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Old Wed Aug 22, 2012, 09:17am
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"Prove It"

Two times at this weekend's tournament we had coaches ask us to "prove it" in the rulebook.

Situation 1. - Team A has only two subs on the bench, both have already been in the game. The team's setter, on the floor, suddenly has a bloody nose and can't get it to stop. The team uses their 30 second injury time and the coach decides to use a full time out; his final one. At the completion of the time out he sends the 5 players back on the floor and insists that his team "is on the floor". We let him know that he can't play with 5 if he has an exceptional subs available. He starts to argue, insisting that we prove it to him in the rule book.

Situation 2 - Different team. A sub enters the substitution zone with taped earlobes. R2 points to the ears and the player says "Oh, I just got my ears pierced and they can't come out." Coach insists that tape over jewelry is acceptable and wants us to prove otherwise in the rule book.

I've heard coaches ask for this once or twice before...but never twice on the same day. What's your usual quick response to this request? (I know that a "challenge" time-out can be granted but only if the coach requests it)

Personally, I told them both - "Coach, you got a rule book this year too. I know the rule and I've made my ruling. Let's play!"
"When I umpire I may not always be right, but I am always final!"
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Old Wed Aug 22, 2012, 01:07pm
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I love the response! this is why on the basketball board we call coaches howler monkeys.Last year I had a JV coach go nuts on me because I made her fill out her lineup in the correct form.
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Old Wed Aug 22, 2012, 01:23pm
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It is not our job to "prove it". As you said, the coach can request a time-out to discuss a possible rule misapplication, but, we are not responsible for showing the coach WHERE a rule is in the book. If the coach can show us where we are wrong, we obviously change our call, but I'M the one who is from Missouri ("Show Me").

With that being said, in Situation 1, the answer is found in Rule 10-3-6b":
ART. 6 . . . When teams have exhausted their 18 team substitutions or when no legal substitutes are available, an exceptional substitution is permitted only for an injured/ill player in the following priority: ...
b. By any legal teammate on the bench, regardless of previous position played. An injured/ill player replaced by an exceptional substitution may not re-enter a set in which the exceptional substitution takes place. A team may not play with fewer than six players if there is a legal substitute (including an exceptional substitution) available;
In Situation 2, Rule 4-1-6 is quite specific:
ART. 6 . . . Jewelry shall not be worn by players during warm-ups and/or competition.
It does not say that jewelry may be worn if it is taped or covered. Wear jewelry=no play, period.
Jan G. Filip - San Jose, CA
EBVOA Rules Interpreter Emeritus
NCS Volleyball Officials Coordinating Committee Recorder
CIF State Volleyball State Championships Referee (2005), Scorekeeper (2006-2007) & Libero Tracker (2010)
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Old Wed Aug 22, 2012, 02:59pm
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Response to both:

"I soon as you follow the correct procedure."

Done. :-)
Felix A. Madera
USAV Indoor National / Beach Zonal Referee
FIVB Qualified International Scorer
PAVO National Referee / Certified Line Judge/Scorer
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Old Mon Sep 03, 2012, 05:42pm
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I agree, we do not have to prove anything - we know the rules.

For jewelry, I have been coached by legal council to my association to ask if jewelry is under tape. If they say yes, they can not play. If they say no, play on. If the tape comes off and jewelry is detected, it is a red card.

There is not a rule that says you can not play with tape on your body. We had a incident that prompted this approach.

You don't see this in high school (yet), but I have had college players that I suspected where wearing jewelry under there is not appropriate to have them 'prove it'.
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