To: High School and Junior High School Volleyball Coaches and MSHSAA Registered Officials

From: Davine Davis, MSHSAA

Date: October 7, 2019

There have been several questions regarding manufacturer’s logos appearing on volleyball uniforms this season; specifically shorts.  All coaches and officials need to review NFHS Volleyball Rule 4-2-1(f) regarding logos on uniforms.  When determining accurate size, the uniform should be laid on a flat surface (do not measure while player is wearing item).  Shorts in question have been the Nike All Pro and Under Armour (see link below) which have multiple logo around the waistband and exceed the size limitation.  It is each coach’s responsibility to ensure all players are wearing legal uniforms as defined in Rule 4-2.

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Officials shall alert the head coach of any issue with the legality of the uniform.  If the player can untuck the jersey to cover the waistband that is fine.  However if the illegal logo appears during the match, unnecessary delay shall be assessed.  Refer to Rule 4-2 Penalties 1 and 2.  Everyone (coaches and officials) are expected to know and follow all NFHS volleyball rules consistently throughout the season.  Thank you for your assistance in this matter.


The MSHSAA referee and line judge draft was held last Wednesday.  Congratulations to the following GKCOA members who have the opportunity to work those assignments:


Sandy Reichert, Langston Parker, Carlos Boyd, Michael Plummer, Kathie Mahan, Lisa Baney, Phillip Boldridge, Brittany Elms, Steve Bindseil, Scott Scheib, Chuck Sierks, Tammie Spencer, Dave Koerner, Rick Robards, Ken Corum, Dixie Wescott, Michael Garner, Brian Verman, Chris Huber, Scott Summers, Jim Cox, David Thompson, Lisa Glenn, Steve Minnick, Janet Weller, Denise Jett, Kevin Greer, Don Gard, John Rahija, Keri Peterson, Nicole Messick, Jim Cox, Aleesha Bal, David Kidwell, Cathy Viets, Jamie Gehrke, Jana Marler, Ronda Miles, Cheryl Aston, Tiffany Tester, Trent Bryant, and Cathy Klassen.


Paul Fishell, Steve Baird, David Kidwell, Sarah Bailey, Missy Kuehn, Tom Hughes, Elaine Stoll, Bobby Killion, Chuck Stephenson, Alan Hainkel, Chris Huber, Morgan Johnson, Lindsey Minson, Mike Brightman, John Birdwell, LD Winslow, Nick Burton, Courtney Boykin, Kevin Greer, Paul Fishell, Jamie Gehrke, Clint Baxter, Celia Hernandez, and Lindsey Patterson

SECTIONALS (Sat., Nov. 2 at sites TBD):

CLASS 1:  Rob Kyle, Brittany Elms, Carlos Boyd

CLASS 2:  Lisa Baney, Nicole Messick

CLASS 3:  Ken Corum, Jim Cox

CLASS 4:  Dixie Wescott, David Thompson, Don Gard, Brian Verman

STATE (Fri.-Sat., Nov. 8-9 at Cape Girardeau):

REFEREES:  Jim Cox and Trent Bryant

LINE JUDGES:  Rob Kyle and Brian Verman

Screen Shot 2019-09-06 at 1.16.30 PM1.  A review of the deciding-set coin toss mechanics:  After the R2 verifies with the scorer that the winning point has been scored, the R2 gives the end-of-set signal to the R1.  The R1 then whistles and signals end-of-set, then whistles again, signaling the teams to go to their benches.  The R2 then double-whistles while holding their coin in the air to summon the captains.  The coaches do not need to attend the toss.  The R2 conducts the toss (with the home team calling the toss).  The winner of the toss gets to choose serve/receive or chooses the side of the court–the opponents make the remaining choice.

After the toss is complete, the R2 steps clear of the pole and signals to the R1 which team will serve, followed by the stay or switch courts signal (no whistle by R2).  The R1 then whistles and signals the teams to stay at their current benches or switch courts.  If switching courts, neither team needs to cross behind the R1.  The 3-minute clock begins on the R1’s final whistle.

It’s also a good idea to remind the captains if the set will be played to 15 or 25.  If the set is to be abbreviated, that decision needs to have been made prior to the match–not at the deciding set toss.

2.  As we get to the last part of the season, we are beginning to see schools have their senior nights at the varsity level.  When you arrive to the gym, make sure to communicate with host management and coaches to make sure everybody is on the same page about whether it is senior night and exactly when the recognitions will occur.



