Local coaches laud postponement of controversial FIVB Overhand pass rule

By elvince joshua
Apr 30, 2013

Local volleyball coaches have welcomed the postponement of a controversial overhand reception rule passed by International Volleyball Federation, FIVB last year.

The rule,criticized by most African coaches, barred players from receiving a served ball with two hands forming a ring above the head (overhead pass).

The new rule that was introduced in 2012 was first used in the 2012 FIVB World club championship. FIVB Congress introduced the rule in September 2012 but a meeting by the FIVB board postponed the decision saying that the impact of the rule has so far not been successful.

“As the FIVB Board of Administration has the competence and obligation to deal with urgent and exceptional matters in the spirit of the Constitution and in the general interest of the FIVB, the implementation of Rule 9.2.4 of the Rules of the Game to be suspended pending further testing in official competitions, as the impact of the above-mentioned Rule has so far not been as successful as expected,"stated the FIVB Board of Administration ruling.

“The Rules of the Game Commission to perform the required tests and compare them with the data already received, in order to determine if the new rule achieves the purpose for which it was created, reporting back to the FIVB Board of Administration.”

The withdrawal of the rule will work to the advantage of most Africa team like Kenya Prisons who lost sets as a result of the rule in their last appearance at the world club championship in Doha, Qatar last year.

Good move by,FIVB

Some of the local coaches who tested the brunt of the draconian rule at the international competitions include Kenya Prisons’ David Lung’aho and Japheth Munala of Kenya Pipeline.

“Most of our players were used to the overhead pass, we suffered a lot while in Doha (Club championship) last year. It’s a good move to remove it, we’ll know go back to our normal game,” said Lung’aho.

“It was disadvantageous to most Kenyan players, because we have poor ball handling skills and we used to be penalized a lot because our players were used to the overhead reception,” added Lung’aho who hopes to make good use of the new situation when he play at his fourth FIVB world club championship appearance in October.

Munala shares the same sentiments with his Prison’s counterpart arguing that the postponement of the rule will now give African teams a level playing ground.

“It was bringing a lot of confusing to the players, you won’t know which one is the best reception and which one is wrong. It’s not easy to control the ball in the air, I didn’t like it,” said Kenya Pipeline coach Japheth Munala.