21. 01. 2020

By Mark Lebedew: Thinking About… Improving Video Challenge Systems

Source: https://marklebedew.com; Photo:CEV

Author: Mark Lebedew

2025 2

In volleyball, the video challenge system makes the game immeasurably better. Obviously, there are more correct officiating calls and so the game is fairer. Less obviously, there are fewer ugly emotional ‘meltdowns’ and the game is generally better behaved. However, no system is perfect and it is important to remember that the object is not to be perfect but to be better. That having been established, I have a couple of suggestions to make it even better.


There are a couple of different versions of the challenge system used in different leagues, so some suggestions are not valid for every system.

1. Time limit on challenges. If you need 15 replays to decide, either you just can’t decide, or it is not clear. Decide faster or let the original decision stand.

2. Take out the time for the 2nd referee to walk to position. This is pointless, dead time for everyone. The referees are mic’ed together, the first referee can call it straight away. We don’t have to watch the second referee walking for 10 seconds.

3. Allow challenges for the whole rally. FIVB requires that you stop the rally if you want to challenge something. This is ridiculous. It allows incorrect calls and / or deprives fans of full rallies. It doesn’t provide fair outcomes. If you want a challenge system, have a proper challenge system.

4. The same goes for other actions that the FIVB currently doesn’t allow for; touches in the backcourt and actions over the net.

5. Never, ever, ever show the challenge video inside the stadium. The video quality is too low and fans (and sometimes teams) don’t know the rules as well as officials. It creates needless stress for everyone. Nothing good ever happens when the video is shown in stadium.

These are my thoughts...........

About Mark Lebedew:

Mark Lebedew authors the At Home on the Court Blog. He coaches professionally in Poland with Aluron Virtu CMC Warta Zawiercie. That follows five seasons Germany where his Berlin Recycling Volleys won three straight league titles and a CEV Champions League bronze medal. He has prior professional experience in Belgium and Italy. Mark is also Head Coach for the Australian Men’s National Team. 

Mark partnered with his brother and father to translate and publish "My Profession: The Game", the last book by legendary Russian coach, Vyacheslav Platonov. 

With John Forman, he is behind the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project (link http://volleyballcoachingwizards.com/) which identifies great coaches from all levels, making their experience, insights, and expertise available to people all over the world. The project has produced multiple books, a in e-book format available here ( link to http://bit.ly/34yakou ) or in print at Amazon here (link https://amzn.to/2JRqTE6)



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2 Comments about "By Mark Lebedew: Thinking About… Improving Video Challenge Systems"

21.01.2020 | 12:04 |   Random Guy [unregistered]

If the challenge video is not shown in the stadium, then it leaves room for corruption to move in (some would argue it is already here). If a referee decision does not go your way, it is only natural you would want to see evidence as proof.

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21.01.2020 | 21:42 |   Icaro [unregistered]

Of course you must show the video in the arena. Players and present fans must see the video evidence.

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