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Old Wed Aug 29, 2012, 06:01pm
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Location: Tustin, Michigan
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Ball Hit on Opposing Side

A coach asked me about a call from last weekend's tournament:

The opposing team had just completed their 3rd hit, and the ball was falling close to the net, but had not yet crossed the plane. Her blocker clearly went across the plane of the net to get it (with both hands above the height of the net). There was clear "wrist action" and her player in her words, "put the ball down".

She was called for illegally crossing the plane. The R1 told the coach that her player had "attacked" the ball, which is illegal. His determination was that the although the other team had already had their 3rd hit, the ball was attacked and not blocked.

After looking up the rule (9.6.4) it does appear that a block after the 3rd hit is legal before it crosses the plane and that wrist action (9.5.1c) is an acceptable part of a block. My question is this, how do you differentiate between a block and an attack in the situation above? It doesn't seem to match any of the attacks listed in the rule book: spike, tip, dump, or overhead pass.
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Last edited by blueump; Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 06:05pm.
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Old Wed Aug 29, 2012, 07:14pm
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
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Illegal Attack

Assuming that you are referring to NHFS rules.

Quote:
She was called for illegally crossing the plane. The R1 told the coach that her player had "attacked" the ball, which is illegal. His determination was that the although the other team had already had their 3rd hit, the ball was attacked and not blocked.
Per rule 9-6-6, blocking a ball which is entirely on the opponent's side of the net is permitted when the opposing team has had an opportunity to complete its attack. The attack is considered complete when the:
a.) Attacking team has completed its three allowable hits;
b.) Attacking team has had the opportunity to complete the attack or, in the referee's judgement, directs the ball toward the opponent's court;
c.) Ball is falling near the net and, in the referee's judgement, no legal member of the attacking team could make a play on the ball;

The block is defined as you referenced as long as there is no prolonged contact. An attack is defined in 6-5-1b as any action other than a block or a serve that directs the ball toward the opponent's court.

In the situation described, the action was a permitted block unless there was prolonged contact. The R1 used a wrong interpretation of the playing action in my opinion.
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