NCAA, Arizona Volleyball To Have A Different Look This Season

Aug. 14, 2001

TUCSON, Ariz.- Fans attending Arizona volleyball matches this season might wonder if they stumbled into the wrong arena once play begins. Points on every play, the ball hitting the net on a serve and yet the game continues? It will undoubtedly catch some Wildcat fans by surprise.

Fear not, that will still be the defending Pac-10 co-champs on the floor of McKale Center. They are still led by 2000 Pac-10 Coach of the Year David Rubio and Pac-10 Player of the Year Dana Burkholder. And yes, the match will still be best of five, the rotations and substitutions are still around and six players will still be on opposite sides of the net. However, the NCAA has adopted a number of rule changes for the 2001 season that will dramatically affect the way the game is played and scored.

The most radical change comes in the scoring format. Gone from the rule book is the first to 15 with side-outs. Into play is the faster paced 'rally scoring'. In a departure from the previous scoring format, a team may score a point whether it is the serving or receiving team, there are no longer 'side-outs' in which the service receiving teams cannot score. Simply stated, every time the ball is put in play, each team will have an opportunity to score.

Now, in order for a team to win a non-deciding game (the first four games of the match) it must be the first to reach 30 points and lead by at least two using rally scoring.

In a match deciding game (the fifth game of the match) the first team to reach 15, again in rally scoring format (i.e. no side-outs), and lead by two or more points is the winner of that game. See the match examples below.

Another change is that served balls that touch the net and continue on to the opponent's side will remain in play. Balls that strike the net and fall on the serving team's side or out of play will result in a point for the opposition. Previously, any ball that struck the net on a serve was ruled dead and resulted in a side-out.

The final change deals with a ball played outside of the antenna. When an attacking team hits a ball that crosses over the midcourt/netline outside of the antenna, a teammate may legally pursue the ball and pass it back to the attacking side, provided that the ball is played outside the antenna and it does not pass over the antenna or the net in the process of the pass. The attacking team will then have an opportunity to continue the play and rally.

Scoring Examples under the new format:

Three Game Match		1	2	3	4	5Red 		30	31	30	X	XBlue		23	29	18	X	X

Here the red team has defeated the blue team. In game two the Red team needed to go to 31 points in order to win by two.

Four Game Matches		1	2	3	4	5Red 		30	25	30	30	XBlue		23	30	19	22	X

In this case Blue won game two and Red won games one, three and four to win the match.

Five Game Matches		1	2	3	4	5Red 		30	30	24	19	15Blue		23	17	30	30	11

Here the Red team won games one and two and blue won games three and four. Therefore, since the match is tied after four games it is necessary for a fifth and deciding game to determine the winner, which, unlike the previous four games, is played to 15. Red prevailed in game five with a 15-11 victory.

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