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Tips for Refereeing at
1) On each play you should call either in, out, or touch. On very
obvious plays, you donít need to call it, but you should err on the side
of calling it, since the referee doesnít always have a good line of
sight to the ball. If any part of the ball touches the line, then it is
considered in. Also, you may only make calls based on sight, not
sound. Do not be offended if the up ref overrules you - sometimes s/he
has a better line of sight.
2) On the serve, you should indicate if there was a foot fault. If
any part of the serverís foot touches the line before s/he hits the ball
(or leaves the ground), itís a foot fault.
3) When the ball goes outside the antenna, you should call it out.
If any part of the ball touches or passes over the antenna, it is
considered out. If there is no antenna, you should approximate where it
1) The main calls for the down ref are net and people going under the
a. NET: If any part of the body touches the net, it is an
infraction. Shirts are included. The only exception is hair. If hair
(usually a pony tail) goes into the net and does not interfere with the
play, itís legal.
b. UNDER: A person is considered to be under the net if his/her
entire foot goes onto the opposing teamís court. The ďshadowĒ of the
foot is what is called, so that if their toe is down on the other side,
but their heel is above the line, itís still legal (however, take note
that if they pivot on this foot, this may move the heel past the line).
2) The down ref, on the serve, is supposed to watch the receiving
team for out of rotation violations. At the time the ball is contacted
on the serve, each front row player must have part of his/her foot
closer to the front line than the corresponding back row player. Each
player on the left/right must have his/her foot closer to the left/right
line than the center player!
3) The down ref should indicate to the up ref any back row
attacks/blocks. A back row player may not spike the ball from the front
row. If any part of the foot is on or in front of the 10-foot line
(when the attacker left the ground), and the entire ball is above the
height of the net, itís a back row attack. A back row player may not
put his/her hands above the height of the net to block. Touching the
ball is not a requirement for a back row block to be called.
4) In addition, down refs may assist in calling touches and in/out
calls that line judges make.
5) The down ref can also assist in calls about interference
(penetrating the net), double hits, and lifts, but are only supposed to
indicate these to the up ref, not blow the whistle on these calls.
6) In general, the down ref is responsible for watching the defensive
team. Itís hard to learn this, but you are not supposed to be watching
the ball most of the time. Watch for players touching the net or going
under the net after the ball leaves play near the net.
1) Screens: If two players are close enough to each other that the
opposing team cannot see any space between them AND the ball is served
low and over those players, then a screen is called. One person can
never be a screen by him/herself.
a) The ball must be tossed for service. It may not be hit straight
out from the hand. (CJS is lenient on this one)
b) Eight Second Rule Ė once the whistle is blown, the server has
eight seconds to toss the ball for service.
3) Double hits are allowed on ANY first hit over the net. Lifts are
4) Net penetration is allowed under the following conditions:
a) You are blocking a ball that is coming over the net. The blocking
player is not allowed to contact the ball before or simultaneously with
the attacker. If it is prior to the third hit, it is the refís decision
whether the ball was being set or coming over the net.
b) The attacking team has touched it fewer than three times, but
there is no player in the vicinity to make a play on the ball.