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Rules Change Proposals

Aug 14, 2023 | News

The Rules Team has completed their proposals for changes to the rulebook for 2023.  They have proposed 7 rules changes, including 1 major change, in addition to 3 clarifications and minor fixes.

These changes can be found below, and are now being sent to the full Rules Committee for review.  As this is a Major Change year, as previously announced, up to three major changes may be passed with a simple majority of non-abstaining votes by the rules committee.  Only 1 major change has been proposed for this year at this time (details on an additional possible major change can be found below the Rules Team proposals).

Major Change Proposals

Introduction of a 1 meter restricted zone around the hoops.

The Rules Team has proposed creating a 1 meter zone around each of the hoops within which defensive players may not remain.  Rather than penalizing every instance of players remaining in this restricted zone, the rule would penalize such players for any dislodge that happens as a result of their own contact with the hoop, even if they are forced into it by an opponent.  

The proposal includes exceptions for players in the zone attempting to play a loose ball, and players shall not be penalized for being knocked into a hoop by an opposing volleyball carrier.

The penalty would be a blue card.

This rule is expected to reduce the number of dislodged hoops by reducing the likelihood of players positioning themselves so close to the hoops that any attempt to move them out of the way would likely knock the hoop down.

Other Change Proposals

Moving the hoops further apart

The Rules Team has proposed moving the right and left hoops to be a full 3 meters away from the center hoop, as measured pole to pole.  This is an increase from the current distance, which is 2.34 meters.

Protecting bent over players

The Rules Team has proposed a change to the contact from behind rules for players who are bent over in the process of picking up a ball, or while standing up after being grounded.  All contact to such players would be treated as contact from behind.  

This would have the same exceptions as contact from behind (including an expansion of the spin-turn rule to cover bending over right before contact, and the stopped momentum exception).  It would also only apply in the above situations (bending over to pick up a ball, and being bent over while getting back up off the ground), and would not cover a player who has bent over in other situations, including bending over to gain such protections.

Allow a limited free reset into the defensive half when 2 hoops are dislodged.

The Rules Team has proposed that, when the offensive team has the volleyball in their opponent’s half, and two of their opponent’s hoops are down, the team may carry the ball back into their half in order to request a stoppage for the hoops be set back up, without this counting as a reset.

The ball must be carried across the midline, not thrown, and the player must inform the referee that they are resetting it to request the stoppage before resetting the ball.

Currently teams may retreat into their own half to request a stoppage to reset their opponents’ hoops, but it counts as a reset, regardless of whether one or two hoops are dislodged.  Under the proposed rule, this would remain the case when only one hoop is dislodged.

Allowance for alternate ways to determine the team calling the coin toss.

The Rules Team has proposed allowing the event director to set the system by which the team that calls the coin toss shall be selected during their event.  The proposed rule would leave distance traveled as a default method of determining, in case the event director does not state an alternate method of determining the calling team.

Banning pockets on the flag runner’s clothing

The Rules Team has proposed banning open pockets on the clothing of flag runners in order to increase seeker safety.

Under this proposal, pockets shall be ignored if they are securely closed by tape, zippers, or are sewn shut.

Simplify and streamline the headbeat rule

The Rules Team has proposed removing the position and possession based exceptions within the headbeat rule.  The result of the proposal would be that headbeats would become illegal unless they meet one of the 3 points currently listed in 5.2.6.A.i. (struck player changes speed or direction, the ball grazed the head or made contact with negligible force, or the dodgeball was propelled, without excessive force, from approximately 5 meters or more away).

Clarifications and Minor Fixes

Adjusting wording on shin guards

The Rules Team has proposed a change to how the shin guard rule is handled in the rulebook in order to exempt plastic portions of the shin guards from both the knock test and the “bend easily” requirement.  

The way the shin guard rules were adjusted in 2022 exempted plastic portions of shin guards from the knock test, but failed to exempt them from the requirement that they “bend easily” with minimal force.  

Adjusting the wording of 4.3.3.B.ii. for increased clarity

The Rules Team has proposed adding the phrase “to score” to the wording of 4.3.3.B.ii. In response to a concern about the clarity of the language in the rule.  The proposal is not intended to change the effect of the rule in any way.

Clarifying what counts as a “sleeve”

The Rules Team has proposed defining what counts as a “sleeve” in Appendix A.  This definition is meant to clarify what is and is not allowed to be worn on the forearm, after there was some confusion regarding items that encased the arm but were not part of a shirt, jersey, or other item.  

The proposed definition would require that, to be a sleeve, and thus allowed on the forearm, the item of clothing must cover at least a portion of the upper arm, but does not require that the item be attached to a shirt, jersey, or other similar item.

One potential additional major change

There is a second potential major change proposal.  That potential additional proposal is the adjustment of the gender rule to “3-max” while the seeker is not in play.

This potential change is working on a different timeline, but shall be treated as a change for this year, despite the delay.  This different timeline is part of an effort to gain additional information for the IQA Trustees, the Rules Team, and the Rules Committee.

This process is, however, expected to extend beyond the release of the 2023 rulebook.  If a change to the gender rule is approved, the 2023 rulebook shall be updated to include that change.  Regardless of the result, any decision on the gender rule shall be made well in advance of the next IQA run events to which this rulebook would directly apply.

Additionally, due to the timing of the process on that proposal, NGBs participating on the IQA Rules Committee shall not be required to seek approval from the committee to amend their domestic rulebooks to include a 3-max gender rule for their upcoming season (a move normally required for participating NGBs to have rules which differ from the IQA rulebook).