‘A step towards international standards’ KOVO discusses changes to video replay rules…may introduce mid-rally replay like FIVB

A possible change to the V-League video replay rules has been proposed. The main direction of the revision is to align with the current FIVB Video Review Rules.

The third day of the Korea Volleyball Organization (KOVO) 2024 Referee Academy, which will be held from February 2 to 9, was held on Thursday at the Nuri Dreams Square conference center in Sangam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. The topic of the day was ‘Video Review Operational Standards’. A total of 35 V-League experts and referees, including Choi Jae-hyo, the new chairman of the referee committee, met.

The current V-League video review rules differ from the FIVB standards in several ways. This was the context for the day’s discussions. One of the key items on the agenda was the introduction of the ‘mid-rally read’. This means that the referee will stop the rally and review the video as soon as a team requests it during the rally. In the V-League, it was only possible to review after the end of the rally. However, in FIVB-organized competitions, mid-rally review is allowed. This is the case not only in the Volleyball Nations League 파워볼게임 but also in the Olympics.

Furthermore, the current FIVB Video Review Rules state that “mid-rally reviews (reviews for fouls committed in the middle of a rally) cannot be made after the rally has ended”. After the referee declares the end of a rally, only a “last rally review” can be made, which is a review of the last situation that decided the rally, such as whether the ball was in or out. In contrast, in the V-League, video review is only available after the end of the rally, which means that any foul committed during the rally can be reviewed.

The number of video reviews a team can request also differs. Currently, the V-League allows one per set. In FIVB-organized competitions, teams can request up to two per set. This does not include “extra review requests,” which are requests for a review of a different play, other than one that has already been reviewed in the same play. However, to prevent unnecessary requests for extra reads, the number of reads will be deducted if the result is different from the team’s claim.

The introduction of the mid-rally review has the disadvantage of interrupting the flow of the match. The FIVB mitigates this with the green card system. A green card is given to a player who voluntarily admits to a foul before the referee declares the middle rally. The player who receives the most green cards during the tournament is awarded a certain amount of money at the end of the tournament. It’s a kind of fair play award. We are also introducing it in VNL.

These are the main points that KOVO wants to follow in the FIVB video replay rules. However, according to Choi, it’s difficult to apply these rules to the V-League right away. There are some ambiguities in the rules. For example, “In FIVB-organized competitions, the rule states that after the referee declares the end of the rally, the last rally can only be reviewed according to the last situation that decided the rally, such as whether the ball was in or out,” which is something that referees sometimes modify in FIVB-organized competitions. If the rally ends with a fast ball, the team may not have had time to request a mid-rally review. In this case, the referee may decide to proceed with the video review of the mid-rally foul even if the whistle has been blown to end the rally. Furthermore, the current FIVB Video Review Rules are unclear as to what constitutes a mid-rally and what constitutes a last rally. Currently, FIVB-organized competitions rely heavily on the judgment of the referee.

Therefore, importing the FIVB video replay rules into the V-League could increase the degree to which the referee’s subjectivity affects the game. KOVO is also aware of this. In order to address these issues in advance, Choi and the participants of the Referee Academy had a lengthy discussion during the ‘Casebook Group Discussion’, which was newly introduced this year, about the various issues that could arise if the current FIVB Video Officiating Rules were implemented in the V-League, as well as how to address them. The discussion centered on real-life controversial cases from FIVB-organized competitions.

Based on the guidelines created through the discussions, the KOVO Technical Committee, which is composed of the head of operations Kim Se-jin and the head coach of each club, will make the final decision on whether to change the actual video review rule. If the changes are finalized, they will be piloted as early as the KOVO Cup in Tongyeong in September and then expanded to the V-League starting in the 2024-25 season.

“It (the change to the V-League’s video replay rules) will be very helpful in strengthening the competitiveness of Korean volleyball on the international stage,” Choi said. “(Today’s discussion) is part of our efforts to bring the V-League’s video replay rules in line with international standards,” Kim said.

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