When Interfering Is Not Interfering

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I don’t like the official volleyball rules on defining interference. Let me rephrase that. The rules are fine and clear. But the interpretations and cases that referees are required to follow, mean ‘interference’ has only one very tiny definition and beyond that anything goes. For example, you can legally touch an opponent to try to get them to commit a fault. That happens so rarely that noone knows the rule and when it happens people forget about it very fast. The one that happens often that, that people forget about fast, is general centreline penetration. I have already written about it here. Basically unless the player is actively playing the ball, you can come under the net and distract them or make them move away from their position, both of which give you an unfair advantage. Sometimes two players can come under the net, and it is still not a fault.

In photo 1, the white team player is under the net. In photo 2, the white team libero is under the net with the attacker forced to retreat to the 3m line. In photo 3, the attacker takes the risk to jump with an opponent somewhere under his feet. If he had landed on him, it still wouldn’t have been a fault. Click on the photos to see them full size. And scroll down for the video.

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