Volleyball You Blow The Call


22. The libero enters the set goes to the serve line to serve for team B. Although she has not yet served in this set she realizes that she is not supposed to serve in the rotation and thus is reluctant to serve. R1 blows the whistle and indicates a 5 second call on the server. Thus giving the receiving team a point and serve. Can the Libero later serve in the rotation that she was really supposed to serve in?

Answer: A 5 second call is considered a service fault. Thus the Libero is considered to have served in that particular rotation and that is the only rotation the Libero can serve in for the rest of that set.


21. A player for team A hears a whistle from another court and mistakenly thinks it is from her court and thus catches the ball and stops play.

Answer: Since the whistle was not for the action on her court her contact is illegal. If it is the first or second team contact the call would be prolonged contact and the appropriate signal given. If the team had already had 3 contacts the instant she touched the ball it would be a 4th and illegal contact. The appropriate signal would be to raise 4 fingers.


20. Team A's coach request a sub which is made. After the sub is made Team B's coach requests a Time Out. At the end of the time out Team A's coach wants to make an additional substitution.

Answer: The additional sub is denied as a team may make only one request for substitution during the same dead ball.


19. Player #2 serves the ball into the top of the net. It strikes the top of the net and at the same time R3 out of reflex reaches to the ball and it touches her hands above the net. The ball quite obviously was not going to cross the net so as the ball falls to the floor on team S's side of the net, S3 catches the ball.

Answer: Since R3 was reaching above the top of the net to touch the ball it is by definition a block. Since it is illegal to block a serve, team S wins the rally.

18. The coach for team A requests a substitution and wants #4 to replace #6 in the second position in the service order. However previously in the set, #4 had replaced #12 in the first position in the service order. As R2 authorizes the substitution the scorer informs R2 that the substitution is illegal. R2 thus denies the substitution and issues team A a delay sanction. The coach for team then asks to substitute #4 for #12. How should R2 handle this second request, and did R2 handle the original illegal substitution correctly?

Answer: Substitue #4 for $12 and R2 did handle the original illegal substitution correctly. Rule 10.2 PENALTIES 1 & 2


17. The Libero for team A is in position 5 (LB) for players #7. Team A wins the rally and is forced to rotate for a new server. The Libero leaves the court. However #7 fails to re-enter the court. Team A serves and wins the rally with only 5 players on the court.

Answer: By not completing the Libero exchange prior to the whistle and beckon for serve, team A has commited an illegal allignment violation. Thus a loss of rally is charged team A. (Rule 10.4.1.f) Team A does not have the option to play with just 5 players (Case book 10.3.6 situation C).


16. The coach of Team A requests a timeout. As R2 what are your next actions?

Answer You need to be aware whether or not Team A has already used their allotted 2 timeouts or not. If not, you blow your whistle, indicate timeout and which team took it, and indicate to the R1 the number of timeout taken by each team by holding your hands at about shoulder height. If you don’t know for sure, turn and get the information from the scorer then give the information to R1. You now have complete control of the match and R1 should not continue until you give that control back to them. You should check with the scorer as to how many subs have been taken by each team and depending on the proficiency of the scorer, how good a job of recording the match is being done. Hopefully you don’t have to make many or any corrections to the score recording method. You then should turn and stand facing R1 so that you are aware if the R1 needs to communicate any information to you. Try not to spend the entire timeout period facing the table and talking with the scorer. When the timeout clock reaches 15 seconds left you blow a warning whistle (toot-toot) letting the teams know they need to start getting ready to break their huddle. Unless you are in a situation where there is more than one match occurring in the venue it is best to allow the auto horn to sound to end the timeout. Too often when you whistle to end the timeout the server takes that whistle to be the beckon for serve and serves the ball, causing a replay. If both teams are on the court and ready to play prior to the expiration of the end of the allotted time for the timeout, blow your warning whistle (toot-toot), have the timer stop the clock and sound the horn or you blow the whistle whichever is the case. Please be sure that both teams are ready to play and there is not one player still at the bench or the teams are huddled together still discussing something or the coach is still talking to a player at the side of the court. For this reason be sure to instruct the timer not to stop the clock without your authorization. After the horn has sounded ending the timeout, re-signal to R1 the number of timeouts taken by each team, this time above your shoulders; R1 holds the same signal up to notify the benches. Remember you have control of the match still. Check each bench to see that no further requests are coming from the coaches. Check to see that the line judges are in position. You are almost ready to give the match back to R1 to proceed with the match. Get to the receive side of the net, put your whistle in your mouth and square up to the sideline. Now you can give the match back to R1 by raising your outside hand with your palm to the net. Great job; we are ready to proceed with play.


