Video Challenge System makes successful debut at World Grand Prix Finals
Sapporo, Japan, August 29, 2013 – Video Challenge System made its debut at the World Grand Prix Finals here on Wednesday and the introduction of the video verification received very positive feedback from Maja Ognjenovic and Hui Ruoqi, who were the first to call upon challenges during the match between Serbia and China.
“We have very professional referees but they are human beings and sometimes human beings make mistakes and sometimes there are controversial calls so I think it’s a good thing for the sport,” said the Chinese captain of Hui. “The Challenge System gives us a chance to fight for our rights.”
Captains from both sides can call upon a challenge during a match before the game has been resumed and directly after the rally which is a matter of doubt. Both teams have the right to call video verification for referees’ decision twice per set. If the “first challenge” leads to decision change in favor of the requesting team, it will keep the second chance of challenge. On the other hand, the requesting team will lose the second chance.
Fortunately, the first challenges of Ognjenovic and Hui were both successful.
“I think it was a good experience, for sure,” said Ognjenovic. “Referees can sometimes make mistakes so if they are not sure I think it’s easier for them also.”
The introduction of the Video Challenge System was also welcomed by former Olympic gold medalist Feng Kun from China. “I am also pleased to see that the Challenge System will be used in the World Grand Prix Finals for the first time ever. I think it’s a very good idea to bring this technology into the sport of volleyball. The competition in this tournament gets stronger every year and from my experience controversial calls affect the moral of players quite significantly sometimes. I think the introduction of the Challenge System will make the game fairer and help referees make better and more accurate decisions.”
As for now, subjects for video verification can be only applied upon five situations, namely ball position where touching the floor, ball contact with antennae, faulty antennae or net contact by a player, contact of player’s feet with end line, attack line, and under net penetration into the opponent’s court, Libero player’s feet position, while the block touch has not been included yet.