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Old Wed Sep 03, 2003, 02:41am
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I've done JH volleyball for the last three years, by choice. I just don't do enough to feel comfortable at the higher levels. But this year our (new) assignor has decided that "If you're not moving up, you're moving down", and I'm doing some varsity this year. I don't feel ready, AT ALL, but I'm not going to change her mind, so I guess I'd better dig in and give it a good shot. So here's what i need the most help with: Back row attack. I have no clue how to see this, how to judge it, how to be reasonably certain, and not make an *** of myself. And I simply can't get my mind around the details of the rule, when it talks about "if the ball breaks the plane and is blocked" then you call it, or don't if it is all the way over or what?

Any and all suggestions very welcome.
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Old Wed Sep 03, 2003, 11:14am
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OK, Juulie, here's a crash course in the back row attack (NFHS Rules):

Three things are required to meet the criteria for a back row attack

1. The back row player must be on or have left the floor either on or in front of the attack line.
2. The ball must be contacted while it is completly above the height of the net
3. The ball must completly cross the net or be blocked back across.

The important thing to remember is that all three of these must happen for there to be a violation. If it's only one or two of these conditions, it's a legal play.

Some tips that have worked for me:

Most of the time that you call a back row attack, it's on a back row setter. Identify the setters and the offense the teams are running early and be aware when a setter is coming up from the back row.

I tend to call the back row attack foul if it's close (especially with regard to the height of the ball). I have noticed that, at least around here, some setters will attack from the back row until they get called for it, then stop. I rarely get an argument for calling this, Usually it results in a coach chastising his player.

In AZ this year, we were also told to play with this interp: If the back row player meets the three criteria for a back row attack, but is attempting to direct the ball to a teammate and the ball crosses the net, the violation is not to be called. This might happen if the back row setter is attempting to set across the court to a hitter, but misses the set and it goes across the net.

I only call NFHS VB, but I think the other rulesets are similar in regards to back row attack.

This is one of those things that doesn't happen very often, but you need to be ready for it when it does. Once you call it the first time, it becomes much easier.
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Old Wed Sep 03, 2003, 12:28pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Andy
[BIn AZ this year, we were also told to play with this interp: If the back row player meets the three criteria for a back row attack, but is attempting to direct the ball to a teammate and the ball crosses the net, the violation is not to be called. This might happen if the back row setter is attempting to set across the court to a hitter, but misses the set and it goes across the net. [/B]
Andy, thanks for all the tips. I can start studying these ideas right away, and it will steepen my learning curve.

The part about when to call it still confuses me. Your example above, of the setter that tries to set and it accidentally goes across, I can handle. But what's the rule otherwise? I've looked at the rule book, but I just can't get a schematic in my mind of what the rule is.

Thanks for your help.
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Old Wed Sep 03, 2003, 12:56pm
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I'm a newbie volleyball official myself, but am fresh from studying the rules, so here goes.

My mental checklist of back row attack fouls has four items: (i) a back row player, (ii) in (or having left the ground from) the attack zone, (iii) a ball completely above the net, and (iv) a completed attack.

Items (i) - (iii) are the situation you need to work on recognizing as developing on the court, then wait to see if (iv) occurs. Item (iv) doesn't happen until the ball completely passes over the net or is legally blocked by an opponent. That's the basic rule.

Once you have that basic play down, and are practised at recognizing when items (i) - (iii) are in place, the exception in Rule 9-5-4 is pretty easy. It can ONLY APPLY if the back row player's hit is the 1st or 2nd hit AND is towards a front row teammate. One of several things can happen:

(A) the front row teammate makes the next hit. Item (iv) of the basic rule now can't occur. The back row player has gotten off the hook for the foul - PLAY ON.

(B) the front row teammate misses the pass. If the ball goes completely over the net anyway, this is just a simple case of fulfilling item (iv) of the basic rule - BACK ROW FOUL. If the ball doesn't get completely over the net anyway and falls to the ground, item (iv) has not been met and there is no foul, but the rally ends anyway in favor of the opponent.

(C) the opponent legally blocks the ball partially over the net (before the front row teammate can get the next hit). THIS IS THE EXCEPTION - PLAY ON. The theory behind this exception is that the opponent's (legal) intervention prevented the front row teammate's subsequent hit from taking the back row player off the hook for the foul (as in A above).



Obviously, the exception never comes into play if the back row player's pass is the 3rd hit or it is not towards a front row teammate who has a chance to get the back row player off the hook with a subsequent hit.

Also, if the ball has not gotten partially over the net, the opponent would be committing a fault by reaching over the net to hit a ball completely in the attacking team's zone before the 3rd hit.


I'm sure we all analyze or remember these things differently. I'm trusting that with practice this thought process will work for me in the heat of the moment. I hope you hit upon a technique that makes it easy for you to recognize and react quickly with the right call. Regards

Nick


[Edited by nickdangerME on Sep 3rd, 2003 at 02:04 PM]
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Old Thu Sep 04, 2003, 01:31am
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Nick -- your explanation about the "completed attack" is very helpful. Thanks a lot!
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