Match duration the major challenge ahead
Chaired by FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° and by Commission President and new NBC Olympics Executive Vice President of Programming Peter Diamond, the TV and New Media Commission agreed, during its annual meeting on Wednesday, that the full implementation of an effective process concerning the Video Challenge System is a top priority in order to provide a clear process for the public and TV audience. The commission discussed improvements around the system and a homologation process for an official Video Challenge System for FIVB events will be launched soon.
In 2015, the Video Challenge System was made compulsory at Group 1 matches in the FIVB Volleyball World League and World Grand Prix. It was also used at the World League and World Grand Prix Finals and at the FIVB Volleyball World Cup in Japan. The same will apply in 2016 - with the exception of the World Cup - and the historic inclusion of the Challenge System at the Olympic Games for the first time ever.
This importance of the Challenge System has been emphasised by a study of 169 matches, including 16 World League and 21 World Grand Prix matches, which revealed that the speed and power of volleyball is proving to be too fast for the human eye. Out of a total of 786 challenges made, an average of 4.6 were made per match with a success rate of 37%. The challenges concerned net touches, block touches, foot faults, IN/OUT disputes and antenna touches.
The Commission also stressed the importance that volleyball matches should last no more than 1 hour and 50 minutes so that TV can schedule a two hour program and highlighted areas such as shortened serve times and improvements in the Challenge System process where time can be saved.
FIVB Secretary General Fernando Lima also emphasised the need for television companies to increase their focus on key plays - the rally clip - in a volleyball match, whilst at the same time reducing the amount of redundant replays. “This will give greater exposure to our heroes and their exploits on the court. Put emphasis on the great plays which occur in our matches and less on the point scoring play. Sometimes the great plays are mid rally and this is worth so much more exposure time than just replaying the final action of the rally.”
Other topics discussed included digital content production and distribution as well as the centralization of the TV production of the main FIVB events in order to impose unified standards and to guarantee consistency of the TV product. The FIVB's production plans for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and an overview of broadcaster plans were presented. TV operations in 2016 were discussed before reports on other projects such as the LED net, Smart Production, an archive of historic footage of major FIVB events, the TV Manual, and the positioning of volleyball as a family sport were received.
TV production reports from key partners included a presentation of Fuji TV’s coverage of the FIVB Volleyball World Cup Japan 2015. IMG/Dentsu presented their coverage of volleyball in 2015, before Red Bull Media House, RBMH presented on beach volleyball, with three Major Series stops and the first edition of the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals featuring on the 2015 calendar.