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Re: [Beach VB Rule Q - FAQ?] First Contact writes:
> While playing beach volleybal I was told that I am not allowed to
> play the first ball (the opposite's serve) using fingers overhead
> even if there is only a short, single contact.  I took a look at the
> rules and failed to see which rule applies - who does?

> And yes, I also took a look at the FAQ.

Bravo!  And they said netiquette was dead in the age of AOL and the
dumbing down of the internet!  :-)

This is somewhat of a FAQ, but there are so many different rulesets,
myths, and recent rule changes involved, that it's easy to get
confused and get conflicting stories...and based on the length of what
I'm about to write, it's not easily documented in the space of an FAQ.

What you describe is a "homer" or local rule.  No such "can't take the
first ball with your fingers overhead" rule exists in any known
ruleset.  However, there is widespread confusion on the rules for
first contacts on the beach to further complicate matters.

See here for my Beach rules primer that attempts to dispell such

Although I assume you play under FIVB Beach rules (.de domain), you
will find substantial overlap in the FIVB beach and USAV beach rules.

Under USAV beach rules (and FIVB beach rules as well, AFAIK), there is
no rote prohibition on receiving the serve with fingers overhead.
However in beach rules, you may not double-contact a first ball that
you receive in a setting action (using your "fingers to direct the
ball").  In beach rules, this "setting" reception of the first ball is
held to the same standards as a normal set with respect to multiple
contacts.  This is different than the indoor rules which allow a
double contact on any first ball.

Read the following rules (and/or their FIVB counterparts) carefully.
The salient issues on the first contact under beach rules:

        o double contact legal unless using fingers to direct the ball
        o momentary lift is legal in defense of a hard-driven ball
        o the serve is never considered a hard-driven ball (not easily
          seen in the rules, but USAV beach rules interpreter Sue
          Lemaire has clarified this for me)

(Indoor players will be quick to point out that a lift is never legal
under indoor rules, and that you may double contact any first ball
even if you use "finger action" under indoor rules.)

USAV Beach 1998-1999
13.4 Characteristics of the Contact
13.4.1 A player may touch the ball with any part of the body.
13.4.2 A player may have successive contact with the ball during a
       single attempt to make the team's first contact provided the
       fingers are not used to direct the ball.
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.
13.4.4 A contact of the ball using the fingers of one or two hand to
       direct the ball toward a teammate is a set.  A player may set
       the ball in any direction toward his/her team's court. Rotation of a set ball may indicate a held ball or multiple
         contacts during the set but in itself is not a faul.
13.4.5 For doubles and triples competition only:  If the ball is
       intentionally set into the opponent's court, the player must
       contact the ball with two hands above his/her shoulders and set
       it directly forward or directly backward with relation to
       his/her body.
13.4.5 Commentary:  A legal set directed toward a teammate that
       crosses the net because of elements is not a fault, regardless
       of the player's body position.
13.4.6 For Doubles, Triples and Four-Player Competition only:  When
       contacting the ball with one hand, other than for setting the
       ball toward a teammate, the ball must be cleanly hit with the
       heel or palm of the hand (a roll shot), with straight, locked
       fingertips (a cobra), knurled fingers (a camel toe) or with the
       back of the hand from the wrist to the knuckles. One handed
       placement or redirectio of the ball with the fingers (a dink or
       open-hand tip) is a fault.

                  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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