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NCAA.org | February 22, 2022

Panel approves permanent change to women's college volleyball challenge rules

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The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Tuesday approved allowing women's volleyball teams to begin with two video coach's challenges in all matches, starting with the 2022 season.

If a challenge results in the reversal of the original call, the team will retain the challenge. If the original call is confirmed or there isn't video evidence to overturn the original call, the coach loses the challenge.

If a match reaches the fifth set, each team will be awarded an additional challenge. Teams will be allowed to carry a maximum of two challenges into the fifth set.

During the 2021 season, 15 Division I conferences and one Division II conference experimented with this rule.

Data from the experimental rule showed there wasn't an increase in the number of overall challenges.

The panel also approved allowing coaches to request a video challenge to see whether a libero committed a violation by stepping in front of the 10-foot line while setting the ball to a hitter.

Protecting officials

A new rule that goes into effect next season is that the head coach will be the only person allowed to address the officials when the ball is out of play. Head coaches may address the referees to quickly clarify a nonjudgmental ruling, request a challenge or lodge a protest.

Other rules changes

  • Players will be allowed to wear small, secured articles of jewelry, like post stud earrings, during play. However, no articles of jewelry can be worn below the chin.
  • For upcoming spring matches only, teams will be allowed to experiment with a rule that eliminates double contact when the ball remains on the same side of the net it was played on (second contact). The rationale for experimenting with the rule is to see whether it relieves pressure off the referees to make controversial double contact calls in critical moments of a match. The rules committee will seek feedback from officials and coaches who use the experimental rule.

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