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Volleyball Officials

Updated on November 14, 2008

Can you spot good volleyball officiating?

Some characteristics that distinguish really great volleyball officiating from average officiating include confidence, decisiveness, mental toughness, courage, and good instincts.

Expectations for volleyball officials is generally very high.

It's often said, "A referee is expected to be perfect the first time out, then only improve from there."

What Makes a Good Volleyball Official?

8 prerequisites to good volleyball officiating


Know the official volleyball rules and continue to develop volleyball officiating knowledge with preparation, study, and experience. The more experience you get officiating, the more comfortable you'll be making calls. Study game situation and become familiar with different game scenarios.


Even if you know the rules well and have the ability to interpret rules effectively, you still also need to master officiating mechanics. Observe the best officials and study their techniques. Good techniques help you stay in rhythm and help the match run more smoothly.


Being timid or hesitating when making calls shows you lack confidence. Make all your calls clearly and distinctly. Blow your whistle loud and sharp.


Don't get distracted by the fans. Reacting to fans yelling will never help you call the game. If fans notice that their heckling is influencing you, they'll keep doing it. Tune out the crowd and focus on the game.


Gain respect of coaches, players, and other officials by calling a fair, honest, and ethical game. Never get emotionally involved with players or coaches. Be tactiful and polite but don't ever back down on the calls you make. Having a professional attitude will often help to difuse any problems that arise.


You don't have to be in great physical condition to officiate volleyball, but by being in decent condition will likely present a better image. Being healthy and fit will help keep you stay alert and also keep your energy level up throughout a long match or tournament.


It's important you know basic volleyball rules, but even more importantly you should continue expanding your knowledge about volleyball. Through experience you'll gain the ability to handle difficult situations and know how to act accordingly.

It's important to learn how to deal with all the different personalities you face on the court.

Attend officiating clinics. Volleyball officiating knowledge comes not only from actual experience but also by attending officiating clinics. So keep expanding your knowledge and expertise.


If you bring energy and passion to the game, it will be much easier to become a great volleyball official. Do what you can to help expand the tradition of the game and maintain your integrity at all times.

Gain Confidence by Developing Your Officiating Skills

Through experience comes confidence. Confidence is key to staying out of trouble.

Just as players need to develop skills to be able to play volleyball effectively, volleyball officials need a range of skills officiate the game well.

Noone is perfect. You will make mistakes, but with experience you will feel more comfortable making decisions because you've been in that situation before.

Remember, if you don't make calls with confidence, coaches, players, and fans may will likely assume you don't know what you're doing and lose respect for you.

Basic Volleyball Rules - Do you know the rules of volleyball?

To be a great official, you must have a clear understanding of the rules. Learn basic rules and advice on officiating volleyball.


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