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Regulations of Special Olympics European Unified Volleyball Tournament
Honorary Patronage of the Tournament:
First Lady, Ms. Agata Kornhauser-Duda,
Organizer: Special Olympics Poland National Office
Special Olympics Silesia Region, Polish Volleyball Federation
Polish Ministry of Sport, National Disabled Persons Rehabilitation Fund
Date: 31st of August – 04th of September 2017.
Katowice:  „Spodek” sports hall: Opening Ceremony and tournament (2 pitches – main and side hall)
Kraków: Teams presentations and watching European Volleyball Championships finals.
Figures: 100 athletes, 36 delegates and coaches.
         Volunteers and organizers: 50 + 36
General Schedule (more detailed will be presented later):

Thursday, 31 August Arrivals, lunch, Head Coaches meeting
Friday, 1 September Divisioning, Opening Ceremony, Match of Stars
Saturday, 2 September Finals – Matches in divisions
Sunday, 4 September Finals – Matches in divisions,  
Awarding & Closing Ceremony
Lunch in the hotel,  
European Volleyball Championships finals (Kraków)
Monday, 4 September Departures

In the Tournament participate 10 programs:
SO AzerbaijanSO Belarus, SO Czech Republic, SO Finland, SO Germany, SO Italy,  SO Russia, SO Serbia, SO Slovakia. All teams are male teams
Team can be mixed gender but is treated as male team.

  • Unified Team consist of 10 players: 5 athletes (people with intellectual disability) and 5 partners (people without intellectual disability). Minimum number of players i 8 players: 4 athletes, 4 partners. All games will be played by 6 players. In case of an injury, causing team to be reduced to 5 players, team may continue to play in the tournament. 5 players is the minimum number of players that can play in volleyball match. Unified Teams must consist of 3 athletes and 3 partners placed alternately on the field. In case of an injury, proportion allowed on the pitch is: 3 athletes and 2 partners. Failing in keeping this proportion will cause a forfeit.
  • Recommended age – minimum 16 years old  (year of birth is decisive).
  • Tournament is for teams on middle level of ability.
  • Each team shall have an adult, non-playing coach responsible for the lineup and

conduct of the team during competition.
Goal of the Unified Tournament together with Special Olympics spirit and Unified Sports program assumptions is integration of people with intellectual disabilities with contemporary people without intellectual disabilities. To reach this goal, we need to remember that most important is joint and recurrent training and such a selection of players that they are in similar age and on the similar level of ability. Reprehensible is selecting partners from people who are organizers, coaches, delegates etc. Meaningful Involvement concerns all team members – all players must be fully involved in the match. Team, which will be evaluated by the Experts Committee as not following Meaningful Involvement rule, which means: minimizing or not fully involving all athletes or having dominant players – will be penalized / excluded / disqualified.
Tournament Committee, Experts Committee and Technical Delegate have a right to:

  • warn an athlete/partner/coach/team
  • exclude an athlete/partner/coach, for duration of set/match or tournament
  • disqualification of a team for a specific match or the tournament

Tournament Format
Tournament will follow Special Olympics Official Volleyball Rules, 2016 edition. (http://media.specialolympics.org/resources/sports-essentials/sport-rules...). These rules are based on FIVB rules. In case of a low ability team, rules modifications are possible. Coaches will be informed about any changes during coaches meetings.
Divisioning:  Divisioning  will be based on observed matches. 2-3 divisions will be created. In final divisions matches will be played round robin system or mixed system, depending on number of teams in the division.
Observed matches

  • Goal of observed matches is proper divisioning of the teams participating in the tournament.
  • Level of ability of the team and players, way how the match is played, following Unified Team composition etc. will be rated by the Experts Committee.
  • Minimum 2 matches will be played during divisioning round. Experts Committee have right to decide about next (3 or more) matches for specific teams. Organizers will try to make observed matches as close to regular tournament matches as possible. Matches will be played to best of three sets and each set is played to 15 points (2 points difference).  
  • In case of decision of Experts Committee, that teams ability level is significantly different, match may be stopped without indication of the result.  
  • In every observed match, all players must play.
  • Every observed match must begin with best six players on the pitch.  
  • Every player must present his/her maximum abilities in every match.
  • Results from divisioning round may be included to the final results in case if both teams will be in the same final division.
  • Organizers have right to move team or teams between divisions during finals in case of significant difference in ability level after divisioning is done.
  • Experts Committee have right to disqualify player if he/she lowers deliberately his/her ability level.
  • Coach is responsible for allowing all players to demonstrate their ability level during divisioning.  

 Final matches:

  • During competition, the lineup shall never exceed three athletes and three partners placed alternately at any time. After the match begins, only the following line up is allowed:

3 athletes and 3 partners
3 athletes and 2 partners (in the event of injury or illness)
Failure to adhere to the required ratio results in a forfeit.

  • Final matches are played to best of three sets and each set is played to 25 points (2 points difference). In case of score 24:24, match continues until one team gains 2 points advantage for example 25:27; 30:32. In case of 1:1 (sets) score, third set is played to 15 points (also 2 points difference).
  • Organizers and TD may decide that sets in specific or all divisions will be played to 15 points (with 2 points difference).
  • Winner with score 2:0 gets 3 points, losing team 0 points. Winner with score 2:1 gets 2 points, losing team gest 1 point.  Forfeit is score 2:0.
  • Final classification is determined by:

Highest score,
Highest wins rate,
Highest sets rate,
Highest “small” points” rate,
Direct matches score (in order – points, sets, „small points”).

  • It is recommended that every players should play in every match.
  • Libero: teams may have one libero player in every match. Libero player should wear different outfit that he/she could be easily identified on the pitch.  
  • Player substitutions: substitutions are allowed as FIVB rules states. During one set maximum of 6 substitusions are allowed per team (excluding libero).
  • When team have libero and libero is an athlete, he /she may be substitute only for an athlete. If libero is a partner, he/she may be changed for both athlete and partner.
  • Serving: Serving order and players placing on the pitch should be alternate: athlete, partner, athlete, partner... When serving team scores 3 consecutive points, must make rotation to next server and continues serving.

 Equipment and outfit:

  • Net height: 2,43m
  • Balls of standard size (following FIVB regulations).
  • Players outfit: all players must have identical outfit with clearly visible numbers on the backs of their t-shirts and proper shoes (indoor sports). Each team should have two, different in colour sets of outfit.   
  • Libero player should wear different colour outfit that he/she could be easily identified on the pitch
  • Numbers of players should be from 1 to 20. Numbers must be at least 10 cm height in front of the t-shirt and at least 15 cm on the back.
  • It is recommended that captain of the team should have a stripe in front of the t-shirt which underline the number.

Following Special Olympics General Rules – awards are medals /places 1-3/ and ribbons /4,5,6…/. Disqualified teams/players will receive participation ribbons. In case of disqualification for unsportsmanlike conduct team/player may not receive participation ribbon.
On all Venues during competition, using tabcco and alcohol is strictly forbidden.


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