Coaches and referees adopt new technologies


New technology: a wireless system allows Japan’s team doctor to monitor the heart rate of the Japanese players during the match

Trieste, Italy, October 3, 2014 – At the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship in Italy, fans from all over the world can discover the use of new technological tools in volleyball. Innovative technology helps coaches and referees to monitor games.  

A 12-camera system to allow for video challenges of certain disputed calls is one of the newest features in volleyball. It gives coaches and referees the chance for a video verification of specific situations. Video challenge for the Women’s World Championship can be requested for the following situations only: ball position when touching the floor (ball in with any part of the ball inside the court or touching the boundary line or ball out); faulty antennae or net contact by a player on top of the net only; contact of a player’s feet with the end line (when executing service); ball contact with the antennae on top or above.  

Teams have the right to call video verification for a referee’s decision twice per set. If the result of the video verification leads to a decision-change in favor of the requesting team, it does not decrease the number for video verification calls available for this team in this set. On the other hand, if the decision of the referee was correct, it means that the number of video verification calls for this team in this set will decrease by one. Only the coach can address his team's requests for video verification to the first referee not later than 5 seconds after the rally has been finished. 

The video challenge system was first used at an FIVB event during the FIVB Volleyball Club World Championships in 2012.

Video challenge is not the only new tool to support refereeing. A walkie-talkie system links the first and second referee with the scorer to allow direct communication. It has positive effects on the quality of the performance of the refereeing corps. In addition to the hand signals, the referees and scorers have now the possibility of spoken communication that improves the information exchange among the refereeing team.

Tablet-based digital visualization of team rosters, rotations, substitutions and timeouts is another tool that helps the refereeing corps being more effective during the match. 

However, not only referees use new technological gadgets. Japan, for example, improve their game monitoring by a heart rate control of their twelve players. A wireless system allows Japan’s team doctor to monitor the heart rate of the Japanese players during the match. The team doctor and the coaching staff can quickly take measures when the players reach a certain heart rate level. 

Another interesting tool is a time-delayed tablet-based video system used by coaches and assistant coaches during the match. A specific application allows the coaching staff to review match action, to capture specific tactical situations or to have visual support in their communication with the players. The tablet surface includes live statistic and technical/tactical analyzes as well. 

However, real-time technical/tactical analyzes are nothing new. Direct communication between statisticians and coaches have started many years ago – mainly here in Italy. It may be a good spot to discover new technology.

After a travel and rest day on Friday, the second round of the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship will resume on Saturday with the third competition day of Round II. In Trieste, Germany will take on Belgium at 17.00 (local time) before Croatia and Azerbaijan will meet at 20.00 (local time).


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