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Who are the officials in volleyball?

Updated: 10/25/2022
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In official competition volleyball, there may be various numbers of officials, including scorekeepers. But there are 5 or 6 basic positions.

The two primary officials are the referees. One is the overall (R1 or stand) referee and the other is the net referee (R2). There are two line judges, one positioned at the left rear corner of each side. There is also a scorekeeper, who will be assisted by a "libero" scorekeeper who keeps track of this specialized position where it is used, both in scoring and eligibility.

*The referee on the ground watches for net and other violations, and also checks people in and out of the game. The one on the stand calls any violation he or she sees, and blows the whistle for the server to serve. The line judges call balls in or out.

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Volleyball officials that make up the officiating crew are first referee, second referee,scorekeeper, assistant scorer, and line judges.

The first referee is in charge from the beginning of the match until the end.

The first referee has authority over all other members of the officiating crew.

The first referee should talk to all the officiating crew members before the match starts, going over any questions officials might have about their responsibilities.

The first referee should have a talk with the second referee before the match starts discussing issues such as pre-match protocol and anything that will help the match run more smoothly.

The second referee should establish a rapport with thescorekeeper and libero tracker. If the scorer and libero tracker have a problem or don't understand something, they should be comfortable enough to ask the second referee for help.

Scorekeeper - Volleyball officials

The scorekeeper's main job is to make sure the score is correct at all times. The scorekeeper uses a score sheet to keep track of the game.

If there is a difference between the score on the score sheet and the visual score (flip score, electronic scoreboard, etc.) the visual score should be changed to match the score on the scoresheet unless the mistake on the scoresheet can be determined and corrected.

One of the volleyball referees should check the accuracy of the scoresheet at the end of each set.

THE SCOREKEEPER…

Pre-match,

  • Before the match starts, the scorekeeper should fill in the pre-match info - team names, starting line ups, etc.

During the match,

  • Records points when they are scored
  • Watches the servers and indicates immediately to the referees when a server has served out of order. It's also good preventive officiating to watch teamsvolleyball rotation in case assistance is needed for the second referee to determine the correct team alignment.
  • Records player substitutions and team timeouts
  • Records any sanctions
  • Records all other events as instructed by the referees
  • Records the final result of the set
  • In the case of a protest, after the first referee gives authorization, the scorekeeper lets the game captain write a statement for protest on the scoresheet.

After the match,

  • Records the final result of the match
  • Signs the scoresheet
Assistant Scorer - Volleyball officials

The assistant scorer (or libero tracker) sits at the scorer's table next to the scorekeeper.

The assistant scorer's main function is to record libero replacements on to a libero tracking sheet.

THE ASSISTANT SCORER…

  • Notifies any fault with libero replacements
  • Operates the manual scoreboard on the scorer's table
  • Checks the score on the scoreboard with the score on the scoresheet
Line Judges - Volleyball officials

If only two line judges are used, theystand at the corner of the endline that is closest to the right hand of each referee, diagonally from the corner.

The line judges watch the endline and sideline of their respective corners.

For FIVB and Official Competitions, four line judges are used. Each line judge stands in the free zone 1 to 3 meters, lined up with the imaginary extension of their respective line.

Line judge's main responsibility is to make signals to help out the referees in making judgment calls.

Line judges may be instructed to use flags to make the signals.

THE LINE JUDGES SIGNAL…

  • Ball "in" and "out" whenever the ball lands near the lines
  • Touches of "out" balls by players receiving the ball
  • Ball touching the antennae
  • A served ball crossing the net outside the crossing space (the space between the antennae's)
  • Any player standing off the court at the moment of service
  • Server foot faults
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