Be The Referee is a series of short messages designed to help educate people on the rules of different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.
Below is this week's segment – Switching Sides - Listen
In volleyball, a rules modification that came about during COVID has been instated as a permanent change - with overwhelming support from coaches and officials.
Previously, teams would switch sides after each set, sometimes creating a traffic jam as players and coaches move benches from side to side. Unless there is a clear competitive advantage, there is no switching now. Coaches like having a dedicated home bench and the improved pace of the match.
Things that would necessitate teams switching would be less serving room on one end of the court, a window on one side with the sun shining in, or an overhead obstruction on one end.
It’s up to the official to determine if an advantage exists and if teams will switch at the end of each set – or stay on the same side for the entirety of the match.