NCAA volleyball rules committee recommends experiment by Big 12 schools; What do you think about the idea?
|Players for both Washington and Nebraska plead their case to the referee during December's Round of 16 Nebraska win in Seattle|
-Volleyblog Seattle photo by Leslie Hamann
Football has it. Baseball has it. Basketball and hockey and tennis have it.
Now, NCAA volleyball may allow video instant replay challenges, too.
When Washington lost 3-1 to Nebraska in December’s Round of 16, many fans howled about a pair of line calls in the fourth set (won by the Huskers, 29-27).
The following week in Oklahoma City, the use of video replays was a hot topic at the Final Four.
“I think officials are all trying to make the right call,” said Penn State head coach Russ Rose. “But it’s more important that the call is correct.”
“I’ve been a proponent (of replay challenges) for quite some time,” said Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott. “I think it’s something we should really consider.”
Now, Elliott may get his wish.
Yesterday, the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Rules Committee recommended that Elliott’s conference, the Big 12, be permitted to experiment this fall with replay challenges. The Committee’s recommendation will be considered February 18 by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel.
Under the Big 12 plan, coaches would be allowed two instant replay challenges per set. Only the following challenges would be reviewable:
- whether a ball landed in or out, or if a ball hit the court before being played.
- whether the ball or a player touched the antenna.
- whether a foot fault occurred on a serve.
- net faults.
- whether a ball is touched by a player.
- whether a four-hit violation occurred.
The experiment would only be conducted during Big 12 conference matches at schools able to provide the necessary equipment and personnel.
“It’s a new technology,” said Elliott during the Final Four. He estimated that it could cost as much as $15,000 for a two-match weekend. “But I think it’s great for the fans. It would be fantastic. We could have one or two reviews, and the fans could sit there and watch, like they do in tennis. And it makes our sport better.”
Jack Hamann interviews US Women's National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly about the use of replay challenges during major international tournaments. Check out "Video Voices," a Volleyball Magazine series featuring with many of volleyball's leading minds.
FIVB, volleyball’s international governing body, recently began using replay challenges at major international tournaments. (See our Volleyball Magazine interview with Karch Kiraly about his experience at the World Championships, won by the USA.) “There’s a reason they’re doing it at the highest level in the world,” said Rose. “It’s based on the speed of the game and the fact that they really want the calls to be correct.”
But, says Rose, “I think the cost is probably going to be prohibitive.”
In the first Oklahoma City semifinal, Texas trailed BYU 2 sets to 1. With the score tied at 24, BYU star Jennifer Hamson’s attack sailed long, but the down referee called a touch on the Texas block. Elliott’s passionate protest drew a yellow card. BYU went on the win the set and the match.
“You just want to give athletes the best chance to settle it on the floor,” said a visibly frustrated Elliott during the post-match press conference. “We saw some calls last week with Washington and Nebraska that were very tight. With instant replay, you get to do it right. That’s all we’re asking, is just to be fair.”
Your turn, readers. Check out our interview with Karch Kiraly, and tell us what you think about replay challenges.