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Re: Down in Front -- Rule or Courtesy?

patterso@spudboy.ADS.COM (Tim J. Patterson) writes:
> ok - as a follow up...
> when the rules were changed to allow service anywhere behind the back
> line, we had a guy who would move to the left and have one of his back
> row players stand in front of him so he could serve over their
> head. They stood still but it was a deliberate effort to obscure view
> of his serve.  Screen?

USAV indoor and NAGWS perspective:

If the back row player was the only player obscuring the server (a
potential "individual screen"), no it's not a fault unless the player
waves his arms, jumps or moves.  Recent clinics have instructed
referees "as long as the receiver is able to see the server's
_contact_ with the ball it's not a fault."  Typically the server's
contact with the ball is above the head of such a back row player.

As a player, you might call this to the referees attention, though and
see what you get.  As a referee, however, I would deny your request
because such an individual screen is permissible unless the server is
tossing the ball extremely low and behind the back row player.

However, the expanded service zone opens up possibilities for some
imaginitive collective screens involving front and back row players in
the indoor rulesets:

There is a fairly common misconception that players must be within a
certain distance of each other to create a collective screen.  This is
not true.  Some teams try to use front and back row players who are
far apart combine to obscure the server from the line-of-sight of the

As a player, I would request that the referee do some preventive
officiating and request that the captain of the serving team have his
players either bend over or move to break up the screen.  If after the
warning the collective screen persisted _and_ the ball was served over
the collective screen, the referee should call the violation.

USAV beach rules give receivers more rights on both of these
instances: if the receiving team requests the back row player or part
of collective screen to move, they must move.

                  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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