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Old Wed Oct 03, 2018, 12:29pm
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Block of served ball

I had this Saturday, HS JV Tourney, NFHS rules.

Team A is serving. Team B's middle is standing at the net when a low serve comes over. The middle jumps with the hands in a straight up motion, (not as a setting position, which she tried to argue). The served ball hits her fingers which are clearly above the height of the net and deflects backwards to the libero who plays the ball.


I whistle the play dead and rule it an illegal block (of serve.)

My rationale for this ruling was as follows.

Rule 9-5-1c (Definition of a block) - the action of a player (s) close to the net that deflects the ball coming from an opponent, by reaching higher than the top of the net at the moment of contact. A block may involve wrist action as long as there is no prolonged contact.


Rule 9-6-5: Blocking a served ball is not permitted.


I had another official (who was watching the match, not my R2) tell me this was an incorrect call because the ball was not blocked back to the opponent.


There is nothing in the casebook covering this ruling.


The key part of this to me is that nowhere in the definition of a block does it say the ball is returned to the opponent's side of the net.
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Old Wed Oct 03, 2018, 03:19pm
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Chap, you are correct in your judgement to call a illegal block (of serve). Did she meet the criteria for a block? You said she did by being close to the next and having some body part (hands) above the height of the net. Did she touch the ball? You said you saw her deflect the ball.

End of story. You got it correct.
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Old Wed Oct 03, 2018, 10:46pm
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rule book 9.6.6 covers this
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Old Thu Oct 04, 2018, 12:22pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbman View Post
rule book 9.6.6 covers this
9.6.6 does not apply to this situation, although I can see where you could argue that the same would apply.

Attacking and blocking are two different actions, as defined by the rulebook.

9.6.6 specifically states that an attack of a served ball is not dead until it completely crosses the net or is legally touched by an opponent.

Attack specifically lists the attack as a hit which is neither a block nor a serve towards the opponents court.

In the original post, the action of the play 1) was a block as she was close to the net and reaching above the height of the net when she contacted a ball that was coming from an opponent. and 2) there was no action that would specifically indicate the player was attempting to set or pass the ball to a team mate at which time it would negate the block action, as defined by 9.5.1c. Given her location at the net and the fact when she went up with was with the hands in a blocking position, as you would see with a blocker attempting to block any other ball, that the action was a block, by rule which is not permitted.

I honestly think the simplest action to clarify what is a poorly written rule is that the same clause that is applied in 9.6.6 would be added to 9.6.5 stating that

" blocking a served ball which is completely above the height of the net is not permitted. The contact is legal and the ball remains in play until the ball completely crosses the net or is legally contacted by an opponent."

(or we could add block to the note on 9-6-6.)
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Old Fri Oct 05, 2018, 10:43am
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Arrow

chapmaja is definitely correct in the ruling of the play as described.

Regarding the further commentary about now-illegal blocking being OK on a serve, as long as the ball doesn't cross the net... We don't need a separate definition of a "block" for various situations during play.

Don't forget: The ball does NOT need to be completely above the height of the net to be a block. In fact, the ball can be completely below the top of the net...and meet the definition of a block. The height of the ball has no relevance at all.

Height of the ball only has relevance for attacks.
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Old Fri Oct 05, 2018, 07:55pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timasdf View Post
chapmaja is definitely correct in the ruling of the play as described.

Regarding the further commentary about now-illegal blocking being OK on a serve, as long as the ball doesn't cross the net... We don't need a separate definition of a "block" for various situations during play.

Don't forget: The ball does NOT need to be completely above the height of the net to be a block. In fact, the ball can be completely below the top of the net...and meet the definition of a block. The height of the ball has no relevance at all.

Height of the ball only has relevance for attacks.
I wish my officials association leadership would agree. I have been told by the lead trainers of both of my associations that I was incorrect in my ruling.
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Old Sat Oct 06, 2018, 09:41am
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Chap, clearly by the rulebook, blocking a serve is illegal. As already stated by others, by definition of block, the ball does not need to go back across the next for it to be a block. With that said, are your trainers telling you what they would do/call verse not knowing the actual rule? Not that this changes anything in this particular case but it would make me question their rule knowledge if they don't know the actual rule written in the rulebook.
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Old Fri Oct 12, 2018, 07:56pm
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Originally Posted by BigToe View Post
...are your trainers telling you what they would do/call verse not knowing the actual rule?
I would be quite concerned if the big shots in an officials association don't know the rule.

I would be aghast if they saw the rule in the rule book, but refused to acknowledge it.

I don't know what state you reside, but perhaps sending a concise description of the play to the state office or state rules interpreter would help. He/she may then send a notice state-wide (which your local association big shots would presumably see...and maybe even accede to this reality).
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