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The hard-driven ball myth (was Re: service reception rule change) writes:
> In article <6oocho$nps$>,
> (stokke) wrote:
> > Actually you have always been able to open hand any contact.  It's
> > just that with tighter rules it was much tougher to do legally.
> > When I ref high school and let someone set the serve (legally and
> > cleanly) someone always gets upset because "setting the serve is
> > illegal".  Not illegal, just very difficult for anything other
> > than a free ball.  Same outdoors.
> This is not necessarily accurate.
> NFSHSA (high school) rules do not allow *double-hits*, as they term
> them (USAV, NAGWS and FIVB use term *successive contacts*), except
> for hard-driven balls (not serves) and balls coming fast off of
> blocks.

I'd like to add this clarification from the USA Volleyball
outdoor/beach rules perspective.  Joe's comment above was directed
specifically at NFSHSA (high school), but the mention of USAV in the
sentence might lead some folks astray.

The myth I'm trying to debunk is this: A lot of folks on the beach
think you can get away with an arbitrarily sloppy set on the first
ball chanting the refrain, "but it was hard-driven!"  Under USAV Beach
rules, this is false.

The hard-driven ball clause in USAV outdoor rules only applies to
lifts, not double contacts:

        13.4.3 The ball must be contacted cleanly and not held,
               lifted, pushed, caught, carried or thrown.  The ball
               cannot roll or come to rest on any part of the player's
               body.  It can rebound in any direction. An exception shall be allowed during the defensive
                 play of a hard-driven ball (an attack-hit or blocked
                 ball traveling at a high rate of speed), as judged by
                 the referee.  in that case, the ball may be
                 momentarily lifted or pushed, provided the attempt is
                 one continuous motion.  

If you use your fingers in a setting action on the first ball under
USAV outdoor rules, the contact has be clean with respect to double
contacts--regardless of whether the ball is hard-driven or not.  You
can, however, hold the ball a little longer in such a set.

Simply put, the only thing more you can get away with on a hard-driven
ball is a momentary lift/push.  Double contacts of first balls using
"finger action" are still illegal in USAV Beach.

USAV indoor rules, on the other hand, never mention the phrase
"hard-driven."  Under USAV indoor rules, all multiple contacts (with
and without finger action) are permissible (regardless of ball speed)
in a single attempt to play the first ball.

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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