Assume the following situation: In a high-class (high enough for a video challenge system being in place) volleyball game an attack hit goes out of bounds and the referee assigns the point to the defending team. However, the attacking team thinks they have seen the block touching the ball and call a video challenge. When reviewing the video replay, the referee does not find a ball touch by the block, but it shows a touch of the net by one of the blocking players, so it would indeed be a point for the attacking team.

My question is now, what are the rules of such a challenge? Must the challenging team specify which type of fault they want to have reviewed (such as "block touched the ball") or is it enough to just challenge based on "during this action, we think that the situation was different from what the referee decided" and then just the whole situation is reviewed in the video material? And if the former is the case, is the referee obliged to give the challenge to the challenging team if they cannot confirm the reason for the challenge but finds a different fault that would change the original decision – such as the net violation in my example situation above?

Additional clarification: Since the video challenge is obviously not part of the official FIVB rules, let's restrict this question to international tournaments directly organized by the FIVB, i.e. World Cups and World League/World Grand Prix competitions.

  • You're going to need to specify which tournament you're interested in; the general rules of the game don't contain anything about video challenges.
    – Philip Kendall
    Dec 3, 2015 at 13:31
  • Don't know! I'd have to start digging - I'm not even sure if the tournament regulations are made public...
    – Philip Kendall
    Dec 3, 2015 at 14:28
  • @PhilipKendall Is restricting it to international tournaments directly organized by the FIVB (World Cups, and World League/World Grand Prix) enough or do the rules differ even within those competitions? Dec 3, 2015 at 14:30
  • Sorry for the incomplete answer; I didn't find any credible resource to quote.
    – cadaniluk
    Dec 7, 2015 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


For FIVB-conformant matches:

The team has to specify the error to verify. If the error has not occured the team loses the challenge. This is also the case if another arbitrary error occurs, i.e., only the error specified by the team is checked.

This has already lead to such funny situations as you described.

There is a list of verifiable errors here, along with a more detailed description of the video challenge rules.
Unfortunately, it lacks information answering your actual question.

I haven't found any resource backing up my statement. Sorry.
Anyway, I am sure because I've eye-witnessed that all (including the "funny" situation) while watching a FIVB match, that is, on international level.

  • The December 2017 version of the challenge system rules allows eight seconds for indicating a challenge, then a further eight seconds to indicate the claimed fault. Failure to indicate is an automatic lost challenge, as you state, but the same version of rules mentions "the same set of images" and that the first fault observed by R1 will be taken as the result. That should mean the challenge is successful in the "funny situation" you mention.
    – Nij
    Dec 4, 2020 at 21:29

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