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Re: Footsy at the net

[Wally treated this very well, but I'll respond to each individual
scenario just for grins] writes:
> My USVA rule book is way vague (and maybe obsolete, being a '94!) in
> this area. 

I'm just giddy with excitement over the USAV rules being on-line now:

By all means update your printed rulebook.  Though it's possible
nothing has changed on this particular rule since then (I don't have a
94 book handy), lots of other things have changed.

Here's the rule we're discussing, from the 1998-99 USAV Indoor rules:

    16.3.1 A player may reach or penetrate into the opponent's
    court and/or space under the net, provided this does
    not interfere with the opponent's play.
    16.3.2 Penetration into the opponent's court, beyond the
    center line to: touch the opponent's court with (a) hand(s),
    foot or feet is permitted, provided some part
    of the penetrating hand(s)/foot/feet remains
    either in contact with or directly above the
    center line;

>I play indoors (up to 6 man) weekly, and we have a couple
> of proclaimed rules experts that disagree about the rules concerning
> incidental foot contact under the net:  My book says incidental
> contact is not a foul, contrary to BOTH 'experts'.
> Scenario 1)  Player A is attacking (3rd hit) while Player B is
> blocking.  After the hit, Player B comes down on Player A's foot,
> which is in B's court (not by an entire foot, however).  Expert #1
> claims this supercedes the normal foot-fault rule and causes a penalty
> while expert #2 says hte attacker has all the rights.

The question that must be answered in all these scenarios is "Did the
contact interfere with the play of the person whose court was
penetrated?"  If not, there is no fault.

You didn't mention whether player B's further effort to play the ball
was impeded (or if there was any further play on the ball to be had).
You hinted that in each case some part of the penetrator's foot was
still on or above the centerline.

Now, there is a potential centerline violation on player A, because
player A's tootsies are in player B's court.  For this penetration to
be legal, two criteria must be met:
        a) some part of player A's foot must be on or above the
        b) player A's penetration must not interfere with player B's
           subsequent play on the ball.

Player B can't be called for a centerline violation here...he's
entirely within his own court.  

> Scenario 1a) Same situation except ball is "on the net" (hence both
> players are attacking) although Player A is 'offense'.

The ball position does not matter for this ruling.  

> Scenario 1b) First situation, but Player A lands on Player B's foot,
> which is in A's court.

Clearly, player A cannot be at fault.  Player B could be at fault if 
        a) his entire foot is completely over the centerline 
        b) this contact prevents A from further playing the ball.

> Scenario 1c) First situation, but Player A lands on Player B's foot,
> which is in B's court.

Player B can't be at fault.  Player A may be at fault.  Was player A's
foot completly across the centerline?  Did this contact impede player
B's further attempts at playing the ball?

> Scenario 1d) First situation, but Player B lands on Player A's foot
> which is in A's court.

Player A can't be at fault...his foot's on his own court.  Was some
part of player B's foot still above the centerline?  Did the contact
interfere with player A's play?

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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