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OCTOBER 15, 2023


Usually at this time of year, I am humbled to hear from coaches and administrators on how well our GKCOA officials have performed this season. Over the years, not very many negative situations involving our officials have crossed my desk, and that was again true this year! Our reputation as the best officials association in the state was definitely reaffirmed many times over, and that is entirely due to you and the hard work and effort you put in year after year! So, thank you for all of that! Great job this season!!



Please be aware of your schedule and be on the lookout for emails as we will need replacement line judges this week (from Oct. 17-24).  Also, when we learn who is playing and hosting sectionals on Oct. 26 and quarterfinals on Oct. 28, GKCOA will be assigning line judges for those matches as well.  If you are available, please let David Thompson know.


Here’s the list of GKCOA members whom we are aware of that have been selected by MSHSAA for matches after districts. We do not get the complete list from MSHSAA, so please email David Thompson ( and/or Ken Corum ( with your assignment so we can recognize you!


Jim Cox, Langston Parker, Brian Verman



CLASS 1 - R1: Cheryl Aston, R2:  Brittany Elms

CLASS 2 - R1: Jamie Gehrke, R2:  Jim Cox

CLASS 4 - R1:  Ken Corum, R2:  Lisa Baney

CLASS 5 - R1:  Dixie Wescott



CLASS 1, SECTIONAL 8 - R1:  Langston Parker

CLASS 2, SECTIONAL 7 - R1:  Brian Verman, R2:  Cheryl Aston

CLASS 2, SECTIONAL 8 - R1:  Dixie Ousley, R2:  Carlos Boyd

CLASS 3, SECTIONAL 7 - R1:  Brittany Elms, R2:  Jamie Gehrke

CLASS 3, SECTIONAL 8 - R1:  Jim Cox, R2:  Dixie Wescott


NEW MSHSAA REQUIREMENT:  Approximately 30 minutes prior to post-season contests, administrators are supposed to conduct an emergency management meeting with athletic trainers, game officials, law enforcement, and EMT's to go over the plan in case of major injuries and emergencies that may occur that night.  Be sure to arrive early enough to be able to carry out your normal pre-match duties and have time to attend this meeting.


  1. ROSTER AND BENCH PERSONNEL: During the district and state series, only 15 players may be listed on the roster. These 15 players, team coaches and managers shall be permitted to sit on the team bench.


  3. WARM-UP TIMING: The time between matches shall be a maximum of 18 minutes, consisting of a maximum of 2- minute pre-match conference followed immediately by the 3 minutes shared stretching and ball-handling. The 12-minute warm-up (6:6: Receiving Team, Serving Team – serving time has been included in the 6-minute warm-up) and 1 minute to clear the court for competition. The clock and countdown shall begin as soon as the officials have completed their duties from the previous match. The clock shall not stop. The 3-minute stretching and ball-handling period should start as soon as the court is available. NOTE: The full court may be utilized by the teams prior to the timed warm-up. Teams must stay on their side of the net: balls may be used by the teams. NOTE: When one team is assigned to the full court, the opposing team shall not be permitted to use balls, in any capacity, during that 6-minute period.

  • Each team is entitled to one half of the court during the 3-minute stretching and ball-handling period.

  • Each team will have access to the full court during their 6 minutes to warm-up.

  • The team that will receive first will warm-up (full court) first.

  • The serving team will warm-up (full court) during the second 6 minutes.

  • The 6-minute warm-up for each team includes serving.

  • 1-minute left on clock to clear the court for competition.

  • If space permits, teams shall be allowed to warm-up during the match prior in a designated area of the host schools’ facility

4. HOME TEAM DESIGNATION:  Districts: For the district tournament the higher seeded team is the home team on the bracket. The visiting team shall call the toss for serve.
Sectional and Quarterfinals: The top team on the bracket shall be the home team in odd numbered years. The visiting team and shall call the toss for serve.

5. Make sure to work with host administration regarding student sections. We’ve had pretty good success over the years, but there can be issues once in awhile regarding noisemakers and not having fans sit/stand in the front row. It is a MSHSAA policy that the front row be kept open. Just so you’re aware, here are some other spectator policies that administrators are being made aware of from the MSHSAA volleyball manual: 

  1. SPECTATOR POLICIES:  The district tournament committee shall establish specific guidelines regarding student cheer and spirit groups. The committee shall create these guidelines with a primary focus on sportsmanship and respect for other schools and spectators. The guidelines shall also consider the seating needs of the host facility. If the establishment of designated student seating sections is recommended by the tournament committee, the following criteria shall be enforced:

    1. a. At least one empty row must serve as a buffer between the floor and the student sections.

