How to Become a Volleyball Referee





volleyball referee As the popularity of volleyball seems to increase every year, the need for new officials increases as well. Should you decide to become a volleyball referee, below you will find information to help you with the process.

High school volleyball matches are typically administered by two officials: a first referee and a second referee. These two individuals shall have complete say over rule infractions during a game.

The first referee will be positioned on an elevated platform opposite the official’s table. The responsibilities of first referee include the following:

  • Whistle the players onto the court
  • Whistle for each serve and dead ball
  • Visibly signal for the following: a loss of rally, serve, violation, penalty, replay/re-serve
  • Determine the following activities during play: illegal hits, net faults, serving area faults, back-row player faults, double faults, number of hits, player screening, player alignment, dead ball and loss of point.

The first referee shall also administer cards for misconduct and unnecessary delays.




The second referee in a volleyball match shall stand on the side of the floor opposite the first referee. The second referee shall assist the first referee with his or her calls during live action. This is especially true for plays where the second referee has a better view of the activity. During a live ball, the second referee shall move back and forth along the sideline in order to girls volleyballcreate the best view of the play.

It is the second referee’s responsibility to record the starting floor position of both teams using his or her lineup card. He or she shall also manage substitutes and replacements, monitor score sheet accuracy and mirror signals made by the first referee.

During high school volleyball tournament play, the need for certified referees increases. Since these games are of greater importance, certified referees are often used as line judges, scorers and timers. However, this is not typical during the regular season.

Volleyball Referee Training

To become a referee in volleyball at the high school level you will need to pass a written test to demonstrate your understanding of the rules. In most cases this test may be created by the National Federation of High School Associations.The passing grade for the NFHS test is 75%.

Depending on where you are from, you may be required to first contact a local board of volleyball officials to help you with your training and certification. Select your state from the choose a state page, to learn more about the volleyball referee requirements in your area.

The Professional Association of Volleyball Officials offers its own training and certification program. Some areas of the country use PAVO rules in their high school game administration.

USA Volleyball offers an extensive library of training modules and videos to assist volleyball referees in their understanding of the game. Regional training, testing and certification is offered as well.

Volleyball Referee Uniform and Equipment

  • Plain white knit short sleeved collared shirt
  • Navy blue trousers
  • White leather shoes
  • Black belt
  • Fox 40 whistle with black lanyard
  • Red and yellow cards

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