What Does the NCAA Rule Change Mean for Women’s Volleyball?

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Photo featuring setter Gabby Blossom from Penn State. Gabby is one of the best setters in the NCAA Women’s volleyball division. (Photo courtesy NCAA.com)

The NCAA Women’s Volleyball Rules Committee recently approved several major rules changes for the 2024 college season. The news rules and regulations regard many topics such as jewelry and libero designation, but athletes and coaches are most concerned about the addition of double touches. 

The rules state that the setter or another player may quickly touch the ball for a second time as long as the next touch is to another teammate and not over the net.  

“That was the farthest call for the ref to make…there was a not of discrepancies so this might level the playing field…the double hit in volleyball is a huge rule it would be like allowing a handball in soccer or traveling in basketball,” said Mrs. Hinsler, Leesville Road High School Women’s Volleyball coach.

Calling doubles frequently sparks discord between coaches and the referee during matches. Previously a double contact would be called on the setter when their hands are not perfectly even when setting the ball, causing it to spin and giving a point to the opposing team automatically. Hopefully allowing double touches will make the game more fair and consistent. 

“They (setters) have to train really hard to not make those double touches …now it feels like a waste of time. If the ref calls a double its a point for the other team…its kinda a big deal,” said Rania Brown, junior Volleyball player,

For inexperienced players the new rule may be helpful. But for experienced and professional players, the rule is frustrating. All the time and practice they dedicated to perfecting their setting technique seems wasted. 

“That’s a big thing our setters work on; clean hands and consistency…i see some benefits like keeping the scores fair and making the game go faster,” said Ms. Lyon, Leesville Road High School Women’s Volleyball coach.

Coaches say that the way they train their players will not change. Setters will still practice properly setting the ball with both hands to create clean passes for the hitter and score points. 

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