    2. The student sections shall be specifically marked and separated (such as by rope, pennants or other barrier) from the general spectator seating areas.

    3. The student section shall be cleared out at the conclusion of each game for use by the schools playing the next contest.

    4. In the interest of sportsmanship and positive behavior, the student sections for competing teams shall not be adjacent to each other or directly behind the bench of the opposing team.

    5. The student sections shall be placed in locations that minimize the obstruction of other patrons when the students stand in unison.

    6. Sportsmanlike behavior is expected at all times from the student section.

    7. An administrator with the responsibility of supervising students should be present at all contests involving that particular school and be present throughout the contest in the vicinity of the student section or in an area designated by the host site administrator.

    8. An administrator from each participating school, the host site administrator and a representative of thegame officials shall meet prior to game time to reiterate the site’s guidelines for student cheer and spirit groups; discuss the sportsmanship goals of the contest; and to confirm the physical location of the school administrators during the contest.

  2. For those of you working sectionals and quarterfinals, the start time of the Thursday (Oct. 26) sectional will be 6:30pm (no options for the schools to change the time) and the Saturday (Oct. 28) quarterfinal will start at 3:00pm unless both schools agree to move it up to 1:00pm. The host school will be one of the participating teams depending on previous criteria set by MSHSAA. Your contracts on the MSHSAA website will update with that information once it’s known.


If you are interested in viewing district tournament brackets, click HERE and then go to the appropriate Class and District. If you are interested in attending as a spectator, take note of where specific matches are being played.  MSHSAA is allowing higher seeded schools to host first round matches. Unfortunately, MSHSAA will not allow non-working referees and line judges in for free, like many schools do during the regular season.


Since the Arbiter website is able to do so, I have requested David Thompson and Don Gard to gather GKCOA data on how many times people turned back their assignments this 2023 season.  There are lots of legitimate reasons to do so, but even so, we should try to limit those as much as possible by planning ahead and blocking dates as conflicts arise, not after the assignment is given.

A reasonable goal for each of us (myself included) is to have three turn backs or less for a season.  I have asked David and Don to email every volleyball referee in GKCOA to provide them with the number of turn backs they had this volleyball season--you will only see your own data.  Most of you will not be surprised, but some of you might not be aware of the number of times you've given a match back.

Each time David and Don have to reschedule a match, that takes a couple of minutes.  That doesn't sound like a long time, but when there were over 600 turn backs this season, that's 20+ hours (probably more) of extra time that they put in to find replacement referees.  Anything we can do to help is greatly appreciated!

So, be on the lookout for that email.  This is not an attempt to shame anybody--I just wanted you to be aware of your information and to do everything you can in future seasons to get that number to three turn backs or less.


GKCOA has had a history of offering ideas for rule changes that have been strongly considered and even adopted by MSHSAA and eventually the NFHS national rules committee.  If you have a suggestion for an NFHS rule change or a MSHSAA by-law change for next season, we will compile a list and forward them to the MSHSAA volleyball coaches advisory committee.  They usually meet after the state tournament in November, but we need to get agenda items as soon as possible.  If you have a suggestion, please email by FRI., OCT. 20.


I have submitted my letter of resignation as GKCOA vice president of volleyball effective at the end of 2023 girls’ volleyball season.  Board President Dave Misel accepted it a couple of weeks ago. 

My reasons for stepping down now boil down to time.  It has nothing to do with the enjoyment of the position…I love being a part of teaching referees.  There wasn’t an incident or deterioration of fun over time that precipitated my decision.  Simply, with me going back into coaching full time (and now that it’s a paid position), that has eaten up more time (even in the fall) than I thought it would.  With starting the Staley boys’ volleyball program’s foundation, I want to make sure I do it properly.  It’s really as simple as that.


Honestly, as I get closer to retiring from teaching in a couple of years (and possibly moving from Kansas City), my plans were to step away from GKCOA before then anyway.  I believe I’m leaving GKCOA in a better place versus when I became vice president of volleyball about 8 years ago. We have developed a lot of great referees, and there is a template in place for somebody new to step in as VP and take what we’ve already accomplished to an even better place.  So, I believe that now is the right time for that to occur.


