FIVB Testing Block-Plus-Three Rule In Beach Volleyball

USA Today Sports Kerri Walsh Jennings 2016
The rhythm of the beach volleyball at the FIVB Qinzhou Three Star event will be a little different than fans are used to. The FIVB is experimenting with a new block touch rule, and the event in China -- held October 11-15 -- will kick off the testing period.

In beach volleyball, typically if the blocker gets a touch on the ball, his or her team has only two remaining touches before the ball has to cross the net. From the start of the Qinzhou Three Star until February 25, 2018, FIVB competition will allow three touches on each side, not including a block touch.

This change brings beach volleyball more in line with the way indoor volleyball is played, in which a block contact is not counted as a team hit. The FIVB will collect data on the rule's effect on rally length and will also conduct a survey of athletes, coaches, officials, referees, event organizers, and media.

Few beach volleyball players have made public comment about the rule, with the exception of Mark Burik. On October 7, the day before leaving for China, Burik expressed his opposition to the rule change in this Facebook post:



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