A New Form of Reward for Sportsmanship: The Green Card

This post is also available in: Dutch

During the finals of the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) 2023 for both women and men, taking place in July in Arlington, United States, and Gdansk, Poland, a new system of rewarding sportsmanship will be tested. For the first time in international matches, green cards will be shown to players who admit to touching the ball during a block or hitting the net, in order to prevent unnecessary video reviews and save time.

The team that receives the most green cards during the VNL finals will be rewarded with the “Fair Play Moment” prize of $30,000. In case of a tie, the team with the highest final position in the standings will receive the award.

In 2022, a Fair Play prize of $15,000 was already awarded to the Polish men’s team for admitting multiple times to touching the ball during blocking or hitting the net at the VNL 2022 Finals in Bologna, Italy.

Also in national club competitions

The awarding of green cards as a reward for sportsmanship is already implemented in national club competitions, such as those in Italy and Bulgaria. The first green card was shown on October 6, 2018, by Italian referee Andrea Puecher to Simone Giannelli, the playmaker of Itas Trentino, for admitting to a block touch during a semifinal of the Italian national super cup against Sir Safety Conad Perugia.

However, now the green card is being tested for the first time in international matches. If the test is successful, the goal is to implement the “Fair Play Moment” system in all volleyball matches to encourage spontaneous sportsmanlike behavior by players in the future.

The women’s VNL finals will take place from July 12 to 16 in Arlington, and the men’s VNL finals will be held from July 19 to 23 in Gdansk. During the finals, eight women’s teams and eight men’s teams will compete in a direct knockout system of quarterfinals, semifinals, and medal matches.

Should we introduce the green card in the Netherlands too?

What do you think of the new green card system as a reward for sportsmanship? Should it also be introduced in Dutch volleyball competitions? We are curious to hear your opinion!