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Re: 3rd hit does not clear net, but touched? (Vince Busam) writes:
> [Someone else wrote:]
> >If the 3rd hit has no chance of going over the net but the blocker
> >touches it anyway, can the ref call the play over or is the ball
> >still alive?

Silly blocker.  :-)

As others have said, the ball is alive (and the ref shouldn't whistle)
until the ball touches the court, (or someone commits an infraction.
See rule 12 "States of Play" at for more
details).  Furthermore, the attacking team gets 3 fresh team contacts
thanks to their opponents' completed block.

> From what I was taught in our Juniors reffing clinic, you can block
> or attack the ball after the other team has "completed the attack",
> which would mean that if the other team has touched it twice, and no
> other player is close enough to make the third contact, you can
> reach over the net to attack the ball.  Is this the case as well?

Strictly, the word "attack" here is troublesome, as it's never legal
to initiate an attack on a ball that is entirely on the opponent's
side of the net (see 18.4.1 below).  You can, however, legally block
such a ball, as you said, provided the criteria of rule 19.3.1.* below
are met.  The relevant rules citations are included below.

USAV 1998-99 indoor rules

In blocking, a player may place hands and arms beyond
the net, inside the antennas, provided this action does
not interfere with the opponent's play.
19.3.1 Blocking of the ball across the net above the
opponent's team area shall be permitted, provided: the block is made after the opponents have
executed an attack-hit or the block is made after the opponents have
hit the ball in such a manner that the ball
would, in the first referee's judgment, clearly
cross the net if not touched by a player and
no member of the attacking team is in a
position to make a play on the ball. the ball is falling near the net and no
member of the attacking team could, in the
first referee's judgment, make a play on the
19.3.2 Any third team hit by the opponent is an attack-hit
and may be blocked at any time after the contact.

All actions directing the ball toward the opponent (except
a serve, block or action) are attack-hits.
18.1.2 An attack-hit is completed the moment the ball
completely crosses the vertical plane of the net or
is touched by a blocker.
The front-row player may carry out an attack-hit at any
height, provided the ball contact has been made within
the team's playing space [EXCEPTION: Rule 18.4.4].
18.4.1 A player initiates an attack-hit on the ball
completely within the playing space of the
opposing team [Rule 16.2].

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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