Libero Position Added For 2002 Volleyball Season

July 19, 2002

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The NCAA Women's Volleyball Rules Committee approved several rule changes for the 2002 women's volleyball season, including the use of the libero player with 12 substitutions, at its Feb. 18-21 meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz. After gathering information from a variety of junior, collegiate and international volleyball coaches and experts, the committee adopted the libero as a designated back row player who cannot serve, attack or set inside the attack line.

'It creates a spot that is a truly defensive position,' said ASU head coach Patti Snyder-Park. 'You have a lot more versatility out on the court and it really adds some excitement to the game. I think the fans will like the change because it creates more excitement from those players that they often see diving all over the court.'

The libero (pronounced LEE-bah-ro) rule, which is currently used in international competition, allows coaches to better utilize a defensive specialist. For example, when the libero leaves the match, she only has to sit out for one rally before re-entering. She is a designated back-row player intended to be used as a ball-control specialist. When the libero enters or leaves the match, it is not counted against a team's 12 substitutions. The libero, who is designated by the coach before the start of each game, wears a different colored uniform than the rest of the team. The libero can also not be one of the teams six starters, but can join in on the first rotation.

Snyder-Park, who is entering her 14th and final season at the helm of Sun Devil volleyball noted that junior Courtney Blocher and senior Brittany Arnett (both DS in 2001), are the leading candidate to fill the libero position for the Devils.

'Both Courtney and Brittany are tremendous defensive players that will be great at this new position,' added Snyder-Park. 'They are both so good that it really makes it a tough decision. Courtney can do a number of things on the court, so if we make her the libero, we will lose her great jump serve and attacking skills. The new rule also lets us change the position before each game, giving us some options that will really help us adapt as the match goes on.'

The Arizona State volleyball program celebrates its 30th season this fall, opening August 30 with the annual Alumnae match at Wells Fargo Arena (7 p.m.). The Sun Devils, who return 10 letterwinners, six starters and add the AVCA Junior College Player of the Year (Juliana Escobar, OH), will compete in the Carolina Classic (Sept. 6-7) and the Texas Tech Tournament (Sept. 14-15) before opening the home season Sept. 20 vs. Pac-10 rival USC (7 p.m.).

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