Don’t Blame The Rules…

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I have had and heard several discussions in recent years about the current net touch rules that allow to touch parts of the net without a fault being called.  Unsightly and dangerous are just two of the many criticisms that are directed at this particular rule.  And my particular favourite, that players don’t learn body control – ‘like in the good old days’.  While I have not seen them, I have heard of many situations that occur at lower levels that are indeed unsightly and dangerous.  And perhaps the players do not learn body control.

But all of these situations describe matches.  Players learn to play volleyball in practice.  They learn to avoid dangerous situations in practice.  They learn body control in practice.  The practice environment is controlled by the coach and guided by the rules.  In his own gym the coach can, and must, impose appropriate training rules to optimise individual and team development.  Dangerous activity and learning body control fall into those categories*.

So if you are unhappy with the game, don’t blame the rules…

… blame the coaches.


* Coaches can’t do much about unsightly.


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      1. Agreed. But complaining about what other coaches have to do should be (from your point of view) as unnecessary as complaining about the rules. I can alter neither of the two. But what I can say is that the change of the net violation rule has revealed some inadequacy in lots of coaches. And this affects the safety of my (and other) players. Blaming others or the rules doesn’t help. But I feel kind of helpless. Because I have no idea how to protect my players.


  1. My thoughts exactly – especially after the Aus schools cup debacle where they reverted to the old rules because players were coming under/ through the net. Coaches need to take a much greater level of accountability.


    1. Most sports, including volleyball, use different rules at lower levels to help the development, safety and enjoyment of young athletes. I can’t, for the life of me, work out why the net touch rule is somehow sacrosanct. Organisations don’t need to enforce it with developing players if they don’t want to.


      1. Given the hysteria about this, I am surprised that that option hasn’t been taken up more. A comment on facebook on these posts wrote that in Canada, for example, they have banned overhead reception until U16s.


  2. I knew you would ask that, Mark. With your question I realized that I hadn’t the net touch but stepping on the centre line rule in mind. But at the bottom line that doesn’t chnage what you were commenting.

    Two years ago my setter got injured in the first preseason match and after his recovery in the very first match of the regular season because of somebody stepping on the centre line (and referees didn’t know the rules for interfering with the blocker). But: Injuries seem to be the exception and I guess this is why you were asking. I have a theory though. For my team I can say that they are aware of opponents “out of control”. They simply block with the “safety belt” on if somebody is stepping over often. And I can’t blame them for this. But watching other teams play each other I am astonished from time to time why nobody gets hurt. And I think this is because most of the time they block in the wrong place and with the wrong timing. But this is only a personal interpretation. What stays is that some players come flying in with some furious power. And the referees not aware of the rules (at least at our level) don’t call it. So blame the referees?


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