McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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Double-touch rule change coming to volleyball

The NCAA will allow double contacts in volleyball. How will that impact the game at the high school level?
Rose Wenckebach
The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) approved a new rule in women’s volleyball that legalizes double contact on the ball. This rule is a game changer for setters.

The NCAA recently changed one of the biggest rules in volleyball. Double contact from setters is now legal within limits in a match.

The NCAA released some new rules for volleyball on Feb.20. These include a new jewelry rule, a new libero rule and most importantly, the new double contact rule. Double  contact is when a player hits the ball twice or when a setter sets the ball and the ball does a full rotation is a sign of a double contact. Originally the “no double contact” rule would be followed by some referees but not by all. This caused a lot of tension on the courts.

“Honestly it’s kind of upsetting,” said setter Ella Jenkins. “You work so hard to get good hands and not get any doubles. Personally it’ll be nice to be able to just not be afraid to use my hands all the time because sometimes there’s really spinny balls and you don’t want to use your hands to get a double during that type of situation but now you’ll be able to use your hands all the time and not be afraid. The cons are it just kind of feels unfair, right? It ruins what volleyball has been for years.”

Looking from an adult’s perspective a lot of people have questions. How is training going to look now? Will the setter stress still be there? But most importantly what will volleyball look like moving forward?

“Right now, I really can’t say.” said Kara Baysinger, MCHS Dean and coach. “It is very new to everyone. We will see what happens in the next few years. I believe a lot of calls or lack of calls involving double contacts are subjective depending on which official you get. So it could be good or bad. As a coach, I will continue to teach the proper techniques for setting a volleyball. The training will be the same. It has changed volleyball for how we know it..”

Referees will have less sway over who will win the games due to this new rule.

“They definitely could sway the match,” said junior Maddy Smith. “I’ve personally had a ref who always called doubles on my team but wouldn’t call doubles on the other team. It would get very heated between the two teams, because each team if we see a double will yell “double, double” and it gets to the point where even the parents get into it then the coaches. It takes a really long time because the coaches would argue with the refs. It almost made it seem like the refs just started not liking us more.”

Will this new rule cause more stress to the players or will it resolve these heated problems? Only time will tell, currently this rule has not yet traveled over to high school teams but is expected to in the next two seasons.

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