Substitution Volleyball Rules

Mechanics for second referee administration of subs

Substitution volleyball. 

One Team Requests a Substitution

When a coach or captain verbally requests a sub, the referee should not whistle but should indicate to the coach or captain that when the substitute enters the substitution zone, the substitute will be acknowledged. 

When a substitute enters the substitution zone, the second referee...

  1. Whistles and signals the request.

  2. The first referee copies the substitution signal, but does not whistle.

  3. Look at the players and sees the uniform numbers.

  4. Authorizes the entry.

  5. After the entry, check with the scorekeeper.

  6. Once the substitutions are recorded, look for other requests and ensure the court is ready for play.

  7. Put the whistle back in the mouth, move back in position, and give the ready signal back to the first referee.
Substitution volleyball second official communicating with scorekeeper

The second referee must maintain control of the substitution process. 

Players are eager to enter the match and the second referee must facilitate this. 

As players are exchanging during the substitution, at least one of the players needs to make eye contact with the second referee. 

Substitution volleyball second referee administering subs

Both Teams Request a Substitution

When one substitution from each team enters the substitution zone, the second referee will... 

  1. Whistle and signal the substitution. The first referee will copy the signal.

  2. Ask one of the players to wait while taking care of the other sub.

  3. Administer one teams substitution.

  4. After the scorekeeper has recorded the first sub correctly, whistle a second time and give the sub signal. The first referee copies this signal.

  5. Administer the second team request.

  6. When recorded properly, get in position for the next serve with whistle in mouth.

  7. Ensure the court is ready for play then give the ready signal.

Remember, when both teams request for sub during the same dead ball, there will always be two whistles. 

One Team Requests Multiple Substitutions

When one team wants multiple subs, they must be made one at a time with no break between the subs entering the substitution zone. 

When multiple substitutions from one team approach the substitution zone, the second referee will...

  1. Whistle when the first substitute enters the substitution zone. As always, the first referee copies the substitution signal.

  2. Administer the first substitution. If more than one enters the substitution zone at a time, ask the others to step outside the sideline and the extension of the 10 foot line. As just like before, recognize the numbers and authorize the entry. As the player enters the court, the other sub should enter the substitution zone.

  3. Check with the scorer to see that the first sub was recorded correctly.

  4. Administer the second substitution. You don't whistle the second substitution. Never whistle the other subs on the same team during the same dead ball period.

  5. Repeat the process for any other sub that's ready to enter the court.

  6. Check to see if the scorekeeper has recorded all the substitutions and is ready to begin play.

  7. Put the whistle in the mouth and get in position ready for the next volleyball serve. Give the ready signal to the first referee.

Remember, subsequent substitutes need to enter the substitution zone without delay.

Also, it may take the scorekeeper some time to record all the substitutions. You're better off taking the time to make sure everything is correct. It's not worth hurrying through the process resulting in a scorekeeping problem later in the match. 

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