While the Philippines tends to be known now as a basketball-crazy country, there are other sporting events that Filipinos love to play and patronize. One of them is volleyball, and live telecasts of games from collegiate play (UAAP/NCAA) to pro leagues (PVL) are favored watching by many. One notable element of volleyball is that its rules have rather frequent changes and updates over the decades, from the introduction of “libero” players in 1998-2002 to the utilization of the “video challenge” system where teams are given a limited number of “challenges” to compel game officials to review action replays concerning decisions they do not agree with.

The idea of video challenges in volleyball games became more widely known to Filipino volleyball game audiences following its usage at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the country. Now as CNN Philippines tells it, video challenging for volleyball is soon to be adopted by the University Athletic Associations of the Philippines (UAAP) on their university volleyball tournaments for men and women. This was announced by the league president Em Fernandez, who said that the implementation of video challenges to UAAP will further increase the effectiveness of referees in decision-making regarding official calls questioned.

During a UAAP press conference at the SM Mall of Asia Tuesday, February 11, Fernandez pointed out how audiences positively received the utilization of video challenges in officiating calls at volleyball games, during the 2019 SEA Games held last December. To that end, the collegiate league plans to include the system in time for the start of athletics season 82, copying the SEA Games method almost wholesale. Of course, that includes doing some groundwork such as codifying the exact regulations for issuing video challenges at games, plus distributing a memorandum about the implementation to all UAAP schools. The media will also be involved in disseminating information.

Video challenges in volleyball involve the right for coaches and players of a team to challenge any call by an official such as the umpire regarding plays (ball in or out, net touch and more). Game footage will then be replayed in slow motion and alternate angles to determine if the challenge was correct or successful. Of course, due to the potential of this extensive review, the amount of challenges both teams in the game can use is limited, so they must decide when a video challenge is most advantageous.

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