NCAA Implements a Rule Change In Women’s Volleyball

We formally watched volleyball with the knowledge that one player cannot hit the ball twice in a row, and when hitting the ball with two hands, they must make contact with it at the same time. However, the NCAA just made huge changes to this rule that will drastically alter the game. 

A double contact, or double hit, is when a player touches the ball twice in a row, or when the player touches the ball with two parts of the body consecutively. Up until the new rule change, the NCAA always ruled this form of contact illegal, resulting in a point gained for the opposing team. The recent decision to change the rule for women’s volleyball now states that any player is able to contact the ball more than once with any part of the body, in an effort to pass to a teammate. This will be deemed illegal, however, when using this to hit the ball over the net. 

This topic was heavily debated earlier this year in January, and after years of controversy they finally made the change. The NCAA stated that “officiating double contacts has sparked intense debates between coaches and volleyball officials during matches. Committee members thought that the elimination of this judgment call would bring more consistency to the game.” They also remarked how they believed this would “continuation of play” resulting in more entertaining matches, and that this would ultimately not change the outcome of many calls. It is very difficult for officials to call on double contacts, based on how quickly the game is and it is often relied on video replay to see, which oftentimes does not resolve the call either, prompting debate and controversial calls. 

This change to women’s volleyball sparked tons of controversy and debates nationwide. Many believe that, like the NCAA said, this will not change the game much and that it is going to strengthen the officiating. Others believe that this changed the way they play their game and it will allow setting to be much easier, allowing many more to become great setters, very quickly. 

“There was a time where if a non-setter shaped to set a ball, the referee was ready to blow the whistle, regardless of how clean it was,” stated Blind Brook star volleyball player Ella Rosenfeld. “To me, this is positive for the game. We want exciting rallies that don’t end in technicalities.” 

Emily Golodnikov added, ”This new rule will bring an exciting and more fun experience to women’s volleyball, leading the game to be more fast-paced. However, I can understand criticism on how the new rule could result in sloppier play and technique.”