15. During pre-match warm-ups the referee notices that two Team S players are wearing a libero jersey. The referees tell the team that one of the players must remove the libero jersey since there can only be one libero used during the set.

Answer The referees’ decision is incorrect. The rules do not cover the type of apparel a player may wear during warm-ups.


14. Team A records A1 as the team libero for set 1. When the second referee checks the lineup for the set 1, he notices that the libero is wearing number 11. The team does not have a number 1 on the roster.

Answer. The lineup may not be changed at this point, and the team will not be permitted to play with a libero for set 1. Rule 7.2

13. Player #4 from Team S is replaced by the Libero. Player #4 goes to the area behind the bench and waits to re-enter the game when the Libero rotates to the front row. R2 see this and tell the coach that bench players must be seated on the bench. The coach replies that the rules allow a player to stand behind the bench in order to warm up before entering the match.

Answer. Although the rules does allow a player to go behind the bench to warm-up prior to subbing into the match it is not intended to allow a player to stand in that area for the entire time she is out of the match. Since the Libero is not a substitution but rather a replacement, you should not allow the Libero to be in that location nor the player she is exchanging with. See rule 9.1 and case book 12.2.7.a &b. One should also note that often especially during tourmanent play there are not enough chairs or bench space for all non-playing team members to be seated. R2 should attempt to see that there are enought seats. If that is not a viable option, those player who do not have a place to sit on the bench need to remain standong at the end of the bench. Sitting on the floor in what is a playable area is a safety concern.


12. After team R's second contact, the ball is headed toward their team bench. Player #6 runs to the bench and reaches over the top of the bench to save the ball. With one foot still on the playing surface #6 passes the ball toward the top of the net between the antennaes and then falls into the bench, landing completely in a non-playable area. As the ball enters the plane of the net, player #2 from team S attacks the ball and it flys out of bounds and strikes player #6 who is still on the floor behind the bench area.

Answer. Since player #6 from team R had a foot on the playing surface when the ball was played that contact is legal. What the player does after the contact does not effect whether or not the play was legal. The attack by player #2 from team S is also legal since the ball is in the plane of the net. However when the ball contacts # 6, she is deemed to have made a play on the ball. In doing so she must have a body part on the playoing surface to make the contact legal. She does not. Thus the ball out of bounds off of #6. Point and serve awarded to team S.

11. The coach for team A submits her line up for the 3rd set of the match and lists player #12 in service order 6 where she has played for the first 2 sets. The coach meant to list # 2 in service order 6 because #12 had to leave the match site. So when the teams took the court, the coach told # 2 to occupy that position. Prior to the start of the set, R2 checks the line ups of both teams but does not catch the fact that #2 is on the court where #12, who is listed on the score sheet should be. The set starts and proceeds until team A's #2 rotates from right front to the service position. When #2 serves the ball, the scorer identifies a wrong server and notifies R2.

You really blew it this time but how do you handle this situation?

Answer... Yes, you really did fail in your responsibility to actualy CHECK the line up.The lineup check is done as a courtesy and the team is ultimately responsible for their service order and positions on the court. The correct call would be a rotation fault and a point awarded to the receiving team when the serve is contacted.


10. During the first 2 sets of the current match, player #1 was the Team S libero. Upon checking the line-up for team S at the start of third set, R2 notices that player #8 is wearing a libero jersey and is prepared to enter. The Team S coach listed #1 as the libero, on the lineup sheet. When the referees informed the coach that player #1 must be the libero, the coach indicated player #1 was injured. The R2 sees player #1 seated on the bench with no apparent injuries.
How do you handle this situation?

Answer... It is not the officials responsibilty to determine whether or not player #1 is actually injured and if the Libero is injured and cannot play she must first be replaced by the player who she replaced and then the coach may redesignate a new Libero (Rule 10.4.3.a). Since the Libero has not yet been on the court, the coach is completely within the rules to redesignate a new Libero. So you authorize the new Libero and note on the score sheet an exceptional substitution, # 8 for #1(not one of the teams 18 allowed subs). Player #1 may not play in this current set.


9. A fan arrives and sits on the first row of bleachers. After a few minutes she gets up and leaves first her walker and second a baby chair. What should you do?

