: Deflecting ball with hands behind net
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael David Bertz)
- Date: 11 Jul 1997 14:58:13 -0400
- Newsgroups: rec.sport.volleyball
- Organization: Georgia Institute of Technology
At long last, here is the FAQ addition for that Todd H. and I have been
working on. This is for the case where a ball is driven into the net and
an opponent places their hands in such a way as to deflect it.
If you've lost interest in this thread, hit 'n' now. :)
FAQ addition for rec.sport volleyball vers. 1.0
Rules Section: 11 July 97
Q. Say I pass the ball a little too hard and it is about to go into
the net. Can a blocker on the other side of the net run up to the net
and place his hands such that the ball hits the net into his hands and
deflects the ball down? Is this legal?
A. It depends. Whether or not this action is legal is a factor of
which ruleset you are playing under, and whether or not the player
contacts the net in the effort to deflect the ball.
As is commonly known, the player should not be held at fault if the
impact of the ball drives the net into him or her.
However, under all of the rulesets commonly used, if a player
initiates the contact with the net, then they should be called for a
** USAV Rules:
USAV Indoor 16.4.3/ Outdoor 15.3.2
"When the ball is driven into the net and causes it to touch an
opponent, no fault is committed."
Tom Blue, the USAV National Rules Interpreter, has further clarified
the issue, providing for a clearer description of the situation and
the action which the referee should take:
"At this point, the decision to be made by the referee is whether the
player has committed a net violation: i.e., did the player initiate
the contact with the net, or did the ball force the net into the
Therefore, if the player is at the net with his or her hands
in a position such that the flight of the ball forces it
into the net and then deflected off the player's hands, then the
play is legal. However, if in the referee's judgement the player
initiates the contact with the net, then the player has commmitted a
** NAGWS Rules:
The relevant NAGWS rule is:
9.7 Commentary - A Ball crossing vertical plane of net
(irrelevant parts snipped for clarity)
"_It is legal for a player to be contacted by a ball hit into
the net by an opponent, unless the referee deems the contact to be an
intentional effort to prevent further play._"
This commentary was incorporated into NAGWS rules for the 1996-97 season.
Thus, under NAGWS, the referee must determine if this was an
intentional play. This is different from USAV Rules, where the
official is only judging whether or not a net violation occured.
Ann Fruechte, the NAGWS Rules Interpreter,
offers this interpretation:
"Commentary 9.7 sums up the NAGWS position well. A player
cannot intentionally touch a ball that is in the body of the net; the
referee obviously determines intention. The general guideline is if a
player is positioned close to the net and is merely standing with hands
out and the ball and net move into the hands, it is an unintentional act
(passive); if the player makes movement with the hands toward the ball
then it's intentional (active). If the referee determines the act is
intentional the proper call is net violation."
A referee should exercise some judgement if a player puts her hands up
to protect herself and deflects the ball. The key concept here is that
the official must judge whether or not the contact was intentional,
unlike in the USAV interpretation, where a net fault is called only if
the player initiates the net contact.
** FIVB Rules:
Neill Luebke, Chairman of the Rules of the Game Commission for USAV
and an International Referee, supplies these thoughts:
"No organization interprets a Rule more literally than the FIVB. Do
not read ANYTHING into the Rule."
FIVB 12.3 (irrelevant parts removed):
"Contact with the net is a fault ...
When the ball is driven into the net and causes it to touch an opponent,
no fault is committed."
Neill adds that "nowhere does it state intent or describe a caveat for
performing such a feat. If it is not written, it is legal. The FIVB
tries very diligently to remove the referee's intent and his own
interpretation from influencing a play."
So, FIVB rules the same as the USAV set. If the player places his or
her hands so that the ball pushes the net into them, it is a legal play,
but if the player initiates the net contact, it is a net fault.
Several FIVB officials from countries around the world concur.
Rainer Perske (GER) gives these observations:
"If the player on the other side makes any movement towards the ball
while the ball is already touching the net, the player is _actively_
going into the net. Net Fault.
If the player on the other side stops any movement towards the net
before the ball begins touching the net, the player is _passive_.
No Fault, no misbehaviour, even if he did so intentionally."
Christian Perrier (FRA) adds:
"The ref has here to decide whether the contact with the net was
caused by the ball driving the net into the player or not. Of course,
as described [in the question above], the net hits the hands of the
player, so there is no fault. However, the ref may also decide that
the net violation was due to an action of the player."
Jeffrey Gogol (CAN) says:
"In Canada, we have interpreted this play as legal as long as the player
does not move their hands either forward or to the side so that the
_ball contacts them_ through the net. They can set their hands in front
of them but they cannot make a play for the ball."
** High School (NFSHSA, or "Federation") Rules:
No official ruling has been received for this ruleset. If you have
one, please let us know!
Q. Yeah, but is it sportsmanlike?
A. Well, that's a question to be debated outside of the rules. As far
as the rules go, it's either a fault or it isn't.
The compilers of this addition to the FAQ would like to recognize
the following people for their contributions of wisdom and prose
to this document: Tom Blue, Ann Fruechte, Jeffrey Gogol, Kevin Lentin,
Neill Luebke, Christian Perrier, Rainer Perske, and Joel Reinford.
Excellent peer review and commentary was provided by Rob Peglar, Joel
Reinford, and Neill Luebke.
All of these rulesets are publically available, and can be obtained
USAV rulebooks: Volleyball Informational Products
1-800-275-8782 (8am - 5pm Mtn. Time)
online _information_ at:
NAGWS rulebooks: National Assoc. for Girls & Women in Sport
1900 Association Dr. Reston, VA 22091
(703)-476-3400 FAX: (703)-476-9527
FIVB rules: Available online at:
This FAQ addition was compiled by
Michael Bertz (email@example.com) and Todd H. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
General FAQ questions or concerns can be sent to
Tom Jack (email@example.com)
Georgia Institute of Technology
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