Rules for Volleyball
Course of Action for Officials

Proper Procedural Rules for Volleyball Referees

Only the first and second referees are allowed to blow whistles during a match.

The first referee may give the scorer the option to use an audible device to notify the volleyball referees of "out of rotation" faults.

  • The first referee gives the signal for service to begin the rally.

  • The first and second referees signal the end of rally, provided a fault has been committed and they have identified its nature.

  • The referees may blow the whistle when the ball is out of play to indicate they authorize or reject a team request.

  • Immediately after a referees whistle to signal the end of rally, they have to indicate with the official volleyball hand signals...

    If the fault is whistle by the first referee, he/she indicates...

    the team to serve

    the nature of the fault

    the player at fault
    The second referee will follow the first referee hand signals by mimicking them.

    If the fault is whistle by the second referee, he/she indicates...

    the nature of the fault

    the player at fault

    the team to serve following the hand signal of first referee
    The first referee doesn't show the fault and nature of the fault, but only the team to serve.

    In the case of a double fault, both referees indicate...

    the nature of the fault

    the player at fault

    the team to serve, with the signal lead by the first referee
Rules for Volleyball

The First Referee - Rules for Volleyball During the match, the first referee performs their duties on a referee stand located at one end of the volleyball net. The first referees view must be approximately 50 cm above the net.

First Referee Authority - Rules for Volleyball The first referee directs the match from beginning to end. The first referee has authority over all members of the officiating crew and team members.

During the match, the first referees decisions are final. The first referee has the authority to overrule decisions of the officiating crew when it is noticed that they are mistaken.

The first referee may replace a member of the officiating crew who isn't performing their duties appropriately.

The first referee has the power to make decisions on any matters that involve the game including those not provided in the rules.

The first referee shall not allow any discussion about his/her decisions.

However, the first referee may give an explanation on the application or interpretation of the rules based upon which the decision was made. This request must be made by the teams game captain.

If the game captain doesn't agree with the explanation, the captain may protest the decision.

The first referee is responsible for determining whether the playing area equipment and playing conditions meet playing requirements.

First Referee Responsibility - Rules for Volleyball Prior to the match, the first referee…

  • inspects the ball, other equipment, and playing area

  • performs the toss with the team captains

  • monitors the teams warming up

During the match, only the first referee is authorized to...

  • issue warnings to the teams

  • sanction misconduct and delays

  • decide on...
  1. faults of the server and positioning of the serving team, including screening
  2. faults in playing the ball
  3. faults above the net
  4. attack hit faults of libero and back row players
  5. a completed attack made on a player with the ball coming from a libero in the front zone that used finger action to make an overhead pass
  6. the ball crossing the space under the net

At the end of the match, the referee checks the score sheet and signs it. 

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Volleyball Referee Signal Sequence

Rules for Volleyball Officials Related Pages

Basic Rules

Rules in Volleyball

Game Rules 

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