Answer...Although fans are allowed to sit in that area if permitted by event management, it is because they can move and react to players that come into the area. They would not be allowed to sit or lie on the floor in any playable area as they then cannot react and get out of the way. Devices such as bags, purses, wheelchairs, walkers and the like also need to not be in a playable area. They again cannot move themselves. We need to not allow wheel chairs and walkers in a playable area even if they are being attended to, as again they cannot get out of the way of a player. The area where those devices are allowed has to be a non-playable area and needs to be a well defined area that can be pointed out during the captain’s meeting. This task is the responsibility of event management and needs to be attended to prior to the match. It is also something that the event management needs to monitor during the match. It is not a responsibility of the officials to control where wheelchairs and the like are allowed to go during the match.


8. Player #4 from team A enters the sub zone and you authorize a substitution #4 for #10. Team B also requests a substitution #2 for #7 and you authorize that sub as well. As you turn back to the court you see that player #15 from team A is standing in the sub zone waiting to sub in for #23

Answer.. Had #15 been waiting to be subbed into the match after you authorized #4 into the match you should have authorized that sub as well before turning to team B's substitution. Since #15 was not there, this is a second request for substitution during the same dead ball and thus not allowed. It is a team delay warning and the sub is denied. When a team is going to make multiple substitutions all subs need to be at or headed to the substitution zone so the R2 realizes that multiple subs are requested.


7. The coach from the visiting team asks you to have the fans on the first row of bleachers move up so that their feet are not interfering with play by being in a playable area. What should you do?

Answer.. The rules do not give us the authority or require that we do anything. The rules do state that there must be at least 6 feet of playable area around the court. If there is not then you may have to have a replay on balls that would have been playable had there been 6 feet. In this case we would do the same. If a fan interferes with a player's legitimate effort to play a ball you should direct a replay. You really have no authority to ask the fans to move from their seats. Only if a conference has policy that restricts where fans can sit, should we do anything.
(Please note that ruling came from the state MHSAA office.)


6. Upon checking the line-ups prior to the start of set 1, R2 notices that the coach has listed player #4 as both the middle back and the Libero for that set.
How do you handle this situation?

Answer...Inform the coach that #4 must start in the middle back position. Furthermore due to the inacurate line-up and since the time interval has past to submit or change the lineup, the team may not use a Libero for that set and their opponents are awarded a point to start the set. (Case book 7.1.2)

This is a case where good preventative officiating would have avoided a major incident. Check the line-ups when they are given to you or the score crew to see that no players are listed twice, there is a floor captain designated, there is a libero listed (if the team intends to use one) and the coach has signed it.


5. Player S1 is awarded a re-serve and then serves 2 point. She is then replaced by player S2. Player S2 does not like her toss for serve and allows it to fall to the floor. Does S2 get a re-serve or is it a loss of rally?

Answer... S2 gets a re-serve. Each player is entitled to one re-serve during any one team's term of service. Rule 8-1-6


4 Team R's first pass is tight to the net and R5 a back row setter reaches toward the top of the net in an attempt to block a legal attack of the overpass by S3. The attack hits R5's hands but her hands are not above the net at the time of contact. R6 chases down the deflection and passes it to R5 who sets R1 who then attacks the ball to the floor on team S's side of the court. What is the correct call to make?

Answer.... Even though R5 is back row her attempt to block the overpass attack is not considered a block as her hands are below the top of the net. Thus it becomes team R's first contact. The ensuing contacts by R6, R5 and R1 make it 4 team contacts and thus a point should be awarded to team S.


3. Player #12 of team S is awarded a re-serve. The coach for team S requests an is given a time-out. Correct or Incorrect?

Answer ..... Incorrect.
A re-serve is considered a part of a single attempt to serve. Therefore no requests for game interuptions can be recognizes. Legal substitutions, replacements and timeouts may take place during the dead ball prior to a replay, which is different than a re-serve.


2. In the current set, Team A's libero has served in position six for player #14. Later in the same set, Team A's libero enters the court from the bench and prepares to serve for #15 in position three. Since the libero may not serve in a second position in the same set, what action should the officials take?

Answer ..... Since the libero entered from bench, the replacement is not illegal until service contact occurs. The referees and scorer should wait until the contact of the serve before whistling the rotation fault.


1. The Libero for team R is in position 5. Team R wins the rally and rotates. However the Libero does not leave the court and the officiating crew does not catch the rotational error until after team R has lost the serve. Now team R makes the Libero exchange. Normally team R has the Libero serve on this exchange so the Libero goes immediately to position 1. At this point, how should the officiating crew handle this situation? (Granted they should have caught the rotational error when the Libero rotated to the front row.)

Answer ..... In this scenario, the libero would have to exit the court for 1 rally. The attempt to move directly to position 1 would constitute an impropper Libero exchange and thus a team delay. Hopefully an astute referee and/or libero tracker will catch the libero in the front row prior to service.