Thinking About… Improving Video Challenge Systems

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In volleyball, the video challenge system makes the game immeasurably better. Obviously, there are more correct officiating calls and so the game is fairer. Less obviously, there are fewer ugly emotional ‘meltdowns’ and the game is generally better behaved. However, no system is perfect and it is important to remember that the object is not to be perfect but to be better. That having been established, I have a couple of suggestions to make it even better. There are a couple of different versions of the challenge system used in different leagues, so some suggestions are not valid for every system.

1. Time limit on challenges. If you need 15 replays to decide, either you just can’t decide, or it is not clear. Decide faster or let the original decision stand.

2. Take out the time for the 2nd referee to walk to position. This is pointless, dead time for everyone. The referees are mic’ed together, the first referee can call it straight away. We don’t have to watch the second referee walking for 10 seconds.

3. Allow challenges for the whole rally. FIVB requires that you stop the rally if you want to challenge something. This is ridiculous. It allows incorrect calls and / or deprives fans of full rallies. It doesn’t provide fair outcomes. If you want a challenge system, have a proper challenge system.

4. The same goes for other actions that the FIVB currently doesn’t allow for; touches in the backcourt and actions over the net.

5. Never, ever, ever show the challenge video inside the stadium. The video quality is too low and fans (and sometimes teams) don’t know the rules as well as officials. It creates needless stress for everyone. Nothing good ever happens when the video is shown in stadium.

These are my thoughts. I am sure we can all agree on them 🤣🤣

More of my thoughts on volleyball are here.

A collection of more Coaching Tips can be found here.

For more great coaching tips, check out the Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.


  1. Hello Coach.
    Actually I main focus is find answer how to block perfectly. I read about propper position of the players, about footwork transition and about centralizing block in the initial phase of setting up.
    This things are obviously for every coach. But varies teams have block better or worse.
    So, my question is what is the diffrence which makes block better? What is the hidden factor which provides a high block quality? What is Your opinion, Coach?
    Mateusz Koziński

    P.S. Sorry if I repeat this comment, becouse I tried to publish it earlier, but I don’t know, was it come to You?


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