We talk a great deal about watching a back row setter in order to properly call an illegal attack or block, but as volleyball players become bigger, faster, and stronger, and as coaches implement more complex plays and systems, we need to be aware of this kind of back row attack as well.

In this video, a back row player violates Rule 9-5-5b by “attacking a ball which is completely above the height of the net while positioned in the air, having left the floor on or in front of the attack line or its out-of-bounds extension.”

This back row attack (also known as the “Pipe” or the “Bic”) is becoming more prevalent, even at the non-varsity levels.  The problem is that the R1 doesn’t have a line up card and may not immediately know if the attacker is front row or back row.  So, how do we get around that?  Here are some tips:

  1. The R2 does have a card, so if the R2 sees a violation then a discrete informal illegal attack signal can be given to the R1.  This is something that the R1 and R2 can pre-match on to determine exactly how to handle the situation.  Only if the R1 and R2 agree, the R2 may even whistle the violation if the R2’s discrete signal goes undetected by the R1.  Some may say, “Why is the R2 even watching for that?  Aren’t they supposed to be watching the net?”  Yes, the R2’s primary focus is on the net and center line.  As the R2 gets more experienced, hopefully they can maintain central focus at the net, but also (out of the corner of their eye) also be aware of these type of situations to help the R1.  Plus, if a coach questions a back row call/non-call, the R2 will be more credible to the coach if he/she has first-hand knowledge of the situation by seeing it out of the corner their eye and can provide an efficient explanation instead of saying “I don’t know, Coach…I didn’t see it.”
  2. It is acceptable (although it doesn’t look great) to have a delayed signal.  In other words, you see the attacker (on or over the attack line) attack the ball across the net.  Then, while the ball is being played by the other team (or even after it comes back over) is when you figure out that the attacker is a back row player.  You can whistle the play dead and signal an illegal back row attack late.  Even though it’s not desirable to do it this way, it’s still the correct call.
  3. Remember that the violation only is whistled when the attack is COMPLETED (see Rule 9-4-4).  So, if you see a back row player jump from on or above the attack line to attack a ball above the height of the net, make sure to hold your whistle until the ball has completely crossed the plane of the net or is legally blocked.  As an example of why you want to wait to whistle, let’s say the potential illegal attack occurs on the second contact.  The ball is attacked by the back row player in front of the attack line into the net and bounces back for a teammate to take over the net on a third contact.  That play would be legal since the potential back row attack was not officially COMPLETED.  The criteria of a back row player attacking a ball completely above the height of net while on or in front of the attack line were all check marked, but according to Rule 9-4-4, the last criteria of a completed attack was not met, so no violation has occurred.

Here are a couple of more examples:

Even though this attack went out of bounds, the actual violation was an illegal back row attack since that occurred once the ball crossed the plane of the net and before it landed out of bounds:


This one was harder to detect since this back row player got creative on a second contact, but it does check all the boxes of an illegal back row attack mentioned above:



Recently, GKCOA has had a history of offering ideas for rule changes that have been strongly considered and even adopted by MSHSAA and eventually the NFHS national rules committee.  If you have a suggestion for an NFHS rule change or a MSHSAA by-law change for next season, we will compile a list and forward them to the MSHSAA volleyball coaches advisory committee.  They usually meet after the state tournament in November, but we need to get agenda items as soon as possible.  If you have a suggestion, please email ken.corum@nkcschools.org by Mon., Oct. 21.



We have had a number of GKCOA officials enter into the USA Volleyball and club officiating circuit over the last couple of years.  They have an excellent training program and there may be opportunities to get valuable experience.  The season generally runs from November to April, but signups are beginning to happen now.  Denise Jett is the Heart of America Regional officials coordinator.  Please contact her at her email address  ha.officials.coord@hoavb.org for more information.  If there’s any of you wanting to officiate college volleyball next fall, she can also put you in the loop of people who certify and assign there as well.  Many of the same individuals involved in club volleyball are also involved in college, so club would be a great way to get in touch with the college people in advance.



As usual, be on the look out for the annual GKCOA membership survey.  We have tried to incorporate your ideas and suggestions in our programming over the last few years.  Please let us know in the survey how we did in training, assigning, and other duties plus how we can do better.  We take pride in having the best officials association in the state, but we know there’s always room for improvement.



Next Sunday’s newsletter will be the final one of the season.  We will have information about post-season items to remember as well as a preview of next season where there will be a number of changes coming!  Again, if you have situations and questions, please make sure to email ken.corum@nkcschools.org or put something in the GKCOA Dropbox (scroll to the top of this page).