An innovative Olympics for volleyball


A referee gives the signal for a challenge. Referees can also call for a challenge in case they have doubt over a decision or a play.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 31, 2016 – The impressive and innovative improvements the FIVB has made to volleyball and beach volleyball through technology is set to be on show for the first time at an Olympic Games when Rio 2016 begins on Saturday, illustrating just how much the sport has improved in the last four years. 

The most obvious technological addition will almost certainly be the Volleyball Challenge System. First introduced at FIVB events in 2013, the Volleyball Challenge System has been successfully used at both volleyball and beach volleyball events. Coaches and players can now challenge ball in/out, block touch, net fault, antenna touch and service foot fault in both volleyball and beach volleyball.

“The FIVB is committed to improve the resources available to referees to assist the decision making process and ensure the game is absolutely fair to the athletes’ actions. The Volleyball Challenge system is a great example of such an improvement that allows teams to request a review of a decision,” FIVB President Dr Ary S Graça F° said at the World League Finals recently. “This system has been tested at many international competitions and we are delighted it will be used in Rio.”

On top of the benefits of the challenge system, volleyball referees and coaches will have the use of tablets on the sidelines.

For coaches, this will enable them to call timeouts, make substitutions and request challenges while referees will have a clearer understanding on the position of players, the rotation and who the next server is.

The electronic scoresheet will also be used at the Rio Olympics for the first time as will wireless headsets for officials, helping the first and second referees communicate efficiently.

It all adds up to improvements for the players, the coaches and the officials all in order to provide fans with a greater understanding of the game and to be further engaged in the matches.

Stand by for a spectacular show, both on and off the court.


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