Plus, I’m not leaving entirely just yet.  I plan on refereeing and maintaining my observer and mechanics interpreter positions with MSHSAA.  I’ll still be available as a resource to GKCOA and to teach and train my successor.  I’ll still have some things to say at GKCOA meetings, but I just won’t be running the GKCOA volleyball day-to-day operations any longer.

If you are interested in the position, please let Dave Misel know because I do have one year remaining on my term, and the Board of Directors will appoint my successor for 2024.  After that, an election will occur for the next two-year term.

I’ve always said that the success we’ve had was not due to me…a good leader gets great people to surround him or her.  That’s exactly what we’ve done.  Now, someone else will get the opportunity to take over and have the same advantage I’ve had for the better part of a decade—that advantage is all of you!  It’s been an honor to work with you and make GKCOA the best association in the state!!



Cathy Klassen has the GKCOA batch of pink whistles in the event you need one when working a cancer awareness event. Her email is – please contact her to make the arrangements on payment and delivery. Each whistle is $10.

Reminder on cancer awareness events: they usually take place in October and it is not mandatory for officials to wear pink whistles, but if you do, please make sure that either both or neither official are wearing them. We don’t want one wearing one and the other not wearing one to give the impression that only one official supports the cancer awareness event. Some officials will own and carry an extra pink whistle in case their partner doesn’t have one.

ALSO–PRO TIP: to everyone working a cancer awareness event–MAKE SURE TO DOUBLE CHECK THE ROSTERS–sometimes teams will wear pink jerseys with different numbers that their normal roster, but the coach will forget to change the numbers on their new roster. Be preventive, so you won’t have to penalize when the match starts.


By now, most district tournament refereeing and line judging assignments should have gone out to those of you who have been requested to work. However, you must OFFICIALLY accept your assignment through! If you don’t, you won’t get paid.

126 of the 135 slots for referees and line judges in our area draft went to GKCOA members (93.3%) and over 50 different GKCOA members were selected to work districts. This is great representation from GKCOA!

Stay tuned, selections for sectionals, quarterfinals, and state are being made directly from MSHSAA. If you are selected for one of those positions please email Ken Corum and/or David Thompson so GKCOA can recognize you, as MSHSAA does not send us copies of those selections.

The links to the pay scales published by MSHSAA for post-season referees are here and line judges are here:  Your MSHSAA contract will say what zone you are in for mileage purposes. 

As we get closer to district, both REFEREES AND LINE JUDGES please watch the GKCOA Line Judge video so that all members of the crew are familiar with the line judging protocols:








Last year, we saw a number of area teams show appreciation to referees either with gifts or recognition as some of our matches.  The AVCA has designated next week nationwide for Officials Appreciation Week.  So, don't be surprised if you get recognized at one of your matches and be open to having your photo taken and placed on social media for promotion of our sport and to show others as a recruiting tool how much fun we have as officials!

Also, MSHSAA is getting involved!  They have sent out this notice to schools:

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If you are listed first (Referee 1) in Arbiter for a Saturday tournament, congratulations–you are the crew chief! Here is a list of responsibilities that you need to follow:

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The only jewelry allowed by MSHSAA for officials to wear are watches and wedding rings.  At a mechanics meeting, I made the incorrect statement that ​wedding rings were not allowed.  Please refer to the MSHSAA Officials Manual on page 12 for more information:

Varsity officials should still be signing the scorebook of both schools (as long as they are Missouri schools) with your MSHSAA number even though we are no longer being rated.  Varsity coaches are now required to submit the names and numbers of who officiated their matches.


•Several schools (Staley, Liberty, Kearney that I’m aware of—they may be others) have reported that start times are incorrect in Arbiter

•When you call or email to confirm, make it a point to emphasize that you’re checking on the start time with the AD or administrative assistant.


We ran out of these laminated warmup protocol and pre-match topics sheets made by our friend, Nancy Willig.  We will have more at the next GKCOA meeting on Sept. 10, but until then, you can click on each of these photos to download and print your own:



Not only should you be reading the rules book, but please take a look and find out information in the case book as well. There’s information there that may not be expressly written in the rules book, plus when the wording of the rule in the rules book might be unclear to you, sometimes reading examples of the enforcement of that rule in the case book may make more sense to you.

