Professional Volleyball Call Controversy Expands to Double Serve Position Fault

Japanese coach Ogino criticizes prevalence of position faults

Professional volleyball’s officiating controversy has evolved from the issue of double

moves on serves to the issue of positional errors.

The controversy over the double move on the serve arose in the men’s game. In the

men’s match between KEPCO and Hyundai Capital at Suwon Gymnasium on March 26,

the two teams clashed head-on as both teams used double serves one after the other.

Both teams were desperate for a win after failing to get their first win since the start of the season.

KEPCO’s Ha Seung-woo

Used a double move at the end of the second set to trigger a positional fault from

HMC’s apogee spiker Ahmed. HMC responded with a double move of its own in the

third set to trigger a positional fault from Ha Seung-woo. Prior to this, OK Financial

Group also used a double move on their serve.

The controversy was sparked by Japanese volleyball. During the Kobo Cup tournament

held in August ahead of the start of the Dodram 2023-2024 V-League, Japanese

invitational team Panasonic executed a double move. Sensing that Korean players were

pre-positioning themselves to attack immediately after their opponent’s serve,

Panasonic pretended to run to serve, then stopped and served again. The Korean

players were tricked into committing a positional fault and giving up a point.

A positional fault is a volleyball term. In volleyball, there is a rule that a player must

stay in a specific spot on the court, from 1 to 6, for the duration of the serve. If you

move out of that position, it’s a positional fault and you lose a point.

As the double serve was about to be utilized in the real world, some coaches seemed

to put the issue to rest as they revealed that they had a gentlemen’s agreement. “I saw

it on the video when I came, and it didn’t look good,” GS Caltex women’s coach Cha

Sang-hyun told reporters ahead of their match against Heungkuk Life at Jangchung

Gymnasium on March 31, adding, “You shouldn’t teach it, you shouldn’t try it. It’s unsportsmanlike behavior.”

She said the consensus was reached through a KakaoTalk chat room.

“I told the women’s team coaches on KakaoTalk that we shouldn’t try women’s

volleyball, and all the coaches agreed. I’m not the only one,” he said, adding, “The

players can use their heads as much as they want, but if you imagine them doing it

every time they serve, it can create a bad scene for the viewer. It’s important to keep it fair.”

It is reported that not only the women’s but also the men’s coaches have agreed not to

use the double serve, but the situation changed when the Japanese coach of OK

Financial Group, Massage Ogino, raised a new topic.

Speaking to reporters before the team’s home match against Woori Card on March 3,

Ogino pointed out that the double serve controversy stems from the Korean volleyball

scene’s lack of sensitivity to positional faults.

The reason why the Japanese invitational team Panasonic used a double serve was

because Korean teams habitually committed positional errors. In the V-League, the

opponent’s apogee spiker often crosses the court before the serve is even hit, Ogino

criticized. He points out that there would be no double serve if there was no positional fault in the first place.

Ogino’s point is well taken, as the positional fault is an official volleyball rule. In the V-

League, the only time a position error has ever been called out was when a player

made a mistake and switched positions. This is something that needs to be discussed

in the V-League, such as determining if there is a widespread practice of ignoring position bolts when serving. 19가이드03

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