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Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, July 27, 2000

C O L L E G E _ V O L L E Y B A L L

Men’s volleyball
rallies around ...
rally scoring

Proponents say collegiate
matches took too long
with traditional scoring

By Dave Reardon


Men's college volleyball is going to an all-rally scoring system starting next season.

"The powers-that-be in our sport are bound and determined to have volleyball matches completed within two hours," University of Hawaii coach Mike Wilton said.

International and collegiate volleyball has experimented with all-rally scoring for several years, in the hope of making the game better for television.

All international matches, including the Olympics, are now played under all-rally scoring rules.

Wilton said the NCAA's current plan is for each of the first four games of a best-of-five match to be a rally scoring race to 25 points. The fifth game is to 15 points. All games are rally scoring, and all games must be won by at least two points.

No change to all-rally scoring has yet been voted in for women's college volleyball.

The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation is petitioning the NCAA to change the 25-point games to 30 points.

"We're going to end up doing what the NCAA holds us hard and fast to," Wilton said. "It will be rally scoring, either 25- or 30-point games."

While volleyball purists may have a difficult time adjusting to the new scoring system, Wilton said it makes for exciting matches.

"People who I respect say that after experimenting with rally scoring, going back to the sideout system is sickening to them. Real boring," he said. "From a spectator standpoint there's no dull moment, every point is huge."

Wilton said one disadvantage of all-rally scoring is that it could drastically shorten matches.

"There's a real possibility of 40-minute matches," he said.

Another major change is that serves that hit the net and fall in will now be live balls, not errors on the server.

"If it's good, the defense will have to play it," Wilton said. "It will certainly test reflexes."

Also, players can now chase down balls that go astray out of bounds on the opponents' side of the net. The ball must be returned to his own side before it can be hit back again, over the net.

Meanwhile, Wilton said he is still working without a contract. His three-year deal, which earned him about $60,000 last year, expired May 31.

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