Be aware of this situation from the casebook:

•P. 12 – 4.1 SITUATION

•At the beginning of a team warm-up, the referees observe (a) a team manager assisting with drills wearing an electronic music device; (b) a student assisting with warm-ups wearing flip flops; (c) a student talking on a cell phone while assisting with warm-ups; (d) an adult assisting with warm-ups wearing high heeled shoes.  The first referee in each case informs the team’s coach that each person must make corrections to the individual’s attire before continuing to assist with warm-up.


•In (a), (b), and (c), the referee is correct.  It is important for purposes of risk minimization that any individual actively taking part in team warm-ups be in proper attire and free from electronic devices such as cell phones and music devices.

•In (d), the referee is incorrect.  While minors still must be in proper attire, it has been determined that adults participating in a team warm-up are responsible for their own well-being.

QUESTION:  If a coach gets ejected from a match at a Saturday tournament, what is the referee’s responsibility regarding the coach not being allowed to coach in the next match at the same level?


•This is a By-law, not a rule.

•Official must notify the administration to remove the coach.

oSchool admin is responsible from here out, not officials.

•FYI...The by-law (5.5.1.d) states:  A coach who is ejected during a contest for unsportsmanlike conduct shall at a minimum be prohibited from coaching and attending the next interscholastic contest for that sport or activity at that same level and must satisfactorily complete an approved online sportsmanship training course, prior to being reinstated.

•The coach would have to sit out the next match in the tournament at that level (and any match that might occur at any level between that same level ejected from).

•As an official, we must submit a special report online to MSHSAA about the ejection.  

•If we notice the coach coaching in the next contest, we should include that in the report.

•This is then in the hands of MSHSAA…not us!

Q: What is the recommended position for a line judge when the server is serving close to the line judge's corner?

A: P. 126 (#3) of the NFHS officials manual states, “If the server serves from the left third of the service area and encroaches on the line judge’s position, the line judge on the serving team’s side shall move a few steps to the side in line with the extension of the end line, until the ball is contacted for serve.”


That mechanic changed a few years ago.  In this case, the line judge needs to get back on the corner quickly after the serve because a ball served into the deep corner on that line judges’ sideline is that line judge’s call all the way down on the other end of the court.

RULE 4-2-1i (p.19):  Multiple styles of uniform bottoms may be worn by teammates and may include:  shorts, spandex, pants, or skirts.

FROM MSHSAA:  Leggings are also considered acceptable—make sure they are like-colored

  • There can be different styles of uniform bottoms…shorts, skirts, short tights, long tights, etc.

  • If one has trim, no matter style, they must all have trim.​

  • Example:  If all uniform bottoms are predominately black with white trim, then all is fine.  However, if some have white trim and some do not, these are not the same and are not legal.  

Missouri high schools do not switch sides, but Kansas high schools have returned to switching sides.  If you have a Kansas school in your dual match or tournament, prior to play or during the captains/head coaches meeting, you may want to remind them of the Missouri rule.

Officials:  Review rules constantly throughout the season.  This week review these particular items of concern.  

  • Libero replacement protocol, particularly illegal replacements.  Know when the illegal replacement is an Unnecessary Delay and when it is Illegal Alignment.  

  • Review the protocol for assessing a Card to a coach/player.  

    • Judgement calls are not something that a coach should be questioning you about.  

    • Coaches must stay in their coaching area, which does not include the substitution zone.

  • Players wearing arm sleeves.  These are legal and does not matter what color, just as we do not monitor their knee pads.  

We've already had a player with an insulin pump attempt to play without a special letter from MSHSAA.  Good job by the GKCOA referee to inform the coach! The coach said they contacted MSHSAA, but haven't heard a response.  If that happens, the player still cannot play until they have the letter.  Usually, MSHSAA will turn the letter around very quickly, so it's up to the school and administration to continually follow up to get the letter/email sent back to the school.

Q: Can a high school player legally touch the net  outside the antennas?  According to rules, I know club can, but I had a coach argue that it is legal in high school.

A:  Check out Rule 9-6-7a.  In high school, touching any part of the net, cables, or antennas is illegal.  Also, that’s why I put out this document to have handy in case any coach questions whether a club rule and a high school rule are similar:










•Officials must check into Arbiter and click on Schedule tab daily. We have had lots of changes and expect lots more. 

