New Rule: Liberos can be captains of their teams


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, February 22, 2021 - After its adoption in 1998, the libero position revolutionized volleyball and more than twenty years later the International Volleyball Federation has approved that these defensive players can be the captains of their teams.


About this new change, two successful coaches express themselves about the possibility of starting to use liberos as captains from the next international events or national leagues,


"I agree with the approval," Marcos Kwiek, the head coach of the Dominican Republic's women's national team, told PV MEDIA SPORTS. "You just have to evaluate if the athlete meets the standards, that they know the rules of the game and have the leadership."


For her part, the former captain of the Puerto Rico team, Xiomara Molero does not detract from the new approved rule.


"I do not detract from it, but you have to see what happens with him or her entering and leaving the playing area and having to announce who will be the captain when the libero is out of play, that must be evaluated or perhaps let it be announced that at the time he or she leaves whichever captain takes control,” she mentioned.


Molero was captain of the national team for more than a decade, at the moment she is a coach in the superior league and at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus.


In reference to the new rule, both technicians agree that it was time that justice was done to the Liberos.


"It seems to me that he or she is a player like the others, I do not know the reason why they were not allowed to be captains, they are usually leaders due to the importance of their game," said Molero.


While Kwiek added, “I think that just because Liberos are part of the team, I don't understand the reason that they were not allowed to be captains they have always been an important part of the team, if the reason was that they entered and left the game, that also happens with many centrals and they did not have that impediment”.


Two liberos comment on the rule

The legendary Debora Seilhamer called it ridiculous that these defensive specialists were not allowed to be named captains.


"It was time that they modified that rule," said the Puerto Rican volleyball defense leader. "The reason was because the libero wasn't on the court full time and he or she was constantly in and out which always seemed a bit ridiculous to me."


Seilhamer, who was with the Puerto Rico team until the Rio Olympic Games, understands that the players who play their position and the setters have a similar leadership.


"In my opinion, both the setter and the libero role are the most important because the first leads the offense and the second does the same in defense."


For her part, the current libero of the Puerto Rico national squad, Shara Venegas also celebrated the new rule.


“For me that they are considering the libero to lead on the court officially, that means that they are understanding and valuing the position more and more every day since it is one of the most important positions in volleyball and it has been shown that it is so important that you can be the most valuable player without scoring a single point.


"The reality is that the libero already has to be a leader on the court since you have to organize everything that has to do with passing and defense, which are very important facets in the game," said the active player in the league of Ukraine.