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The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

Double contacts will drastically affect volleyball

Sports opinion
The+act+of+setting+the+volleyball+will+be+forever+altered+by+this+rule+change.
COURTESY/UNI ATHLETICS
The act of setting the volleyball will be forever altered by this rule change.

Last week, the NCAA announced that double contacts are now legal in the sport of volleyball. A double is when a player contacts the ball twice in one succession or when it hits multiple parts of your body successively. This rule change has a lot of club, high school, collegiate and professional volleyball players very upset as it opens the door for practically anyone to be a setter or act as one during a game. 

Many girls practice for years and years in order to master the art of being a setter and having the right hands for it. It is not a skill that comes overnight and is a very valued position on the floor. As a setter, you spend years perfecting the art of having no spin on the ball when it comes to setting it to your players. And now the NCAA has arguably taken away the hard work of setters and opened the door for others. 

Now, most who are not super familiar with the sport would say this may be a positive thing, and one could argue that as it would help to keep rallies going in a game and not have a team lose a point when it happens. But, with this now being legal, it kind of lowers the bar in a sense of technical aspect when it comes to the sport. 

Of course now, coaches are obviously still going to be looking for consistency from setters in the recruiting process and not just dismiss them and make anyone the setter. While you may not need the perfected “setter hands” to be a setter, a coach is not going to take away the hard work that their setter has put in and just replace them with someone else with little to no experience. 

Many volleyball players and setters have taken to TikTok to voice their opinions and frustrations from this rule change. Often showing them training and working on their craft followed by the NCAA headline that the rule no longer exists. From the players perspective, this is leaving them more upset than non-players whom this does not really affect. And they are using the platform to make it known how they are feeling about the change.

On the flipside, many people are saying that this is a good thing for a couple of different reasons. Some say it is good, because it will help the change of pace of the game. They say it will help the game to be faster and more continuous. People have also said that this is a good way to let the girls play the ball out a little more and avoid the tedious call of a double being called. 

This has been an ongoing debate for many years between coaches and the referees regarding the double call. By reversing it, the NCAA hopes that it is solving that issue from now on and creating more consistency within the game. While many players and setters are very unhappy about this, they are going to have to get used to it and face this new reality for themselves. This controversial call has the NCAA turning heads and people hoping they are not making a mistake or taking away training by doing so. 

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NICOLE WATERS, Sports Writer

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