•Please continue to email Don Gard and David Thompson every Sunday with your open dates for the upcoming week. This helps with communication and scheduling. 

•Keep your uniform handy (in your vehicle?) in case of last-minute assignments

•Be aware that some schools decide they aren’t able to fill C-Silver or other teams and matches need to be cancelled

•If that significantly impacts your schedule, the assignors will attempt to get you other matches, if possible.

  • Officials must check into Arbiter and click on Schedule tab daily. We have had lots of changes and expect lots more. 

  • Please continue to email Don Gard and David Thompson every Sunday with your open dates for the upcoming week. This helps with communication and scheduling. 

  • Don Gard is in need of officials on Mon., Sept. 11 for middle school matches--please contact him ASAP if you have availability.

  • Please make sure to confirm match assignment dates, times, and number of matches with schools in advance via phone or email!  We've had changes in dates and times already where what is listed in Arbiter may not be correct, so please make sure to confirm if a school doesn't confirm with you first!!

  • If you officiate matches that have Line Judge components, please email the school contact (AD or admin Assistant) that night or the next day to clarify how many sets you Line Judged (JV and/or V) so that pay will be correct on the first go round. This helps with communication and reduces the chance that assigners will need to add a "ghost game" so schools can go back and correct pay.

  • Please continue to confirm dates and times with schools about a week ahead of time, if you can.  We are still experiencing changing and incorrect information where referees have been showing up to a school where there has been a time change or worse, there is no match.  Be sure to do your part to make sure those incidents are kept to a minimum.

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As we begin observing, there have already been a couple of situations worth bringing to the attention of everybody:

1. In a JV tournament Saturday, we already had a libero redesignation situation. Please be aware of the steps to follow in Rule 10-4-3 on page 46 of the rules book.

2.  Along those lines, if you have a situation arise where you need to refer to the rules book (like in a little often used situation above especially when injury and player safety is involved), there is nothing wrong with getting out the rules book and referring to it to make sure a special situation is handled properly.  This shouldn't be done most of the time (like for common rulings), but there are some situations where if the match isn't being greatly delayed, go ahead and refer to the rules book.

  • Fine tune your signals.   Signals should be as stated in the rule book, not your own version.  One particular example is the signal for substitution, review this signal. 

  • Line up cards should be used for checking line ups, not the line up sheet turned in by the coach.

  • We are here to help you improve and to reflect on what we see.  


We have seen and heard about a great number of situations involving bracelets.  Remember, the new jewelry rule only allows certain items to be worn from the chin up.  Necklaces, bracelets, and watches below the chin are STILL ILLEGAL IN HIGH SCHOOL (unlike in club).  

We have been hearing about very skinny bracelets being worn and the players are claiming they are permanent and cannot be removed.   The rule is unforgiving with regards to any bracelets.  If a player chooses to wear a bracelet, please inform the coach that they player is also choosing not to be allowed to play.

We have also heard of referees telling players just to tape their wrists with the bracelets underneath to make it legal.  According to Rule 4-1-7, "taping over jewelry is not permitted."  Of course, if a player arrives to the match with their wrists taped, we're not going to request to look under the tape, but if you have knowledge that a bracelet is being worn, they can't just tape over it after the fact.  At that point, they must remove the bracelet in order to play.

Timeout procedure:  Remember, there must be a WHISTLE and a HORN at the end of every timeout.  Usually, the whistle will occur with 15 seconds remaining on the scoreboard clock (or your watch, if at a tournament without a visible scoreboard) and the horn will sound at the expiration of time on the clock (or a second whistle without a visible scoreboard with a horn).  If both teams are back on the court, ready to play, then the timeout MAY END EARLY, but there still needs to be a whistle and a horn prior to the R2 indicating to the R1 the number of timeouts used by each team and then indicating to the R1 that we are ready for play.

Fortunately, we haven't had any incidents yet this season that we're aware of, but please make sure to check your referee stand before you climb up to start the match.  No, I'm not talking about checking your padding (which you should obviously do), but to check to see if the stand has been assembled and (if necessary) attached to the pole properly.  Across the country there have a been a few situations where the stand wasn't set up correctly and officials have fallen through or off the stand.  Be diligent and safe!

