In my opinion over the last 25 years or so volleyball has been the most forward thinking and innovative sport in the world. Events such as World League, World Grand Prix and Beach Volleyball World Tour were created and have improved the quality and popularity of volleyball throughout the world as rule changes such as rally point scoring and the libero have made the game more attractive. Volleyball has been so successful in these areas that other sports are even attempting to copy its model in some way. Now the President of FIVB, Jizhong Wei, has committed the FIVB to create a system for using video technology to help officiate volleyball in time for the next Olympics. That in itself is not new, and I have written about it before, but the thing that most warms my heart is his reasoning.
“We have to serve the players, not to control them all the time, because the athletes undertook four years of scientific and hard training and we cannot allow one mistake from the judge or referee to make the difference. At the FIVB we recognise our responsibility.”
This is the first time I have heard anyone in this discussion talk about the issue from the perspective of fairness to the competitors and respect for the preparation they undertake and is something of a contrast to the Luddite rantings of people like UEFA’s Michel Platini.