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U23 Worlds testbed for new scoring rules

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U23 Worlds testbed for new scoring rules

Men's U23 World Championship 2017 starting here Friday will be a testing ground for a new scoring scheme currently under review by the FIVB, which, if successful, could mark a historical turning point for volleyball - much as the introduction of the Rally Scoring System did in the late 1990s.

 

Matches in Cairo will be played to best-of-seven sets with each set to 15 points (with at least a two-point difference needed). Three ranking points will be awarded to teams winning 4-0, 4-1 or 4-2. Two points go the winner of a 4-3 match with one point for the loser.

It is hoped that the new scoring system will reduce overall duration of matches, while making each set more attractive and exciting - much as tie-breaks are under the current regulations.

The interval between sets is reduced to two minutes (from three). Teams will switch ends after the second set - and also, if needed, after sets 4, 5 and 6.

In addition, there will be no technical timeouts - just two regular thirty-second timeouts per team per set.

"The main objective is to have more exciting points, raising the level during each set," said Sandy Steel, a member of the FIVB Rules of the Game & Refereeing Commission and a Referee Delegate at this World Championship in Cairo.

"Past experience has suggested that this could in fact be true. It may also create an advantage for weaker teams and provide dramatic upsets which should help popularise the sport and attract more media attention. It could also help control the duration of matches."

The basic principles for the new scheme were tested for the first time in the Dutch League last year. Further testing of the scheme will be conducted at the Women's U23 World Championship, next month in Ljubljana.

During and after the competition, players, coaches, referees and officials will be evaluating the new system through a questionnaire, while duration and scoring statistics will be gathered and analysed.

This is the second time that the Men's U23 World Championship serves as a testbed for new regulations. Matches of the inaugural edition in 2013 in Uberlandia were played to 21-point sets. Brazil beat Serbia 3-2 (29-27, 15-21, 21-17, 19-21, 15-13) in the final of that event.

In addition to the scoring system, a new serving regulation will be tried out in Cairo, with the server not allowed to land inside the court after a jump service.

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