Last week, I mentioned to make sure your referee's stand is set up properly...Tammie Spencer posted a scary video on our GKCOA Facebook page of what could happen if the stand isn't attached or assembled correctly.  Be diligent!


Schools have had four years to obtain uniforms that comply with the new rule regarding numbers (Rule 4-2-4c: The body of the number must clearly contrast from the body of the uniform regardless of trim).

If a team does not have legal uniforms, there are two options (according to Rule 4-2-PENALTIES on p. 20 of the rules book): 

1. If a team does not have six legal uniforms to start the match, a loss of rally/point shall be awarded at the beginning of the match.  No further penalty for uniforms for the rest of the match.  A MSHSAA Special Report is required.

2. If a team has six legal uniforms to the start the match and a player who has an illegal uniform attempts to enter the match, unnecessary delay (administrative yellow card) is assessed and that player shall not enter the set until the uniform is made legal.




































































District host schools have not been determined yet.  However, make sure to pay attention once they are determined because if you are hoping to get drafted to referee at districts, it will be to your advantage to make sure that you are known to these athletic directors and district managers. 

It is inappropriate to contact them for the sole purpose of asking them to draft you, but when you are officiating at a school where that administrator happens to be there, it might be a good idea to introduce yourself so they can put a name with a face when it comes time for the draft. Again, please do not make any requests to get drafted or even discuss the draft. Just make sure they know your name and then go out a ref a great match so they will want to draft you!!


Host schools for district tournaments have been determined. Remember that one change this season is that a district MAY elect to play first round matches at the site of the higher seeded school.  Of course, the district may also choose to play the tournament like usual with all matches at the host school site.  We'll know more about specific schedules as we approach the draft on Wed., Sept. 27.  To see all the district assignments, scroll down into the archived announcement area.  As of now, here are the host schools in our area:

CLASS 5 (Districts 5-8, in that order):

Truman, Waynesville (not in our area), Lee's Summit North, Park Hill South

CLASS 4 (Districts 7-8):

Pembroke Hill, Platte County

CLASS 3 (Districts 13-16):

Harrisonville, Central (Kansas City), Oak Grove, Cameron

CLASS 2 (Districts 13-16):

Holden, Lafayette County, Lathrop, Mid-Buchanan

CLASS 1 (Districts 13-16):

Green Ridge, Santa Fe, St. Joseph Christian, Tarkio


Q: Libero jumps behind the ten-foot line, sets the ball in mid-air, then lands in front of the ten-foot line.  Would that then be a back row attack?

A:  Rule 9-5-6 states that "a libero shall not set the ball using overhead finger action while on or in front of the attack line or attack line extended, resulting in a completed attack above the height of the net."

To help those of you who have not seen various libero actions, here are some video examples:

This is a legal play where the libero has both feet behind the ten-foot line and uses finger action to set a hitter.  If the player were to jump from behind the line, set, then land inside the line (as the question indicated), that would also be legal.

This libero is on the attack line when setting, so this would be illegal:

Q:  Can managers wear jewelry below the chin on the court during warmup?

A:  This is a situation where referees can become overly officious.  Rule 4-1 regarding equipment refers to players, not managers, but the case book does reference situations where if safety is an issue (namely if a manager is wearing headphones, for example) the referee can address what a manager is wearing.


MSHSAA Broadcast Email - AUG. 9, 2023 





In the online rules review and the rules announcement, it states that the official MSHSAA adopted ball is the Mikasa VFC1000 in red/white/blue, and it must be used in regular season contests, excluding tournament and the districts and state series for the 2023-2024 season.  


After having questions concerning this, I did some research.  I found that although this information of the official ball must be used in regular season contests has been in the rules review this year and in years past, the official MSHSAA adopted ball, the Mikasa VFC1000, does not have to be used during regular season contests.  


Any ball legal within the guidelines of the NFHS Volleyball Rules Book may be used for regular season contests.  The official MSHSAA adopted ball will be used for district and state series play.  I apologize for the confusion.


