In a recent volleyball match, there was a debate about whether a contact was a block or an attack, since that decision could result in a double contact being called. Here was the situation:
Team A made an overpass. After the ball cleared the plane of the net, a player from Team B jumped and contacted the ball above the net and in close proximity to the net. The contact was like an attack in that it was a full arm swing, not a two-handed “block”. The ball bounced off the tape (no contact by Team A), and the same player from team B passed the ball. The referee called a double contact.
Team B argued that the double contact should not have been called because it was a block followed by a legal touch, so we consulted the rule book. The rule book states that a block is “the action of players close to the net to intercept the ball coming from the opponent by reaching higher than the top of the net, regardless of the height of the ball contact. …”. Team B argued that the player attacking the overpass met those criteria, and that wasn’t really disputed. However, the official said that there was a judgment call allowed by the referee, and if the referee thought that the player was attacking the ball, it would not count as a block. However, the day official also said that judgment call was not covered anywhere in the rule book.
First, what was the correct call? Second, if the judgment call was the correct decision, where do coaches/referees learn about that?