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NCAA Women’s Volleyball Rule Changes for 2020

Rules • February 27, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA (February 27, 2020) – The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved two rule changes involving uniforms and apparel for women’s volleyball for the 2020 season.

  • Players will be allowed to wear shorts or leggings, provided all teammates wear the same color.
  • Teams will also be assessed an administrative red card for uniform violations and teams with uniform violations will start a match trailing 1-0 in the first set.

Teams also have an option to add a third referee to conduct all video challenge reviews. The addition of the third referee is optional for schools and conferences due to the financial implications.

Over the past two seasons, the Southeastern Conference experimented with having a third official to handle video challenge reviews. In 2019, the average video review in the SEC was completed in 1 minute, 10 seconds. In NCAA women’s volleyball matches in which the second referee handled those duties last year, the reviews were completed in an average of 1:29.

NCAA Women’s Volleyball Rules Committee members liked the optics of having a third person, who was not involved in the original call, to review coach’s challenges.

The panel also approved the following women’s volleyball rules proposals:

  • Combining decisions regarding in/out/touch, net and antenna faults into one challengeable action. This allows the referee to call the first fault seen on the review.
  • Allowing coaches to challenge any play when the decision is based on whether a player touched the ball, including back-row attacks and illegal blocks, or whether a player illegally reached over the net.
  • Allowing either coach to challenge a fault that occurred before a replay.
  • Allowing line judges to provide input when requested by the first referee on decisions involving whether the ball or a player touched an antenna or whether a player played the ball in a nonplayable area.