Sometimes at a tournament, the situation arises where the scorer and team benches are on the R1’s side. There are a few mechanics adjustments that need to be made:

  • R1 will likely be the one whistling subs and timeouts

  • R1 will be reporting the subs to the scorer and will need to make sure the R2 is aware of the sub

  • R1 will need to verify with the scorer when set point is reached

  • R2 needs to come across the court and check the scoresheet during timeouts

  • If there are any scoresheet or libero tracking discrepancies, the R2 will take the lead in resolving the problem

  • R1 and R2 will need to determine how they will communicate when a team has used 15 or more subs and who will relay that information to the head coach

  • Typically in this type of court set up at a tournament, there is an adjacent court where there is very little room between the courts and the two R2s from each court are working in very close proximity to one another (see photo above).  If that is the case, the R2 should not transition under the net to get to the blocker’s side during the rally. Depending on the amount of space there is, either begin the rally on the receiving team’s side and stay there until its completion, or stay on one side for the entire match where the R2 may be looking through the net to the receiving team’s side to begin the rally. Work with the other R2 from the other court to decide what may be best given the situation.

  • Remember the rule where any player is not allowed to enter the adjacent court at any time (before, during, or after playing the ball). Make sure you’ve discussed with your partner who will have primary responsibility for making that call–sometimes it’s easier for R1 to see the player enter the other court in his/her range of vision behind R2 if the ball has already been played back to the court and R2 must focus attention back towards the court for possible net violations.


When a team hits its first or second contact into a ceiling suspended net system, make sure to know Rule 2-3-1j! If that ball contacts a diagonal pole, cables, or straps of the net system, you'll blow the play dead, then you'll make a judgment whether or not the team could have made a play on the ball.  If so, it's a replay.  If not, it's out.  If a third contact touches the ceiling or overhead obstruction, it's out.

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We need to be more aware of our process as R2s on how we call net and center line violations.  We talked about that during the Aug. 6 GKCOA meeting.  Please scroll to 1:07:25 to 1:23:45 in the following video to see or review the presentation and make note of the slides below:

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I know that I promised you some videos this week, so here we go!

The #1 topic people want to talk about every season is ball handling, but finding good video to look at regarding what's legal and illegal is very elusive.  A call which is pretty obvious in real life may not look nearly the same on video or vice versa.

Even with that in mind, I'm going to post some video here from the state association in Iowa from their state tournament last year with some ball handling calls and rationale where you will probably have to zoom in or replay the clips as many times as you need to understand the points being discussed.

I know that for some of you, you won't be able to see the talking points, either because of lack of technology or experience, but I hope these clips help you better discern things we look for when choosing to call illegal contact.

1.  This was correctly called as a double contact.  It's difficult to tell because it happens so quickly, but on the second contact, one hand contacted the ball before the other hand.  The first referee should have the perfect angle to see this contact.

2.  These next three videos demonstrate that one possible indication of illegal contact by a setter MIGHT be body position.  These are not universal hard and fast rules, but if a setter is late getting to the net or out of her body position, that may have the potential to indicate that an illegal contact may be imminent.  Here are some examples: 

3.  Here are a couple of examples where balls are being taken over the net that are double contacts and NEED to be called.  Unlike double contacts from a setter to a hitter where some may argue that the team is shooting themselves in the foot with a bad second contact, a team that is allowed to double contact balls over the net is allowed to have an advantage over their opponents if that illegal contact is allowed to potentially score a point.  We do need to be vigilant when it comes to illegal contacts being sent over the net, like these:

4.  I know that for some of you, it's been very difficult to see these double contacts and to figure out why they should be called.  That's why I started off this segment by saying this is the exact reason why it's so difficult to post videos about illegal contact because we all have our own levels of consistency and what a contact looks like in real life can be much different on video.

For me, what I look for is two distinct contacts on the ball.  If I make a double contact call, I should be able to tell which hand hit it first and which hit it second (i.e.:  "that ball went from the left hand to the right hand and out" or vice versa).  If I cannot determine that, I let play continue.

Also, just because a contact is "ugly" does not make it illegal. If you can't determine that there is prolonged contact or if a ball is caught or thrown, then you should let play continue, as in this example:


Here is an excellent video from the Iowa Girls' High School Athletic Union that shows a number of scenarios that will hopefully help you get started in understanding how to call overlaps and to remind those of you who are experienced in what to look for:













Rule 9-5-6b states that a libero shall not set the ball using overhead finger action while on or in front of the attack line (or attack line extended), resulting in a completed attack above the height of the net.

The rule is not specific to front row or back row attackers, so as long as this attack occurred above the height of the net, this action would be illegal.  You would use the illegal attack signal (#7) and potentially open hand point to the libero to indicate where the rule violation occurred.

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