I wrote before about an instance where the rules are interpreted in a particular way that is inconsistent with the way the game is played. There is another situation in which the video challenge system reveals a weakness in the interpretation and implementation of the rules.
In the above sequence, the second referee whistles for a net touch. After a challenge, the net touch call is overturned. It is ruled that technically the rally ended with the net touch, and therefore when the decision is overturned a replay is ordered. The interpretation is that the defending team could have played the ball if the second referee had not interrupted. Logically this is reasonable.
However, if you watch the video you are struck by two observations. Firstly, the players covering the block have no chance to play the ball under any circumstances. Secondly, the whistle is not heard until long after ball is dead. The whistle clearly did not interrupt the play. Kazan deserved the point and after the review should have been awarded it.
There are a few of these holes in the rules. Net touches, centreline calls when the ball is flying into the stands but hasn’t touched anything yet, and some calls on the ball touching the floor are similarly affected. Coaches are aware of this and will take advantage of it. I have seen situations in which the referee blew his whistle too early as the ball flew away out of reach of players. But having made the ‘wrong’ call, after review a replay must be called. Indeed during an important match between Jastrzębski Węgiel and Radom, that exact thing happened and more than likely changed the outcome of the match.
The rules as written don’t make allowances for for these situations and so the ‘wrong’ outcome is allowed. We have enough experience by now to make the relevant changes to the rules or interpretations to make our game even fairer.
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